Viewing the GEBCO WMS through a web browserGEBCO Web Map Service (WMS)

The GEBCO_2014 Grid is available as a Web Map Service (WMS), a means of accessing geo-referenced map images over the internet.

Three services are available, a global map and maps centred on the geographic North and South Poles. These maps can be viewed in a web browser or Geographic Information System (GIS) and incorporated in your own web application.

Further information about WMS can be found on the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web site.

Find out more about GEBCO's WMS

Accessing the WMS

To access the GEBCO WMS's, enter the following address into your WMS client

For the global map


For a view centred on the North Pole


For a view centred on the South Pole


Further details about supported service requests and how to view a WMS are given below.

Supported service requests

The following service requests are supported by this WMS


This request returns information about the layers contained in the service, for example, their content and geographic extent. The information is returned in the form of a XML file (you may need to save this to disk to view the information).

The following links provide access to example GetCapabilities calls to GEBCO's WMS.


This request returns a map. Using the information given in the GetCapabilities request, the user can specify parameters such as the required layer, the geographic extent of the map and the size of the returned image.

Please note that the longitude range for the global WMS extends from -180 to 360 degrees to allow plotting centred on 180 degrees.

The following are example GetMap requests for GEBCO's WMS.

  • WMS 1.3.0 GetMap request for the GEBCO Grid centred on the North Pole (north of 50°N)
  • WMS 1.1.1 GetMap request for the GEBCO Grid centred on the North Pole (north of 50°N)
  • WMS 1.3.0 GetMap request for the GEBCO Grid centred on the South Pole (south of 50°S)
  • WMS 1.1.1 GetMap request for the GEBCO Grid centred on the South Pole (south of 50°S)

How can I view a WMS?

WMS are designed to allow imagery to be shared over the internet, i.e. within your own application or software package you can access a map hosted on a remote server.

The GetMap request can be used to view a WMS in a web browser. Just cut and paste this URL into your browser to view the WMS image; changing the BBOX values alters the geographic extent of the area viewed.

The GetCapabilities request provides information about the image layers contained in the WMS.

There are a number of commercial and free GIS and mapping-type packages in which you can view WMS. For example Google Earth and ESRI ArcGIS Explorer and a number of Open Source packages.

Please note that the quality of the viewed image may depend on how the software package interprets the WMS.

GEBCO WMS — data sources and WMS development

The GEBCO WMS is largely based on the GEBCO_2014 Grid, a global bathymetric grid at 30 arc-second intervals. The grid is based on a database of ship-track soundings with interpolation between soundings guided by satellite-derived gravity data. However, in regions where they improve on the existing grid, data sets generated by other methods are included.

Further information can be found in the documentation that accompanies the data set. Adobe PDF version of the documentation for the GEBCO_08 Grid (263 KB)

Within the GEBCO WMS, the imagery for the land areas is largely taken from the Blue Marble Next Generation data set produced by Reto Stöckli, the US National Aeronautical and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth Observatory (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center). For the region south of 60°S, coastline information is taken from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research's (SCAR) Antarctic Digital Database. Data sets held at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) were used to define the coverage of glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet in the imagery centred on the North Pole.

This differs from the GEBCO_2014 Grid where land areas are largely based on the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM30) data set.

The imagery used in the GEBCO WMS was developed from a terrain model of the GEBCO_2014 Grid created using IVS 3D's Fledermaus software. Further image processing and inclusion of additional image layers such as the Blue Marble Next Generation land imagery was carried out using Adobe Photoshop.

The methods and colour styling used in the generation of the GEBCO WMS image were developed for the creation of the GEBCO world map by Dr Martin Jakobsson of Stockholm University, Sweden.

Data set acknowledgement

If imagery from the WMS is included in web sites, reports and digital and printed imagery then we request that the source of the data set is acknowledged and be of the form

"Imagery reproduced from the GEBCO_2014 Grid, version 20150318,"


This WMS has been developed and made available, on behalf of GEBCO, by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

Whilst every effort has been made to make sure that the imagery is as error free as possible, BODC and GEBCO give no warranty as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the imagery contained within this WMS or to the non-interruption or continuation of the service. Furthermore we can give no warranty that this WMS is compatible with any other data with which the material is to be used.

The imagery within this WMS should not be used for navigation or for any purpose relating to safety at sea.

Content disclaimer —
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