General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)

Project overview

Bathymetry of the Atlantic Ocean from the GEBCO Grid
Bathymetry of the Atlantic Ocean from the GEBCO Grid©

The GEBCO project consists of an international group of experts in seafloor mapping who work on the development of a range of bathymetric data sets and products. It operates under the joint auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

GEBCO's work is directed by a Guiding Committee and supported by sub-committees on ocean mapping and undersea feature names plus ad hoc working groups. These committees meet on a regular basis. Further information about its work, meetings, committees and working groups can be found on GEBCO's web site.

GEBCO's data sets and products

GEBCO makes available a range of bathymetric data sets and products. This includes global gridded bathymetric data sets: the GEBCO_2014 Grid (at 30 arc-second intervals) and GEBCO One Minute Grid (at one arc-minute intervals); a global set of digital bathymetric contours; the GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names; the GEBCO Digital Atlas; the GEBCO world map and the GEBCO Grid Web Map Service (WMS).

GEBCO’s bathymetric data sets are maintained and updated at BODC. The gridded data sets are available to download from the internet. The complete set of GEBCO’s data sets, including gridded data sets; bathymetric contour, trackline control and coastline data sets are included as part of the GEBCO Digital Atlas, which is distributed on DVD.

In order to assist and encourage further participation in bathymetric grid development work, GEBCO has created a technical reference manual, the IHO-IOC GEBCO Cook Book, on how to build bathymetric grids.

Training a new generation of scientists

The Nippon Foundation of Japan has provided funding for GEBCO to train a new generation of scientists and hydrographers in ocean bathymetry. The 12-month course, leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Ocean Bathymetry (PCOB), has been held at the University of New Hampshire, USA since 2004.

Project history

The GEBCO chart series was initiated in 1903 by Prince Albert I of Monaco. Five separate editions of bathymetric contour paper charts covering the whole world have been produced. The GEBCO Fifth Edition is still displayed in many scientific laboratories around the world.

Information on the history and development of the GEBCO chart series and the GEBCO project can be found on GEBCO's web site and in a book entitled 'The History of GEBCO, 1903-2003'.

Related GEBCO project pages at BODC

GEBCO Digital Atlas   GEBCO Grid display software
Order the GEBCO Digital Atlas   Software Interface updates
GEBCO world map   GEBCO One Minute Grid
Download data — GEBCO's gridded bathymetric data sets   GEBCO_2014 Grid
GEBCO Web Map Service (WMS)   Data set errata


Related external links

Official GEBCO web site      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Training Project   'The History of GEBCO, 1903-2003'
Postgraduate Certificate in Ocean Bathymetry (PCOB)      International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
University of New Hampshire, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM)