Industry discovery for ocean mapping workflow associated challenges
Christos Kastrisios1, Brian Calder1
1 Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA
Ocean mapping professionals are facing challenges in various areas of the hydrographic workflow.
Understanding them can be difficult, as they are many and varied, but essential toward solving them. Some
understanding can be reached with studying existing specifications and reports, however a more in-depth
knowledge may be acquired directly from professionals in the field.
With a developing industry discovery project, we aim to identify the day-to-day challenges in data
collection, data processing, chart compilation, research and development, production management, and
use of products by end users. These insights, besides building awareness, can assist in designing new
techniques, and in evaluating research directions.
This work presents the first phase of the project that focused on data collection and processing. It
summarizes responses in regard to data, requirements for the deliverables, verification methods, and
deficiencies of the process. The majority of participants were professional hydrographers and
cartographers from various hydrographic offices, as well as the academia and private sector. Their
responses have, unsurprisingly, confirmed the utmost importance of bathymetry, standards, and safety
constraint in the domain, pointed out the mostly manual inspection of deliverables, and identified human
related factors and the absence of automation, followed by problems with the data, as the most significant
deficiencies of the process (Figure). We discuss that some of these deficiencies may be addressed with
straightforward actions, e.g., training, better documentation, studies to increase awareness, while others
are more challenging, e.g., automation, need for unpopular decisions from senior professionals, or
probably impossible to overcome, e.g., human subjectivity.
Keywords: cartographic knowledge acquisition, hydrographic workflow, nautical cartography, ocean
Figure. Classification of the identified deficiencies of data processing and verification by the survey