WIT Press

EPDIS: The Electronic Pilot Book Display System


Free (open access)








1,317 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Carbajosa, J. J. Lozano, S. Velásquez, D. Wittkuhn, M. Zahharov, K. C. Ehrke, J. Abreu & R. Marques


The Electronic Pilot Display and Information System (EPDIS) is a new technology that presents the traditional Pilot Book in electronic format by means of the current and latest information and visual representation developments. EPDIS is a project co-funded by the European Commission, DG IST and Fifth Framework Programme, incorporating six partners from four different EU countries (Germany, Estonia, Spain and Portugal) forming a consortium. The idea is to provide a system that integrates a 3D view of the coastline as seen from the ship’s bridge connected to an information system which is basically a compendium of the data contained in the traditional Pilot Book and other complementary texts like guides to port entry, radio signals and lights books. The 3D visualisation of landscapes and shorelines is built by means of digital elevation models (DEM) and a basic electronic charting system based on the Standard S-57. This 3D view is complemented with architectonical models of the relevant buildings and marks which are used for navigation in order to recognise difficult sailing areas. In this way a 3D viewer has been designed as a result of this research and development. The pilot book information is integrated into another database system. The Electronic Pilot Book, as it is called, is a system that organizes the textual information and images from paper pilot books in geo-referenced blocks, this structure of data could be accessed or queried from the electronic chart system when a zone or conspicuous point in the 3D viewer needs explanation. By means of an XML protocol many problems of connectivity and data transfer can be eliminated, mainly all those related to the data formats because of the different kinds of information blocks (text, images, mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc). In this paper we will describe the most relevant aspects for the development of the EPDIS system and the results obtained from the work done on the trial areas of the Baltic Sea, the Portuguese Coast and the Spanish Mediterranean. Keywords: 3D Viewer, ECDIS, S57, OSG, Open Flight, DEM, culling.


3D Viewer, ECDIS, S57, OSG, Open Flight, DEM, culling.