More than 320.000 DTM tiles downloaded

20 December 2021

The first version of the EMODnet Digital Terrain Model (DTM) was released in May 2010, and since then eight updated versions have been generated and published. Every time, the DTM has been expanded to cover more sea area, now covering the complete European sea basins and North – Eastern Atlantic Ocean, and based upon more and better-quality survey data sets. The current ninth version was released in January 2021 and a composite of more than 16.200 bathymetry survey data sets, brought together by 48 data providers. Also, over time, the grid resolution has been increased from initially ¼ arc minute (circa 460 * 460 meters) in 2010 to 1/8 arc minute (circa 230 * 2030 meters) in February 2015, and to 1/16 arc minute (circa 115 * 115 meters) since September 2018. In addition, tiles of the EMODnet DTM can now be downloaded both with LAT and MSL as vertical reference, while WGS84 is used for horizontal reference.

In parallel, the functionality of the web portal and its services have been upgraded with each release. A major core service is the Bathymetry Viewing and Download service which facilitates users in an easy way to browse through the DTM with multiple topic layers and to interrogate local information for each of these topic map layers. With the 2018 version, also a powerful 3D visualization mode was added. Moreover, in 2020, best-estimate digital coastlines of European coasts were determined from thousands of satellite images in combination with tidal elevations from the Global Tide Surge Model (GTSM) at three vertical reference levels (LAT, MSL, and MHW) and added to the map viewer for browsing and downloading.           

Since the start of the EMODnet Bathymetry project in 2008, there has been a great interest from all kinds of users, from public, universities, governments, NGOs, research institutes, international organisations, and private industry. A while ago, a major milestone was reached with more than 320.000 DTM tiles that have been downloaded, while in parallel the OGC web services are massively used every day by users from all over the world.

Building upon this success, further activities are underway to improve the EMODnet DTM again with more high-quality survey data sets, generating and including more Satellite Derived Bathymetry data products for coastal areas with missing survey data, and by refining the EMODnet production methodology. The new EMODnet DTM is planned for release by end 2022. This will also feature updates of several other products, such as an upgraded set of best-estimate coastlines at LAT, MSL, and MHW, and an inventory of national coastlines and baselines of European countries. Furthermore, the DTM coverage will be expanded with part of the Caribbean Sea region. Therefore, we invite our users to maintain their interest in the EMODnet Bathymetry portal, its products and services.