Timely and accurate identification of change detection for areas depicted on nautical charts constitutes a key task for marine cartographic agencies in supporting maritime safety. Such a task is usually achieved through manual or semi-automated processes, based on best practices developed over the years requiring a substantial level of human commitment (i.e., to visually compare the chart with the new collected data or to analyze the result of intermediate products). This work describes an algorithm that aims to largely automate the change identification process as well as to reduce its subjective component. Through the selective derivation of a set of depth points from a nautical chart, a triangulated irregular network is created to apply a preliminary tilted-triangle test to all the input survey soundings. Given the complexity of a modern nautical chart, a set of feature-specific, point-in-polygon tests are then performed. As output, the algorithm provides danger-to-navigation candidates, chart discrepancies, and a subset of features that requires human evaluation. The algorithm has been successfully tested with real-world electronic navigational charts and survey datasets. In parallel to the research development, a prototype application implementing the algorithm was created and made publicly available.
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