Industry Discovery for Ocean Mapping Workflow Associated Challenges

TitleIndustry Discovery for Ocean Mapping Workflow Associated Challenges
Publication TypeConference Abstract
AuthorsKastrisios, C, Calder, BR
Conference Name2021 US Hydro Conference
Conference LocationOnline
Conference DatesSeptember 13-16
Keywordscartographic knowledge acquisition, hydrographic workflow, Nautical cartography, ocean mapping

Ocean mapping professionals are facing challenges in various areas of the hydrographic workflow. Understanding them can be difficult, as they are many and varied, but essential toward solving them. Some understanding can be reached with studying existing specifications and reports, however a more in-depth knowledge may be acquired directly from professionals in the field.

With a developing industry discovery project, we aim to identify the day-to-day challenges in data collection, data processing, chart compilation, research and development, production management, and use of products by end users. These insights, besides building awareness, can assist in designing new techniques, and in evaluating research directions.

This work presents the first phase of the project that focused on data collection and processing. It summarizes responses in regard to data, requirements for the deliverables, verification methods, and deficiencies of the process. The majority of participants were professional hydrographers and cartographers from various hydrographic offices, as well as the academia and private sector. Their responses have, unsurprisingly, confirmed the utmost importance of bathymetry, standards, and safety constraint in the domain, pointed out the mostly manual inspection of deliverables, and identified human related factors and the absence of automation, followed by problems with the data, as the most significant deficiencies of the process (Figure). We discuss that some of these deficiencies may be addressed with straightforward actions, e.g., training, better documentation, studies to increase awareness, while others are more challenging, e.g., automation, need for unpopular decisions from senior professionals, or probably impossible to overcome, e.g., human subjectivity.