Bathymetric Data Management


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Efficient workflow for comprehensive bathymetric data management

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Bathymetric Data Management

  1. 1. Efficient Workflow for ComprehensiveBathymetric Data ManagementEsri’s ArcGIS® Supports Sounding Selection and BathymetricData Management through Partnership with IVS 3DThroughout history, understanding the ocean depths has been of significant interest. Being ableto navigate the ocean waters has led to the rise and fall of empires; the discovery of new countries;and, recently, the use of their natural resources to sustain those who reside on land. The technologyused today to chart the ocean floor is much more accurate than early techniques, which includedthrowing a premeasured heavy rope or cable over the side of a vessel or listening for the distant“ping” of a single-beam sonar device.Today, multibeam sonar may be used, featuring hundredsof narrow, adjacent beams arranged in a fanlike swath,providing high angular resolution and accuracy. Capturingthis massive amount of data requires technologies thatexpediently process the information and create theproducts necessary to understand the information.Esri and IVS 3D are working together to create a workflowthat hydrographers can rely on to capture this large amountof data. The companies have integrated their respectivesoftware, ArcGIS® and Fledermaus, so hydrographic surveyorscan bring bathymetric data directly into the geographicinformation system (GIS) environment to notonly map the ocean floor but also use the informationfor further analysis and visualization.Esri, based in Redlands, California, has developed and Esri’s ArcGIS and IVS 3D’s Fledermaus bring bathymetric data into anprovided GIS technology for more than 40 years to hundreds environment for a wide variety of uses, including coastal charting.of thousands of organizations around the world. Working (Credit: NOAA)with IVS 3D, the developer of the Fledermaus softwaresuite, Esri is providing an environment for the interactive3D visualization and analysis of marine information.“Esri is making strides in developing GIS solutions thatprovide the maritime industry with tools and infrastructurefor easily managing, sharing, and accessing information,”said Tim Kearns, Esri maritime deputy program manager.“The integration of Fledermaus and ArcGIS is needed forbringing bathymetric information into an environment for awide variety of uses, from coastal charting to environmentalmanagement to coastal security.”
  2. 2. GIS for HydrographersFledermaus is used internationally by government, commercial, and academic clients in allareas of ocean mapping. Scientists and engineers use the software for processing, qualitycontrol, and analysis of multibeam sonar and related data. Fledermaus provides significantlyimproved efficiency in nautical charting, geologic interpretation and assessment of seabedhabitats, and identification of geohazards during engineering development work.Today, using a seamless workflow, Fledermaus software users can move bathymetric data from atraditional file-based desktop system directly into an ArcGIS geodatabase. They can then deploythe many capabilities of ArcGIS to analyze, author, and serve the data for charting and analysis.Using a bathymetric geodatabase brings many advantages to maritime GIS users. They canmaintain a historical archive for comparing legacy survey data with modern data and updatedcharts. Bathymetric data can also be leveraged by using it with other databases for a wide rangeof purposes, such as oceanography, coastal zone management, and meteorology, that requireseafloor information. In addition, users can easily edit their nautical products based on newand updated bathymetric information. Elevation surfaces and survey coverage extents created during editing in Fledermaus are easily transferred to a geodatabase for further analysis, charting, and delivery to clients. (Credit: Shallow Survey Conference 2001/2008 and NOAA)
  3. 3. “A majority of lidar products are created in ArcGIS formats, so the combination of ArcGIS and Fledermaus is great for our company,“ says Carol Lockhart, cofounder and commercial manager, Geomatics Data Solutions. “This integration allows us to further streamline our process to get from raw data to final product more seamlessly and efficiently than we could before.”Using ArcGIS, operators can identify areas of overlappingdata to check for quality assurance.(Credit: Shallow Survey Conference 2001/2008 and NOAA)Creating SolutionsTaking advantage of this integration is Geomatics Data Once created, the data can be viewed and edited inSolutions, a small organization with offices in British Fledermaus. Elevation surfaces and survey coverageColumbia, Canada, and San Diego, California. Focused on extents created during editing in Fledermaus are easilyproviding end-to-end geospatial processing applications for transferred to a geodatabase for further analysis, charting,organizations needing bathymetric data, the company takes and delivery to clients. For expedience as well as qualityraw information and processes it to create final products such assurance issues, it is important to be able to do this inas nautical charts and geospatial databases. an automated way when dealing with datasets that span a large spatial and temporal extent.Geomatics Data Solutions uses Fledermaus and thecompany’s own add-on software solution, GreenC Solutions, Quality Assurancefor bathymetric lidar data editing. Then, the data QA/QC Fledermaus and ArcGIS can be used for quality assuranceteam uses both Fledermaus and ArcGIS to process and and checking. All lidar projects are planned with some sideanalyze the data. overlap between adjacent flight lines to ensure accurate data collection. Using ArcGIS, operators can identify areasGeomatics Data Solutions uses ArcGIS and Fledermaus of overlapping data from adjacent lines, then do a statisticaltogether in two important ways: comparison from one line’s surface to another. GeomaticsFlight Line Editing Data Solutions uses either Fledermaus Cross Check or ArcGISFor areas of shoreline that are too shallow for traditional to compute the statistical comparison, depending on whethervessel-based technologies, airborne missions to collect a triangulated irregular network (TIN) or grid is used.flight lines are required. The acquired flight lines are storedin an ArcGIS geodatabase that also includes spatial areasdefined as polygons to build custom Pure File Magic (PFM)files, the standard data structure developed at the U.S. NavalOceanographic Office, for data editing. The polygons areused to define the PFM extent, and the flight lines identifywhich files need to be read to import data to the PFM.
  4. 4. Opening the Doors to a Marine SpatialData Infrastructure“The very large volume of many of the oceanographic andbathymetric datasets makes export and import between softwareapplications inefficient and prone to inaccuracies, and the partnershipwith Esri provides our clients—many of whom are ArcGIS users—witha seamless connection to the power of an enterprise GIS,” notes IVS3D’s general manager Lindsay Gee. “This has benefits for many additionalgeoprocessing features and off-the-shelf tools for publishing productsand distribution. Many governments around the world have recognizedthe benefits of establishing a national spatial data infrastructure, andour integration with ArcGIS allows clients in the marine environment Esri’s bathymetric information system willto be directly part of a national digital geospatial framework without support cloud computing mapping services via a maritime ArcGIS application and toolsthe need to build complicated connections between the marine and for updating navigational products.national SDIs.” (Credit: Shallow Survey Conference 2001/2008)Fledermaus software is valuable to bathymetric geodatabasedesign within the development of Esri’s bathymetric informationsystem. This system is composed of a data model that helps usersorganize bathymetric and survey data and communicate with otherdata models such as Esri® Nautical Solution, Arc Marine, petroleum,and pipeline. Esri’s bathymetric information system will support cloudcomputing mapping services via a maritime ArcGIS applicationand tools for updating navigational products.For more information on Esri and how itsGIS software is used in the hydrographiccommunity, contact bathymetry@esri.comor visit For more information,For more information on IVS 3D and how its call Esri atvisualization and analysis software is used in 1-800-447-9778.the nautical industry, contact Lindsay Gee at Send e-mail inquiries or visit more information on Geomatics Visit Esri’s web page atData Solutions, contact Carol Lockhart or Copyright © 2011 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, the Esri globe logo, ArcGIS,, and are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners. G47740ESRIxxC4/11gm