Maps will help turn ocean into new economic boom zone

Posted: 09/17/2011 in all marine news

Hydro International –

China will accelerate its pace of mapping the deep seabed, Zhang Jixian, president of the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, told China Daily in an exclusive interview. In the near future, China’s surveying and mapping science will gradually extend from the ground area to the country’s 3 million square kilometres of water territory.

Unlike the electronic navigation chart released by the Chinese navy on 25 Augustus with information mainly focusing on navigation, the future ocean map will concentrate on the geological features of the sea floors and the water depth, and the location of reefs. In the land surveying and mapping industry, China has become one of the world leaders with the recent completion of its nationwide 1:50,000 map, but in offshore area mapping, “much needs to be done”.

A nautical chart represents a maritime area and its adjacent coastal regions with information such as depths of water, heights of land, natural features of the seabed, details of the coastlines, navigational hazards, information on tides and currents and man-made structures like harbors, bridges and buildings.

Zhang said the surveying and mapping of reefs within China’s water territory is under way, but the seabed surveying and mapping has a long way to go because the technology is not mature. “The offshore surveying and mapping is totally different from that for the land, because water is flowing all the time that makes setting a fixed target so hard,” he added.

At least the first step in mapping the water area has been taken with the recent unveiled maritime navigation chart. “Surveying mapping the marine areas will help people know the undersea resources and the ocean better,” said Li Jingwei, general manager of Star Geomatics Park Investment.

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