Remote Bathymetric Data Processing using the global Nippon Foundation / GEBCO Training Program Alumni network

Rochelle Anne Wigley1, Jaya A Roperez1, Wetherbee Bryan Dorshow2 and Jonathan Beaudoin3, (1)University of New Hampshire Main Campus, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, Durham, NH, United States, (2)Earth Analytic, Inc, Santa Fe, NM, United States, (3)QPS, Fredericton, NB, Canada
The GEBCO-Nippon Foundation Alumni Team developed a cloud-based approach to cleaning multibeam data. This approach was a solution to the time constraints placed on the Teams by the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE challenge. As technology for collecting data improves, there is a need to change the traditional approach to data processing to meet new demands. As an example, the amount of contributed bathymetric data has doubled to date since the launch of the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project in 2017. This new data was included in the GEBCO 2019 grid compilation.

Alumni of the Nippon Foundation / GEBCO training program at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center (University of New Hampshire) believe that one of the important contributions they can make to the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project is through assisting with data processing - as this will become one of the project bottlenecks. One of the commonplace limiting factors that currently hinders the contribution of any individual or organization to data processing for Seabed 2030, and similar projects, is access to relevant licensed processing software.

The alumni have initiated a project to enable anyone to clean bathymetric data and conduct quality control from anywhere in the world via remote access to a virtual processing machine. This new approach was undertaken with support from QPS and a subscription to the Earth Analytic Inc. Smart Ocean services. This prototype project was designed to assist in understanding the challenges in establishing and managing the software, data and access to a remote platform. In addition, multiples users accessing the same datasets requires across-survey standard operating procedures to ensure uniformity in the approaches. This global approach to data processing allows data to be delivered that will be based on required end-user specifications. In addition to hosting licensed software on these virtual machines, enabling users access to open-source software like MB-System, will facilitate users to contributing to the data processing requirements of projects like Seabed 2030.

Having processed bathymetric data in a virtual space, allows easy manipulation and visualization of the data – turning this data into easily understandable and shareable information.