The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association for Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), in cooperation with Lindblad Expeditions, have found a way for cruise operators to share years of depth soundings from the Arctic and Antarctica.
Existing crowdsourcing systems make sharing of depth soundings possible from the day you install the system. The challenge has been to find a way to share historical data. Cruise vessels that have been operating in Antarctica and the Arctic for decades have been accumulating large files of depth soundings. It was crucial that this project found a way to exploit these valuable data.
Captain Leif Skog of Lindblad Expeditions said: “It has taken considerable work and time to set up this system but now ten years of continuous, historical, hydrographic data are available, including hundreds of mud maps from the Arctic and Antarctica covering most expedition destinations.”
In some areas of Antarctica and the Arctic, official sea-charts are limited and these historical crowdsourcing files are considered extremely valuable add-ons to the official hydrographic charts.
For this new initiative, coverage includes areas in the Antarctic Peninsula, Svalbard, Greenland and some other Arctic areas.
“Arctic operations cross borders and cover a huge area. We are very glad that the industry can add to the national efforts on sea- chartering in this way,” said Frigg Jørgensen, Executive Director of AECO.
Sharing of historical depth soundings is available to members of AECO and IAATO, as well to relevant authorities.