An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is a computer-based navigation system that complies with IMO regulations and can be used as an alternative to paper navigation charts. Integrating a variety of real-time information, it is an automated decision aid capable of continuously determining a vessel’s position in relation to land, charted objects, navigation aids and unseen hazards.
An ECDIS includes electronic navigational charts (ENC) and integrates position information from the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other navigational sensors, such as radar, fathometer and automatic identification systems (AIS). It may also display additional navigation-related information, such as sailing directions.
ECDIS is defined in the IMO ECDIS Performance Standards (IMO Resolution A.817(19)) as follows:
Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) means a navigation information system which, with adequate back up arrangements, can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulation V/19 & V/27 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, by displaying selected information from navigation sensors to assist the mariner in route planning and route monitoring, and by displaying additional navigation-related information if required.