General bathymetric chart of the oceans (GEBCO) bathymetry data


Received from the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) this resource has two datasets. The first is a global one arc-minute grid released in 2003, updated 2008 and is based on the most recent set of bathymetric contours contained within the GEBCO Digital Atlas. The second is a 30 arc-second grid generated by combining quality-controlled ship depth soundings with interpolation between sounding points guided by satellite-derived gravity data.

This dataset provides global gridded elevation data for land surfaces and gridded depths for the world's oceans. Elevations and depths are in metres, at one metre intervals.

Spatial reference and data type

Coordinates are in decimal degrees. The data are in raster format. Other data formats can be accommodated, as the Geospatial Centre has access to a number of conversion utilities.

Data access

To access this database, please visit the Geospatial Centre Reference Desk during reference hours or download from the BODC website. Library reference staff are available to provide further information about these data sets and to deliver data upon request.

Data manipulation and storage

There are public workstations in the Geospatial Centre that provide access ArcGIS software programs, program extensions and data manipulation utilities. Patrons may use the GIS software in the library to view and manipulate the data. University of Waterloo faculty, students and staff may copy these data to other media (for example: CD, DVD or Zip disc) for use elsewhere.

Data output

These files may be exported from ArcGIS in a choice of bitmapped formats (also known as raster graphics) including JPG, TIFF, GIF, and BMP or in a choice of vector graphics formats including AI, EPS, and SVG. Yet another option is PDF. 

Use restrictions/licensing/copyright

This data are provided for personal use for academic, research, and/or teaching purposes. Library staff will ask patrons to read and sign a data release agreement before these licensed data can be released. The British Oceanographic Data Centre must be acknowledged on any derivative product, whether printed or electronic, including for example, a printed map, a raster or vector graphic, a web-based application, etc. Patrons are advised to fully respect the provisions of Canada's Copyright Act as well as terms and conditions imposed by the data provider.


Gebco gridded global bathymetry data. British Oceanographic Data Centre, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 2009.

Sample view of data

 Gebco bathymetry data