Baltic Sea Bathymetry Database

The Baltic Sea Bathymetry Database (BSBD) is an effort to in one place gather and distribute water depth data — bathymetry — for the areas of all Baltic Sea countries.

Measuring bathymetry is mostly a national duty for each country, primarily because the production of nautical charts lies within each state’s responsibility. But many use cases span over country borders. However, locating all the different data sets and putting them together is not easy for e.g. researchers, people working in public administration or even GIS specialists.

This web site offers complete, homogeneous and up-to-date Baltic Sea bathymetry data from “official” sources: All Baltic Sea national hydrographic offices under the umbrella of the Baltic Sea Hydrographic Commission.

What could this data be good for?

Please note that this data is something different from official nautical paper charts or ENCs, and is not suitable to navigate after. The primary reason for this is that it is a digital terrain model, where interpolation and smoothing algorithms have been applied. You should use official nautical charts for all navigational purposes.

But there are a lot of other use cases, where bathymetry data is needed — climate modeling, geological research, wind craft planning, habitat mapping, just to name a few. That is what we have in mind with this offering.

For an in-depth analysis of bathymetry data use, please refer to this article.

Further information

More information about the dataset is available in the metadata section.

Baltic Sea Hydrographic Commission

The Baltic Sea Hydrographic Commission (BSHC) is a regional commission of the International Hydrographic Organisation. Its members are the Hydrographic Offices surrounding the Baltic sea. Apart from the BSHC website, more information is available at the IHO website.

Project information

The BSBD project was initiated and financed by the Swedish state. It was co-financed by the European Union 2010-2013. The work, led by the Swedish Maritime Administration, has been performed in a BSHC working group.

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