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EMODnet Bathymetry

EMODnet Bathymetry


Title (Project name): EMODnet Bathymetry

Owner: EMODnet (European Marine Observation and Data Network).

Geographical scope: European sea regions and coastal areas.


The EMODnet Bathymetry portal is the result of a European long-effort project which started in June 2009 with the aim of providing interoperable access to European bathymetry data sets. It is operated and further developed by a European partnership. This comprises members of the SeaDataNet consortium together with organisations from marine science, the hydrographic survey community, and industry. The partners combine expertise and experiences of collecting, processing, and managing of bathymetric data together with expertise in distributed data infrastructure development and operation and providing OGC services (WMS, WFS, and WCS) for viewing and distribution.

SeaDataNet is a leading infrastructure in Europe for marine & ocean data management, initiated and managed by the National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC's). It is actively operating and further developing a Pan-European infrastructure for managing, indexing and providing access to ocean and marine data sets and data products, acquired via research cruises and other in-situ observational activities. The basis of SeaDataNet is interconnecting Data Centres into a distributed network of data resources with common standards for metadata, vocabularies, data transport formats, quality control methods and flags, and access. SeaDataNet aims for an extensive coverage of available data sets for the various marine environmental disciplines.

Current phase of the project

At the end of December 2016, the EMODnet Bathymetry project was succeeded by the EMODnet High Resolution Seabed Mapping Project (HRSM) as part of the third phase of the project.

This new project continues to collect bathymetric data with an extra focus on European coastal waters. In addition, satellite derived bathymetric data is included to experiment with empty areas. This data provides input for producing a DTM with a resolution of 1/16 arc minutes (approximately 115 m).

Furthermore, local DTMs with higher resolutions are produced, where the level data and data suppliers allow this goal. The higher resolution DTMs are used to determine the best estimate of the European coastline for a range of tide levels (HAT, MHW, MSL, Chart datum, LAT).

The project is funded by the European Union under Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.


  • Develop a Bathymetry Viewing and Download service on top of a powerful spatial database including various ways for browsing and interacting with the EMODnet Bathymetry digital terrain model and associated metadata by means of information layers and specific functions. It includes WMS, WCS and WFS services (OGC) to share layers also with other portals such as other EMODnet portals, the European Atlas of the Seas, and external portals.
  • Involve research institutes, monitoring authorities, and hydrographic offices, in providing bathymetric data sets, only for internal use by project partners for producing Digital Terrain Models (DTM) with specific resolution for each geographical region. The DTM's are loaded and integrated into the project portal and made available for free downloading as tiles.
  • Include in the portal a metadata data discovery and access service, by adopting the SeaDataNet CDI metadata standard, for providing clear information about the survey data used for the DTM, their access restrictions and distributors, and featuring online shopping request and delivery; this ensures that the bathymetry data sets can also be queried at the SeaDataNet portal.
  • Include in the portal an additional catalogue service, by adopting the SeaDataNet Sextant Catalogue service, for providing metadata on composite DTMs that are contributed by a number of data providers next to or instead of bathymetric survey data.


  • It facilitates an expansion of the geographical coverage of the EMODnet Bathymetry portal to other seas.
  • It facilitates an expansion of the base of background data sets used for the DTM production with data sets from other data holders, such as more hydrographic offices, research institutes, and port & coastal authorities, and industry (energy and telecommunication industries).
  • The one-stop-shop of SeaDataNet is expanded with metadata references to bathymetric data sets, of which part can be downloaded directly from interconnected Data Centres via the SeaDataNet shopping mechanism and of which another part can be requested from their owners, whereby the SeaDataNet shopping mechanism is of service for routing the requests.
  • The DTMs for the sea regions are made publicly available for browsing and downloading and each grid cell has a reference to the source data (bathymetric survey via CDI, composite DTM via Sextant, and GEBCO in case of gaps) used for determining the water depth in the DTM grid cell.

Intended audience:

Bathymetric data set providers.

Anyone collecting and/or holding bathymetry data sets can make a valuable contribution to EMODnet. EMODnet Bathymetry strives for gathering all high-resolution bathymetric survey data sets and composite DTMs which are available for the European sea regions and the European coastal areas.

Any incoming data sets are quality checked and processed to the level that the data sets can be used as possible input for producing and refining the EMODnet Digital Terrain Model (DTM) for the European sea regions.

Status: On-going.

Themes: Elevation (Bathymetry sub-theme).

Resource language: English.

Metadata date: November 2019.


EMODnet Bathymetry:



    Thank you for the clear description of the EMODnet Bathymetry project.

    EMODnet Bathymetry strives INSPIRE compliance for its range of services.

    Even more important is compliance with INSPIRE, since CDI metadata and CPRD metadata profiles are based on ISO 19115 - 19139 standards and marking up is supported by SeaDataNet Common Vocabularies, enabling Discovery – Viewing – Access services for retrieving survey data sets, which are also available through standard OGC web services. Finally downloadable data sets and data products are available in various commonly used formats.

    SeaDataNet has relationships with, follows and contributes to international standards committees such as the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
    It has active cooperation and coordination with the INSPIRE community, in particular the INSPIRE team of JRC,
    essential for the definition of the INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC aimed at setting up an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community supported by legislation and technical directives, such as data models (schemas), metadata and network services.

    Work is being done to generate the DTM product also using the BAG (Bathymetric Attributed Grid) format 
    as this is considered by the IHO to be a format that meets the S-102 standards being implemented by the Hydrographic Services community (, and accepted by INSPIRE, as part of the Data specification on elevation.

    Flemish Hydrography has started in 2017 on their Data Portal with the WCS services.
    The WCS standard defines three operations:

    • GetCapabilities: operation that displays all metadata inherent in this service;
    • DescribeCoverage: gives a complete description of the structure of the data;
    • GetCoverage: provides the data.

    Following coordinate systems can be selected to download the survey data:

    • EPSG: 3857 WGS84 (Pseudo-Mercator)
    • EPSG: 4258 ETRS89
    • EPSG: 4326 WGS84
    • EPSG: 25831 ETRS89/UTM Zone 31N
    • EPSG: 31370 Belg 1972/Belgian Lambert72
    • EPSG: 32631 WGS84/UTM Zone 31N

    The CDIs are defined in GML format.

    The download formats of the associated grids are: BAG, CSV, GeoTIFF, PNG and JPEG.

    The ideal would be for European EMODnet member states to be able to deliver the created CDIs with the associated BAG files for both the INSPIRE Data Portal and the EMODnet Data Portal. Less work for the hydrographic organizations.


    Kind regards,

    Marc Roesbeke


Elevation, Ortho & Grids

Elevation, Ortho & Grids

INSPIRE Thematic Cluster Elevation, Orthoimagery, Reference systems, Geographical grids - Join this group to share your knowkledge, learn and collaborate in solving issues related to the Elevation, Orthoimagery, Reference systems and Geographical grids themes