The NOAA Joint Hydrographic Center and the UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping: An Educational and Research Partnership of the Federal Government


Ocean mapping technology is becoming an increasingly important tool in the full range of ocean-related enterprise. Moving well beyond its initial base in hydrographic surveying and nautical charting, oceanmapping has become a critical component of offshore oil exploration and development, submarine cable routing and installation, and geologic and essential fish habitat mapping. The technology of oceanmapping has blossomed rapidly in the past decade with the introduction of multibeam sonar, high-resolution side scan sonar, airborne lidar bathymeters, and laser line scan recorders. The next decade will likely see increased demand for ocean mapping data and continued demand for even more sophisticated ocean mapping technology. In response to this increased demand for ocean mappingdata and the increasing complexity of ocean mapping technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have established the complementary Joint Hydrographic Center (JHC) and Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (C-COM). The JHC is a NOAA/UNH partnership, and C-COM is a University organization with growing private sector participation. To provide NOAA and other program sponsors with the technology needed to meet their hydrographic and ocean mapping responsibilities, JHC and C-COM have developed a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary program of research. The research program of the Centers has begun with principal themes encompassing ocean and electrical engineering, computer science, and earth science. Research topics will focus on sonar system capabilities and limitations; data processing, visualization, and presentation; seafloor characterization; and other new applications of seafloormapping technology and data.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

IEEE Oceans


2000, Volume 1



Publisher Place

Washington DC, USA



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding