Crowdsourcing: Mapping water depth from vessels

Satellite image of UK and Ireland
A satellite image of the United Kingdom and Ireland from Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer
Credits: ESA

Teamsurv, an innovative project funded from the UK European Satellite Navigation Competition as well as from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme, wants to introduce crowd source mapping to every vessel in and around the UK. The project aims to help create better charts of coastal waters, by logging depth and position data whilst they are at sea, and uploading the data to the web for processing and display.

For water transport the information of depth is crucial. Technology now allows every vessel to gather up-to-date information and to share it with other vessels. The information will consist of GPS coordinates and depth sounder, which every vessel has. Teamserv plans to install a data logger on these vessels to track the information, so scientists can collect and collate them to build up a more detailed map of the sea grounds around the UK and hopefully around the world.

The data will be available online for all users and other organizations interested in this information. The project is funded by the UK satellite Navigation competition, which supports start-ups that use satellite data.