General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)


Established: 1903

Organisation type: Project
Geographical scope: Global
Member countries:
Participating countries: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Republic Of, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States
Funding source Percentage

Organisation’s vision:

GEBCO's aim is to provide the most authoritative publicly-available bathymetry of the world's oceans. It operates under the joint auspices of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) (of UNESCO).

Organisation’s mission:

GEBCO's mission is to complete the mapping of the seas and oceans so as to create a comprehensive picture of the seabed from physical observations to a resolution compatible with currently available technology and resources.

Organisation’s objectives (if different from the Mission):

Since 1903 the GEBCO Project has been collecting bathymetric data and mapping the Earth's oceans. GEBCO is an IHO and IOC joint Project that relies largely on the voluntary efforts of an international collaborating community of scientists and hydrographers with the support of their parent organizations. GEBCO produces a range of bathymetric data sets and products. These include global gridded bathymetric data sets; the GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names; the GEBCO world map and the IHO-IOC GEBCO Cook Book - a reference manual on how to build bathymetric grids.


  • bathymetry
  • ocean database
  • open data
  • seabed mapping
  • sustained ocean observations


  • Advocating for Earth (ocean) observations
  • Data management, interoperability, sharing, access, open data policies
  • Ocean literacy/public outreach