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June 8th, 2022
Surveying Shallow Water from Space – easy and online

SDB-Online is the new cloud-based WebApp to create high-resolution bathymetric grids for shallow waters. As the first of its kind it builds on EOMAP’s expertise in Satellite-Derived Bathymetry (SDB), a technique to map water depth from space, avoiding time consuming and costly on-site surveys. With SDB-Online, coastal engineers, surveyors, modellers or scientists can create high-resolution bathymetry grids 24/7, from the comfort of their desks.

EOMAP’s SDB-Online is delivering fast and accurate results without the need of ground control data, processing 10 scenes in less than one hour. The “Combine” option (multi-image processing) is a game changer in challenging locations, especially with frequent cloud cover or heavy vessel traffic”, says Véronique Jégat, Senior Geo-Data Engineer at Fugro.

In addition, bathymetric power users can integrate SDB-Online via API into their own software solutions, like QPS does: “During our prototyping, I was impressed how quickly things came together for the two development teams. Particularly elegant was how EOMAP combined multiple images of the same area to give the best possible depth estimate. The workflow is already very smooth, and now we‘re keen to work with early adopters to advance these tools“, reports Jonathan Beaudoin, Managing Director, QPS B.V.

Underwater topography – bathymetry – is crucial for many different coastal stakeholders: On the basis of bathymetric data, coastal engineers calculate and plan their projects, surveyors decide where to set up on-site campaigns, modellers analyse and predict coastal dynamics, while scientists study seabed morphology and benthos. So far, they often had to either perform work and cost intensive on-site surveys or to rely on insufficient data from other sources. SDB-Online helps: It enables the above users to access high resolution bathymetric grids of shallow waters without on-site surveys – rapidly and easily.

“Experts managing or studying coastal shallow waters will experience an incredible time and information gain: Within minutes they can trigger automated processing routines and receive high-res bathymetry data for their projects“, says Mona Reithmeier, SDB-Online manager and SDB expert at EOMAP.

Mona Reithmeier, SDB-Online Manager, EO Data Analyst, EOMAP

For more than two decades, EOMAP has been pioneering in Satellite-Derived Bathymetry (SDB). This technology allows to calculate water depth data by inverting sunlight’s way through atmosphere and water, harnessing multispectral satellite imagery. On SDB-Online, this complex process is now running automatically – basically in four steps: Once the user has accessed SDB-Online via her or his browser, she/he defines an area of interest anywhere on Earth using the map. A – manual or AI trained – image selection process starts and is linked to satellite data archives of the European Space Agency (ESA). Following that, the physics based SDB analysis creates the gridded bathymetry surface that align with ISO and OGC standards. As an option, QAQC processes by EOMAP’s data analysts or seafloor classification can be added.

Satellite-Derived Bathymetry is EOMAP’s key expertise. In 2015 and 2022, EOMAP was selected top-ranked SDB provider by the UK Hydrographic Office. Moreover, EOMAP’s bathymetric data are featured in nautical charts and the European harmonized bathymetry grid EMODnet Bathymetry. Coastal planners and engineers, surveyors and hydrographers all over the world value EOMAP’s SDB expertise and data.

SDB-Online has been developed with co-funding by EU Horizon 2020 innovation program.