How to Get Involved

Welcome to the world of crowdsourced bathymetry (CSB), where collective efforts can help shape our understanding of the depths in our coastal zones, oceans, lakes, and waterways. This approach harnesses the power of individuals and organizations worldwide to contribute to and create improved bathymetric maps and products. 

Join our crowdsourced bathymetry effort and contribute to the exploration of the world's oceans like never before! We invite scientists and researchers, navigators, fishers, like-minded enthusiasts, and anyone with a passion for the mysteries that lie beneath the waves. Together, we can help create a comprehensive and accurate map of the ocean floor, unlocking valuable insights into marine ecosystems, geological processes, and potential resources. By pooling our collective knowledge and data, we can accelerate scientific discovery and conservation efforts. Whether you have access to specialized equipment or are simply an avid sailor, your contributions can make a difference. 

The IHO Crowdsourced Bathymetry Working Group manages these initiatives within the IHO.

Parties interested in participating in this citizen science initiative can contact .

Members of the Crowdsourced Bathymetry Working Group gather in Boulder, Colorado. Picture © NOAA


Volunteer data from any ship with an echo sounder or fish finder can be used – which many vessels already have. Routinely measured parameters, such as under keel depth and position, can be stored, uploaded and contributed from either an Electronic Chart System participating in the IHO CSB Initiative or through a variety of data loggers that can be interfaced to the ship’s NMEA data bus. There are several data loggers and systems that are currently being used in the Initiative and others that are  under development.

“Technology Partners” provides more information about the various software and hardware companies that are involved in the IHO Crowdsourced Bathymetry Initiative. You can either reach out to these companies, organizations and universities directly or contact the for more information.


If you have data and are looking to determine how to contribute your data, please see “Contributing CSB Data”.


3D view of the northern Great Barrier Reef showing all vessel tracks as of
December 2019. Image courtesy of Dr. Robin Beaman.

If your organization, company or university is interested in learning more about becoming a "Trusted Node," and serving as a data liaison between mariners (data collectors) and the DCDB, please consider contacting Trusted Nodes may supply data logging equipment, provide technical support to vessels, download data from data loggers, and support data transfer directly to the DCDB. 

Crowdsourced bathymetry  data are shared through dedicated platforms or applications, where it is collated and made available to the community via the IHO Data Center for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB).  By contributing data to the IHO DCDB, the provider will not be held liable for the data submitted.

Contributed data can include depth, position and time stamp. While additional information is encouraged, data does not need to include vessel name, IMO number or anything else with the vessel identification prior to uploading to the IHO DCDB database.



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Last modified: 19/04/2024 - 13:29