Last week, NOAA published of their charts in a zip file with a fatal formatting mistake. Normally, charts are published with a folder called ENC_ROOT, which helps identify the zip file as a chart set. NOAA published 71 charts in zip files with out ENC_ROOT. This is a major formatting error and violates the IHO S-57 standard. To add insult to injury, NOAA made yet another formatting error that caused SEAiq to "lock up" when validating these files.
We reported the issue to NOAA on Thursday and on the following Tuesday fixed charts started to show up. In case NOAA let the problem drag out, we rushed out new versions of our SEAiq that had work-arounds for NOAA charts. These were ready just about the time that NOAA fixed their charts.
Only a couple days later, NOAA stopped publishing their ENC chart catalog file which SEAiq depends on to figure out what charts are available and determine when new updates are ready. NOAA publishes a bunch of chart catalog files, but only the one that SEAiq uses was affected. Weird. We've reported this new issue to NOAA and hopefully they will fix the problem soon.
We're now looking into creating our own chart catalog file and creating a new version of SEAiq that doesn't depend on NOAA catalogs. We're doing this both because of the current issues, but also because NOAA chart catalogs historically have errors in them. We expect this change-over may be ready in the next few weeks.