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 a global bathymetric grid; the GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names; the GEBCO world map; the GEBCO Grid Web Map Service (WMS) and IHO-IOC GEBCO Cook Book. Further information about GEBCO's data sets and products can be found on the GEBCO web site.

GEBCO's latest global bathymetric grid is a global terrain model at 15 arc-second intervals. This is the first GEBCO grid produced through the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project.

Seabed 2030

Seabed 2030 is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation and GEBCO. It aims to bring together all available bathymetric data to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all.

The project was launched at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in June 2017 and is aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal #14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Seabed 2030 consists of four Regional Centers and a Global Center. The Regional Centers are responsible for championing mapping activities; assembling and compiling bathymetric information and collaborating with existing mapping initiatives within their regions. The Global Center is responsible for producing and delivering global GEBCO products.

The Global Center is based at BODC.

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'.

General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)      International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)