London, 3 December 2021 – The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Map the Gaps. The new partnership will see both parties work together to increase our understanding of the world’s ocean and produce the definitive map of the ocean floor.
Seabed 2030 is a collaborative project between The Nippon Foundation and GEBCO to inspire the complete mapping of the world's ocean by 2030, and to compile all bathymetric data into the freely available GEBCO Ocean Map. GEBCO is a joint project of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and is the only organisation with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor. Seabed 2030 is formally endorsed as a Decade Action of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Established by members of the GEBCO-Nippon Foundation Alumni Team – grand prize winners of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Competition – Map the Gaps is a non-profit corporation committed to growing awareness, increasing diversity, and promoting equity in ocean mapping. Map the Gaps is a volunteer based organisation, comprising marine mapping professionals, students, industry partners, and alumni from The Nippon Foundation/ GEBCO Training Program in ocean bathymetry from the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal Ocean Mapping.
Map the Gaps can also leverage a diverse community of alumni and other skilled persons to support mapping expeditions and data processing to support initiatives such as Seabed 2030.
“We are delighted to welcome Map the Gaps as an official Seabed 2030 partner,” commented Jamie McMichael-Phillips, Project Director of Seabed 2030. “It is highly rewarding to see members of the alumni of The Nippon Foundation/GEBCO training program get involved with the Seabed 2030 Project, which is of course a collaboration between the two organisations. The services offered by Map the Gaps will no doubt greatly help us in our pursuit of attaining complete coverage of the seabed.”
Commenting on the partnership Tim Kearns, Founder of Map the Gaps, said “As an organisation that is dedicated to increasing inclusivity and diversity within the ocean mapping community, we are thrilled to support the Seabed 2030 project in its ambitious goal of the definitive map of the ocean floor.
“By supporting international and regional efforts for comprehensive and high-resolution underwater mapping – as well as providing data processing services – Map the Gaps looks forward to contributing to the global effort behind a complete map of the seafloor, which will enable us to safeguard the future of our planet.”
All data collected and shared with the Seabed 2030 Project is included in the GEBCO global grid, which is free and publicly available.