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The hydrospatial community has advanced the use of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) in the ocean mapping workflow by developing new solutions and adopting tools originally developed for other applications. These specialized tools allow users to conduct common tasks in hydrography without the need for commercial software, but, most importantly, to perform tasks for which no proprietary solutions exist. Besides the above tools, there is a plethora of additional FOSS for geospatial applications (FOSS4G) that could be used in ocean mapping. Some form of documentation on the aforementioned tools exists. However, a comprehensive study of their capabilities and performance in ocean mapping is not yet available. It is not surprising that the use of FOSS4G within hydrographic offices remains limited. To fill this gap, we are conducting a project that aims to investigate the functionalities of the available FOSS4G and raise awareness about the potential benefits of their use in the domain. After identifying and evaluating the available FOSS4G for their usability in ocean mapping, we tested the selected FOSS for Ocean Mapping (FOSSOM) in a mapping campaign near the Canary Islands, Spain. Multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data from the seabed and the water column in the area were acquired as part of mapping the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). We demonstrate that FOSSOM may be used to optimize survey design, troubleshoot and resolve multibeam system performance issues, derive products, and enhance data visualization and dissemination. A workflow that incorporates the unique capabilities of FOSSOM is proposed with the aim to streamline planning-to-product workflows.
Bathymetric data collection in hydrographic and marine geophysical surveys is mostly achieved by utilizing vessel-mounted multibeam echo sounders (MBES), resulting in Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) of the seafloor and derived products. Previous knowledge of the seafloor depth and existing features is essential for surveyors to effectively design a survey, estimate mapping efforts, compensate for data gaps, and evaluate and visualize results. The scientific community has put in a great effort to develop and make publicly available bathymetric models of the seafloor, such as that by EMODNET and GEBCO, and customized tools for fulfilling application specific requirements. These data and software resources have the potential to improve the workflow from survey planning to data visualization. This poster demonstrates the use of the EMODNET harmonized Bathymetric DTM for the European sea regions and Free and Open-Source Software for Ocean Mapping (FOSSOM), with the aim to improve hydrographic procedures. Particularly, with a recently conducted deep-water mapping survey in European waters, it illustrates that the use of FOSSOM, such as QGIS, GLOBE, Kluster, PyGMT, and Rayshader, can complement commercial software in the hydrographic workflow, as they provide features not available with the latter. These additional capabilities of FOSSOM can reduce processing time and overall production costs, thus enhancing the overall planning-to-product process.
This is the presentation of the research "CHARACTERIZING FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN OCEAN MAPPING" for the 6th Hydrographic Engineering Conference (3 NOV 2020, Lisbon)
Over the last years, scientists and professionals have made available several free and open-source software tools meant for geophysical survey planning, underwater remote sensing data processing, and geospatial data visualization. However, the use of these tools is limited within hydrographic offices. One of the reasons could be the lack of awareness about the functionalities and the performance of the available solutions. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of free and open-source tools that may be applied to a Hydrographic Office workflow including data acquisition, data processing, quality control, and data visualization.