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TeamSurv – mapping the world’s oceans

World Cruising Club boat owners invited to join an ambitious project and help map the world’s coastal waters with a simple data-logger on board.

Using an onboard data-logger, TeamSurv are harnessing the power of crowd-sourcing to add vital data to the map of the world’s oceans. Leisure boat users are invited to join-in with this fascinating initiative to help collect millions of sea bed depth measurements in coastal waters around the world. The aggregated data, corrected for things like transducer depth, tides and variations in the speed of sound in water, is then combined to produce a grid of depths, which can then be converted into a chart by contouring, shading and adding spot depths. All participants have free access to these charts, and TeamSurv also make them available to hydrographic offices and other chart publishers, oceanographers, environmentalists and all the other people who need better depth data for the seas. Whilst not as good as a professional hydrographic survey, the data is useful for most purposes and significantly will cover areas ignored by national surveys.

Having good depth data is important for many reasons – not just to make sure you don’t run aground. It is used in tide models and in modelling coastal erosion. Offshore engineers use it to plan offshore structures and to route pipelines and cables, and then to monitor for changes in the sea bed. Environmentalists use it for habitat mapping, and to ensure that fishing is done in a sustainable way. Climate modellers use it in modelling ocean currents, and how they move hot and cold waters around the world.

Taking part is simple. Teamsurv either supply you with a free data logger that connects to your instruments, or if you have a suitable plotter they can get data from that.  Find out more at

contour map

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