This week, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey released the Mapping U.S. Marine and Great Lakes Waters: Office of Coast Survey Contributions to a National Ocean Mapping Strategy. This report is part of NOAA’s ongoing commitment to meet core surveying and nautical charting mandates while supporting broader needs to fill gaps in seafloor mapping and environmental sciences.Continue reading “NOAA Coast Survey’s new strategy supports charting mandates and broader seafloor mapping”
NOAA released the first annual report on the progress made in mapping U.S. ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters. The depth, shape, and composition of the seafloor are foundational data elements that we need to understand in order to explore, sustainably develop, conserve, and manage our coastal and offshore ocean resources. The 2019 Presidential Memorandum on Ocean Mapping of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone and the Shoreline and Nearshore of Alaska and the global Seabed 2030 initiative make comprehensive ocean mapping a priority for the coming decade. The Unmapped U.S. Waters report tracks progress toward these important goals.Continue reading “NOAA announces new progress report on mapping U.S. ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters”
By Katrina Wyllie and Glen Rice
The National Bathymetric Source (NBS) project creates and maintains high-resolution bathymetry composed of the best available data. This project enables the creation of next-generation nautical charts while also providing support for modeling, industry, science, regulation, and public curiosity.Continue reading “Building the National Bathymetry”
By Rear Adm. Shep Smith, director of the Office of Coast Survey
On Thursday, June 21, we celebrate World Hydrography Day. This year’s theme—Bathymetry – the foundation for sustainable seas, oceans and waterways—is very timely as many hydrographic organizations worldwide are focusing on bathymetry at local and global scales. While we work to perfect real-time data and high-resolution bathymetry for ports, we are still working to build a foundational baseline dataset of the global seafloor. Our work at both scales have implications for the local and global economies.
By Lt. Cmdr. Adam Reed, Integrated Oceans and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) assistant coordinator
Today NOAA announces the end of a testing phase in the development of a new crowdsourced bathymetry database. Bathymetric observations and measurements from participants in citizen science and crowdsourced programs are now archived and made available to the public through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB) Data Viewer. The operationalized database allows free access to millions of ocean depth data points, and serves as a powerful source of information to improve navigational products.
This week, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey hosted its third annual workshop on nautical chart adequacy. Twelve students participated in the training and learned techniques to evaluate the suitability of nautical chart products using chart quality and publicly available information. This year’s workshop emphasized cartography and the ability to transfer NOAA procedures to the students’ charting products. The workshop provided a theoretical background on:
- Chart production at NOAA
- Review of NOAA charted symbols and abbreviations
- Review of automatic identification systems (AIS) and satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB)
- Overview of the chart adequacy procedure
We are on the verge of acquiring a significant new source of data to improve NOAA nautical charts, thanks to an enthusiastic industry and mariners equipped with new technology.
By Lt. Adam Reed, Integrated Oceans and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) Assistant Coordinator
The United States has about 3,400,000 square nautical miles of water within our coastal and Great Lakes jurisdiction. Coast Survey, who is responsible for charting that vast area, averages about 3,000 square nautical miles of hydrographic surveying each year. The data collected by those surveys update over a thousand NOAA charts. However, hydrographic surveys are expensive and laborious, and so Coast Survey directs them toward the highest priority sites, which leaves many coastal areas without updates for many years.
Coast Survey may soon get new sources of information, provided voluntarily by mariners, which will alert cartographers to areas where shoaling and other changes to the seafloor have made the chart inaccurate.