National Ocean Service (NOS), a unit in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce. It provides information for the safe navigation of ships and aircraft Other data are used by engineers and scientists in research, in developing natural resources, and for other commercial and industrial needs. The agency's main functions are:

  • Surveying and charting United States coastlines.
  • Making geodetic surveys (surveys of portions of the earth's surface).
  • Observing tides and currents and publishing annual tables.
  • Studying and organizing data on the earth's magnetic field.
  • Providing data on earthquakes.
  • Producing aeronautical charts.
  • Operating national marine and estuarine sanctuaries.

The National Ocean Service had its origin in the Coast Survey, established in 1807 and redesignated Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1878. In 1970 the agency became a part of NOAA and was renamed National' Ocean Survey. It was reorganized as the National Ocean Service in 1982.