Scientific Seabed Mapping: Challenges of a Sustainable Data & Metadata Management on a National Level

Roland.Koppe [ at ]


Among the worldwide expeditions conducted with German research vessels (RVs), an enormous amount of hydro-acoustic data, especially bathymetry, is acquired. Since 1995, the BSH (German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency) is collecting bathymetric datasets, mainly from the RVs METEOR, M.S.MERIAN & SONNE. The institute built up a static website ( that allows reviewing all the track lines of the research vessels where data is available. Although mandatory, some of the datasets never reached BSH. Upon request, the accessible data will be available for download via FTP from the BSH web-portal. For a more contemporary and sustainable approach in accessing bathymetric metadata and data of all German research vessels, we created a bathymetry showcase within the MaNIDA project (2011/2-2014; and the resulting “Data Portal German Marine Research” ( A PostGIS database based on the ISO 19139-2:2012 standard was set up and a solitaire frontend-GUI developed, which allows ingestion of cruise metadata and the automatic acquisition of hydro-acoustic metadata on the entity level (per recorded raw data survey-line). In parallel, the dataset will be archived in PANGAEA ( and metadata then completed with the link to the stored dataset. The Bathy-Meta-Database and its services run as a surplus-portal of PANGAEA. This development lead to our participation of the EMODnet Bathymetry Project ( where metadata is shown for every grid-cell of the compilation of bathymetric datasets while an adapted, world-wide GEBCO dataset ( fills the gaps across the European seas. The most recent development deals with retrieving metadata from processed bathymetry, based on further software development and the utilization of the open-source suite MB-System (, which concatenates the long-term storage of raw & processed bathymetry in PANGAEA.

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Conference (Talk)
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Ocean Sciences Meeting, 14 Feb 2018 - 01 Jan 1970, Portland, Oregon, USA.
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Wintersteller, P. , Krocker, R. , Schäfer, A. , Koppe, R. , Leimer, V. , Gaide, S. , Springer, P. , Diepenbroek, M. , Bohrmann, G. and Weinrebe, M. (2018): Scientific Seabed Mapping: Challenges of a Sustainable Data & Metadata Management on a National Level , Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, Oregon, USA, 14 February 2018 - unspecified .

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