HYDRO 2016 Paper 3B2

Semi-automatic generation of depth curves and sounding selection

Morten Revsbæk, Ian Berg Sonne, Jakob Truelsen, Sigvard Stampe Villadsen


In this talk we present a new workflow and software suite for semi-automatic generation of cartographically acceptable depth curves and sounding selection from detailed marine survey data.

The software and workflow has been developed throughout the last two years in a close collaboration between cartographic experts at the Danish Geodata Agency and algorithm experts at SCALGO, a Danish algorithm-technology company. We will present the concept behind the software, and show how this results in a new technology-supported workflow, that has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of cartographers when creating nautical charts. We will do this based on the first experiences from applying the new techniques in the production of nautical charts of the waters around Greenland and Denmark.

The background for the development project is that both the detail, speed and efficiency, with which marine survey data is collected, has increased due to advances in sensor technology, moving from single-beam to multibeam. The technology for processing these massive amounts of detailed survey data into cartographically acceptable depth curves and soundings, has not seen the same increase in efficiency. The process of generating depth curves and selecting soundings from survey data is still largely a manual and cost intensive process.

The goal of the project has been to both reduce the amount of manual work required when generating cartographically acceptable depth curves and soundings from detailed marine survey data, but also to maintain accuracy and important details by producing a set of curves and soundings that are mathematically constrained in how much they can vary from the detailed survey.

The Danish Geodata Agency is responsible for creating and maintaining nautical charts for the Danish territorial waters, the waters around the Faroe Islands and the waters around Greenland. In recent years the ship traffic around Greenland has increased significantly, and therefore the demand for efficient production of high-quality nautical charts for these waters have grown. However, the manual process of generating depth curves and selecting soundings for this large region result in high costs and long processing times. The first trials of the developed workflow and software indicate a potential for significant reduction in cost and time.