Sharing Experiences, Tools and Advances in Mapping Shallow Water Topography from Space

Sharing Experiences, Tools and Advances in Mapping Shallow Water Topography from Space

It is now possible to map shallow water topography, globally, from the comfort of your desk. Satellite-Derived Bathymetry (SDB), which uses remote sensors on space-borne platforms to generate dense bathymetric grids, has in recent years become an established survey technology. This technology has seen uptake in many applications, including charting, coastal engineering, environmental management and hydrodynamic modelling.

However, best practices on the methods and how to handle uncertainties have not yet been established as common knowledge. The speed of the continuous technological development and the different methods and approaches to market underline an increasingly important need for guidance on using and generating SDB. There is therefore an ongoing requirement for critical discussion and technical exchange between multiple stakeholders in order to understand the current status and furthermore to design future developments of this technology. Based on this need, EOMAP initiated and co-sponsored the warmly received International SDB Day in 2018; a conference dedicated to all aspects of SDB. This inaugural conference was held in the lake district of Bavaria, Germany. It was followed by the International SDB Day 2019, which was hosted by EOMAP Australia and held on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.

Today, with the world community experiencing a pandemic, the demand for remote mapping and minimizing time in the field is even higher. In addition, the rise of new satellite sensors and software solutions, such as desktop and cloud-based software that can analyse multiple satellite missions and imagery – including the new Satellite Lidar Bathymetry data – and the ongoing implementation of SDB in workflows of hydrographic offices, further increases the demand for an international exchange on this technology.

International SDB Day 2021

The International SDB Day 2021 is designed to meet this demand. Keynote speakers include the Royal Australian Navy and Pushidrosal, Indonesia. The agenda includes three main sessions: one session on applications and technological advances, one a more practical session on various aspects of generating SDB, including SDB tools and best practice and standards and developing in-house capabilities for SDB, and one on SDB standards and quality assurance. The SDB Day 2021 aims towards a best-practice guide and standards for remote surveying, where practical and quality-related aspects will be discussed. This guidance will make it easier for surveyors, hydrographers and coastal stakeholders to apply SDB in practice. Ultimately, this will be an important step towards mapping the world’s coastal zone, which is insufficiently mapped for many parts of the world.

“Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have decided to organize a virtual SDB Day. This offers many people the opportunity to join the conferences and we have therefore also decided to waive the registration fee for this conference. And, as a first, we will organize it as two events, to make it possible for everybody to participate: one event for the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe on 27 January 2021 and one event for Asia and Oceania on 10 February 2021,” explains Philip Klinger, member of the SDB Day organizing team and passionate SDB analyst.

Please visit the conference webpage to access further information, register and to submit an abstract. You can reach out to the organizers at

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