Place to share bathymetric / oceanographic data?


I am starting to collect bathymetric data (high resolution bathy charts) and other oceanographic data (such as biologic surveys) and I was wondering if there were a clearing house for such data? Ideally in a world map format that you could click on an area and see what data was available there. I looked at OpenExplorer but that has a different focus than what I'm thinking of. Perhaps something that interfaces with GoogleEarth? This is data that I am collecting and wish to put into a format that other people may use.



Not trying to sound negative but it is one hell of a really REALLY big job

There are places "out there" that are sharing data (eg world scales GEBCO,NOAA, EMODnet as well as various other organisations at both national and local levels)

But a lot of the data collected is commercial (either by public companies being paid for the survay works or the government trying to recoup costs of collection) and other large chucks may be under a whole range of creative commons licences often dependent upon how it is to be used. Many may still give access under various confidentiality agreements if you get to the right person.

It can be displayed in Google Earth (sorry for the plug have a look at my website (GE web plugin required in browser) which has some of the data I have (in part relating to what the agreement was when I got the data and how slack I have been about putting it up there) [Image of downloadable wreck locations and descriptions [pins] some broad scale shaded relied (50m grid) [gray data] and some detail bathy [coloured] all in a GE web interface]

I would love some way to better upload/download data (remember its mega terabytes at least) to make it more available to others, but I see it as a really hairy issue that in part needs to be solved by the hydrographical data collectors and offices themselves



Thanks Scott. You're right, of course, but I was wondering if there were something along the lines of "WikiMedia Commons" for oceanographic data out there. It doesn't seem that there is, at least my Google-foo skills haven't found one yet. I may just have to do what you've done (great site by the way!) and build a site dedicated to my own data.

Completely unrelated to this topic is this fellow below. I've named him "Buzz". Buzz is a California Cormorant and an all around very cool bird. Yesterday Buzz was in our marina parking lot and nearly got run over by inattentive drivers. My wife and I rescued him and he's now resting at the SeaWorld marine aviary rescue center where he will be well taken care of until he's ready to go back to work hunting little bait fish. I hope to see Buzz again soon. Like I said, Buzz is a real cool bird. ;)


Interesting stuff!

I'm also looking for those maps esp. for lake Malawi but seems nothing has ben made yet...

My own idea is next time try and use a Garmin plotter with sidescan and then make a map with that.


Hi Carsten

First off Go for It

It's always great to hear of people getting out there and just doing it even if it's not neat or efficient its the start that matters

Depending on what you want to do there are a few different approaches

Have a look at Reefmaster where you can set up a standard sounder to record depths when hooked into a GPS and start doing some simplistic bathymetry

Remember if you are looking sounder style side scan (eg Humminbird Side Imaging, Lowrance Structure Scan , Raymarine CHIRP SideVision ) that all of these units only really produce Side Imaging results up to about 30m deep. If you do a bit of DIY you can modify the transducers build yourself simplistic towfish to get the units further under water and extend their working range to about the 50-60m mark (have a look at some of the stuff done here )

If you can get your hands on a commercial sidescan (but more importantly the cable - from Wikipedia Lake Malawi has an average depth of 292m so you would need 600-900m of cable) you could get down and do it (FYI my longest cable is 200m and this lets us work to say 150m deep and that's the most I know of where people aren't using winches on the tow cable)