Yes the US and others are generating open charts that are approved for use by the shipping community, but these freely available charts cannot be used on the chartplotters we are buying and the manufacturers are even locking us into one source of chart chips. Raymarine is a good case in point with their new products only supporting Navionics.
AT one point eh major companies used standards organization to make it possible for all the vendors to coexist. Then the market shares were consolidated. Then the minor players were bought or driven away. Now we have fewer players that feel they can beat the rest. The commercial
market where the requirement to maintains charts under international law are governed by standards. Recreation boats are not required or regulated as to charts and types.
No cruiser in their right mind would choose no charts but if you have a choice and it's not regulated then you can choose what you like. The major players would prefer you buy all from one vendor so they can keep all the money
If all boats were regulated it's clear there would be only one international standard electronic chart as there is with Commercial
ships and you would clearly use the same charts as those users. The big ships don't go to all the places you might cruise
and so there is not charts for all places for electronic systems. You are forced by reality to pick and choose the charts based on where you plan to go.
To be clear there is no financial incentive to create a world chart standard for recreational cruising. The money
isn't there. You do what all the great explorers did. You go out and get the best charts you can get bit by bit for all the places you expect to travel. None of the old explorers would consider anything but the best charts available. It's hard enough as it is without going in the wrong direction on purpose.
Coastal cruising close to home is what most people do so that is what the one stop shopping
yet less flexible solution is all about. People buy it and actually like it. It's where the money is. It does not mean you are like most people. But it means you can complain all you like and it won't matter. You have to cobble together a mix that works using the best available tools. There is nothing better. I seriously doubt there will be anything soon.