Research on shallow water bathymetry

4S stands for “Satellite Seafloor Software Suite”, a research project co-funded by EU Horizon Europe. Under the lead of EOMAP eight renowned partners cooperated from 2019 to 2023. 4S harnessed Copernicus satellite data and other Earth Observation information together with users’ own data to analyze them in a state-of-the art workflow for aquatic remote sensing and service components – processed and stored in a cloud environment.

Key Target of the 4S project

The project 4S was designed to develop a cloud-based software solution empowering its users to map and monitor seafloor habitats, morphology and water depth from the comfort of their desks. Throughout this project, the partners have optimized usability and validity of the software suite in +15 use cases. One major outcome of the project is the online solution SDB-Online.


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Partners and Vision

The partners below cooperated in 4S to advance the use of Satellite-Derived-Bathymetry. Their vision reads as follows:

We believe that modern satellite capabilities and aquatic Earth Observation (EO) analysis can be brought to a level which significantly improves the state of the art of data gathering of shallow water morphology, habitats and its trends over time.”


Fugro Germany Marine GmbH was established in 1983 and has been part of Fugro since 2006. As the world’s leading geo-data specialist with 10,000 employees in more than 60 countries, Fugro unlocks insights from geo-data through innovation and digitalisation to clients about the characterization of a site as well as the integrity of their assets in land and marine environment.

Fugro supports a wide range of clients in energy, power, infrastructure, mining and nautical industries worldwide. Bremen office is Fugro’s excellent cluster in Hydrography and Submarine Telecommunications Cable Route Surveys.


With an R&D heritage spanning more than two decades, EOMAP’s team is known for its expertise in aquatic earth observation. The company is a top-ranked Satellite-Derived Bathymetry framework provider to Hydrographic Offices and has received international awards for technological excellence by the EU and industry. From offices in USA, Australia and Germany we serve clients globally and offer all aspects of aquatic and coastal Earth Observation services, ranging from mapping to software or capacity building. With over a decade of experience in commercial SDB processing across all latitudes, environmental conditions and sensor solutions we are confident to have the most experienced team of SDB analysts worldwide. EOMAP GmbH & Co. KG established in 2006 and is located at Schloss Seefeld, Germany.


For more than 25 years, Quality Positioning Services (QPS) have been experts in maritime geomatics software and services. QPS has different software tools for data acquisition, data processing, 4D geospatial processing and analysis, precise marine navigation and Electronic Navigation Charts (ENC) production. These tools collect, process and analyse data from all kinds of hardware (sonar equipment, etc) to provide insights into the seabed and to contribute to safe operations on waterways and in harbours.

These solutions are used across many industries, including hydrographic surveying, dredging, offshore construction and wind farm support, oil and gas, chart production, and piloting. Next to software tools, the company offers professional services and training. As a result, QPS is regarded as a one stop shop for companies of the maritime sector.


The County Administrative Board is a government authority. LV is an important link between the people and the municipal authorities on the one hand, and the government, parliament and central authorities on the other.

The mission of the County Administrative Board is to work for development where the environment, economic growth and good living conditions go hand-in-hand. The goal is a clean-living environment, a stable labour market and a good life for the residents. In short, a sustainable development in the county. LV is a knowledge-based organisation active in many different cross-sectoral issues. The department of natural resources is the department who will be most involved in this project. Its work includes planning and implementing nature protection along the county. This includes national park, nature reserves, Natura 2000 and other forms of protection. There, mapping and monitoring of those areas are an important part.


Smith Warner International Limited (SWI) was incorporated in Jamaica in August 1995 with two Directors  and one part-time administrative person. Since then, SWI has grown its skills, expertise, experience and understanding of the special needs of the Caribbean and has a full-time team of 22 professionals.

In 2004 we created an affiliate company to carry out the construction of works in Jamaica that were designed by SWI, Coastal and Marina Development Limited (COMAR). Through COMAR we are able to offer design-build services, taking projects through the complete cycle of design, regulatory approval, construction and post-construction compliance monitoring. In the 25 years SWI has been in operation, the team has undertaken projects in nearly every English-speaking country in the Caribbean. The professional team comprises  regional and international postgraduate-trained coastal engineers, graduate engineers and a full support staff.


The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) is a governmental research organization operating under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Ministry of Development & Investments. HCMR consists of three research institutes:

  1. Institute of Oceanography (IO);
  2. Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture (IMBBC) and
  3. Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters (IMBRIW).

HCMR will participate in the project with the Institute of Oceanography (IO). The latter is the leading Greek research institution carrying out multi-disciplinary research on the physical, chemical, biological and geological processes and conditions of the marine environment, its interface with the atmosphere, the coastal zone, the seafloor and the marine substratum. IO serves the community by supporting decision-makers on spatial planning, blue growth or cultural heritage.

Instituto Hidrográfico

Established in 1960 as a Portuguese navy unit, Instituto Hidrográfico (IH) is presently a state laboratory, employing 360 permanent staff and 16 contracted elements, with scientific competences in the areas of hydrographic surveying, safety of navigation, oceanography, marine geology and chemistry. IH is the Portuguese National Authority for Hydrographic Cartography and the producer of nautical charts.

The main research areas in recent years covered the dynamics of continental shelf and slope waters and interaction with the deep-sea circulation, physical and sedimentary impacts of river inputs to the shelf, geological characterization, submarine canyon dynamics, operational oceanography, including the use of data assimilation models in Oceanography.


The National Research Council (CNR) is the largest public research organization in Italy with a network of institutes. In the 4S project, CNR participates with The Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR). This unit has a long recognized experience in marine studies. Cutting-edge research is carried out by combining long and short-term observational and modelling approaches, involving both analytic and numerical tools. CNR-ISMAR is largely committed to the study of marine geo-hazards and geo-resources, including issues related to coastal erosion, habitat preservation, marine cartography and seafloor mapping. The team combines expertise and experience in collecting, processing and managing large datasets of marine geophysical and geological data with the capacity in EO data infrastructure development.

ISMAR is currently involved in the EMODnet bathymetry lot, the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) Guiding Committee, and in the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project. Furthermore, ISMAR is elaborating targets and criteria for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 1 (Biodiversity), 6 (Sea-floor Integrity) and 10 (Marine Litter);