Opening the Black Boxes in Ocean Mapping: Design and Implementation of the HydrOffice Framework

TitleOpening the Black Boxes in Ocean Mapping: Design and Implementation of the HydrOffice Framework
Publication TypeConference Abstract
AuthorsMasetti, G, Faulkes, T, Calder, BR
Conference NameAMSA 2019
Conference LocationFreemantle, WA, Australia
Conference DatesJuly 11
Keywordshydroffice, ocean mapping, open tools

Modern ocean mapping relies heavily on complex algorithms that may strongly affect the reported outputs (e.g., gridded bathymetry, acoustic mosaics). When implemented in commercial software, these algorithms usually cannot be directly examined, and thus represent black boxes.

To ease the understanding of existing algorithms and the creation of better tools for ocean mapping, since 2016 the UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and NOAA Office of Coast Survey have been developing an open research framework containing applications that cover all phases of the ping-to-public process. This effort, called HydrOffice, aims to facilitate data acquisition, to automate and enhance data processing, and to improve survey products. These themes are driving the creation of a growing collection of hydro-packages, each dealing with specific aspects of the ocean mapping workflow. The overall goal is to speed up the testing of new ideas and the Research-to-Operations (R2O) transition by minimizing the effort to develop and test new ideas.

HydrOffice has developed a number of applications that encode both existing specifications and long-term best practices, while enabling and extending recent discoveries and research-driven techniques. In return, many users have reported HydrOffice increases workflow efficiency, confirming the benefits of this approach.