GEBCO: The Second Century. Looking Towards a General Bathymetric Chart


The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), the archetype of Ocean Mapping at a world-ocean scale, celebrated its centenary last year with the release of an updated and greatly enhanced Digital Atlas. This CD contains gridded soundings and contours, the culmination of one hundred years of successful blending of hydrography and oceanography. This reflects the creative co-operation of both organisations such as the International Hydrographic Organisation and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and those working side by side at individual level: hydrographers, geologists and geophysicists each contributing their different skills. This major accomplishment also represents the first step into the next hundred years.

In this paper the new chairman of the GEBCO Guiding Committee attempts to envision how coming changes in science and technology, organisations and society, as well as some conceptual shifts, will influence GEBCO and, indeed, all seafloor mapping over the next few years.

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Hydro International





Publisher Place

Lemmers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Geomares Publishing

Document Type

Journal Article