THE WIND AND CURRENT CHART SERIES PRODUCED BY MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY

Marc I. Pinsel

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Matthew Fontaine Maury, Officer in Charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments (later the U.S. Naval Observatory and Hydrographical Office) developed a system of charts for the oceans of the world. Information for the compilation of the charts was furnished by the individuals who would benefit from the publication of the combined experiences of the maritime community. Data on various environmental forces that directly affected the safe and timely navigation of ships on long ocean voyages were incorporated into the charts. Information carried on the charts included tracks most frequently sailed, average time for sailing, wind direction and frequency, trade wind data, sea surface temperature, rain and storm data, and, for the whaling industry, information relating to the likelihood of locating whales in the various oceans. Between 1647 and 1860, when the last chart in the series was published, Maury had succeeded in developing a navigation system based on the scientific application of data furnished by the U.S. Navy, Merchant Marine, and international observers.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 28, Number 2
Pages: 123 - 137
Cite this article: Pinsel, Marc I., "THE WIND AND CURRENT CHART SERIES PRODUCED BY MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 1981, pp. 123-137.
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