Mapping projects

In order to build the next generation of improved GEBCO global bathymetric compilations, regional expertise is needed and this can only be achieved by fully taking advantage of regional seafloor mapping and data collection activities.

Through the Sub-Committee on Regional Undersea Mapping (SCRUM), GEBCO is aiming to build on and extend its collaboration with regional mapping groups in order to improve its global bathymetric model.

Find out more about the regional groups that GEBCO collaborates with:

The map below shows the geographic regions covered by some of these projects. Click on an area to find out more.

regional mapping projects International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) International Bathymetric Chart of the South East Pacific (IBCSEP) International Bathymetric Chart of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (IBCCA) International Bathymetric Chart of the Mediterranean (IBCM) International Bathymetric Chart of the Central Eastern Atlantic (IBCEA) International Bathymetric Chart of the South East Pacific (IBCSEP) EMODnet GEBCO Indian Ocean Bathymetric Compilation (IOBC) EMODnet

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Regional Mapping Projects

GEBCO has long benefitted from contributions from the work of the IOC Regional Mapping Projects. Find out more about the individual projects from their web sites (where available) hosted at the US National Geophysical Data Center:

  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Caribbean Sea & Gulf of Mexico (IBCCA)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Central Eastern Atlantic (IBCEA)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Mediterranean (IBCM)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the South Eastern Pacific (IBCSEP)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Western Indian Ocean (IBCWIO)
  • International Bathymetric Chart of the Western Pacific (IBCWP)

International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) regional coordination work

The main aims of the IHO Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC) are to establish, coordinate and enhance cooperation in hydrographic activities amongst IHO Member States on a regional basis and between regions. At the regional level, the Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHCs) coordinate hydrographic activity and cooperation. The RHCs are made up of IHO Member States together with other regional States that wish to participate.

When possible, a representative from GEBCO attends the meetings of the RHCs. Further information about the work of these groups and the geographic coverage of the RHCs can be found at the links below.

  • The Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC)
  • The Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHC)

GEBCO's regional mapping projects

When needed, GEBCO will initiate its own regional bathymetric mapping projects, drawing on the expertise and regional knowledge of local experts including GEBCO colleagues and in particular the GEBCO/Nippon Foundation Scholars.

GEBCO/Nippon Foundation Indian Ocean Bathymetric Compilation (IOBC) Project

The aims of this multinational project are to:

  • assemble, collate, archive and publish all publically-available bathymetric data from all sources within the Indian Ocean
  • produce a new bathymetric map and grid of the Indian Ocean (north of 60°S) using data from all available sources

The project will be undertaken by a combination of GEBCO/Nippon Foundation Scholars and other GEBCO members, guided by an Editorial Board.

The map and grid will be developed from scientific cruise data obtained in both shallow and deep water, combined with hydrographic survey data in shallow water as required to complete the map area at the highest resolution possible. Find out more from the project’s web site.

Other collaborative projects

European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) Hydrography

EMODnet is a project, funded by the European Commission, to bring together marine data into interoperable, continuous and publicly available data sets for complete maritime basins in European waters.

As part of this project, the EMODnet Hydrography portal provides bathymetry data in the form of Digital Terrain Models (DTM) for selected maritime basins. The DTMs have been produced from collated bathymetric data sets that are integrated into a central DTM. In regions where high resolution DTMs are not available, bathymetry data is taken from the GEBCO_08 Grid to provide a complete bathymetric model for the region.

Through a collaboration with the EMODnet Hydrography team, it is aimed that future releases of GEBCO’s global bathymetric grid will include bathymetry data from the DTMs provided through the EMODnet Hydrography portal.


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