Roles of Geospatial Technologies in Hydrographic Practice

Okpuvwie Ejuvweyere Jonathan (Department of Geographic Information Science, African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST), Obafemi Awolowo University Campus, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
Garba Mustapha (Department of Geographic Information Science, African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST), Obafemi Awolowo University Campus, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)

Article ID: 3785


Any seafarer or mariner that uses the sea knows that navigation without correct charts is impossible and hazardous because nautical charts are the most essential and indispensable tools for vessels to sail safely at sea. For vessels to safely sail at sea, the seas and the oceans ought to be charted and this falls within the domain of hydrography. However, the seas cannot be charted effectively in the absence of the deployment of human resources and adequate tools like satellite and aerial imagery, survey boats and other equipment that will facilitate the hydrographic operations. The acquisition of data and information about the sea depths, nature of sea bed, waterways, navigational hazards and navigational objects among others, basically falls within the sphere of hydrography which is primarily known as survey at sea. The paper offers a review of geospatial technologies in hydrographic practice for enhanced safety of navigation at sea. The review is important to both the mariners, shipping industry and the government in order to explore the potentials provided by Geographic Information System, Remote Sensing, cloud GIS, big data GIS and Global Positioning System to enhance the practice of hydrography. The data and materials used for the review were obtained from literature in the internet and other published works. The paper looked at hydrography as a profession, roles of geospatial technologies in hydrographic practice, benefits of hydrography to national development and finally, the weaknesses of geospatial technologies in hydrographic practice were equally examined.


Geospatial; Geographic information system; Hydrography; Navy; Navigation; Sea; Vessels

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