harmonizing the collection, sharing, and use of lake floor data for the great lakes and their connecting channels

The Great Lakes Bottom Mapping Working Group (BMWG) was formed in 2016 to facilitate the collection, harmonization, sharing, and use of continuous high-resolution maps and data about Great Lakes bathymetry, habitat, maritime cultural resources, and biology.

The working group is a collaborative effort to promote communication and collaboration among data providers and data users, facilitate access to data, promote use of technical standards for mapping and habitat classification, and prioritize regional mapping needs.

The working group consists of agencies, organizations and citizens with an interest in some aspect of lake bottom environment. Any individual or organization can participate simply by signing up.


Just Published: “Costs and Approaches for Mapping the Great Lakes”

In 2020, we asked three experienced survey companies “What will it take to map the Great Lakes at high-density?”

Using different strategies and technologies, XOCEAN, Orange Force Marine Ltd., and Fugro reported on technologies that could be used to fill gaps, laid out timelines, and estimated the overall cost.

We discovered that, with today’s emerging scanning technologies, with the proper funding, a high-density map of our lakebed is well within grasp.

Using their findings, we just published our Costs and Approaches for Mapping the Great Lakes report.

Read the report.

Read More »


Building the Great Map
Part of Lakebed 2030

April 27, 2022

GLOS and Northwestern Michigan College will host a special event on the “Building the Great Map” as part of the Lakebed 2030 conference series, with a focus on bathymetric technology in the Great Lakes.

Participants will have the chance to:

  • Network with hardware and software companies that are innovating new technology.
  • Hear about progress on the mission to map the lakes at high-density for the first time.
  • Check out a showcase of cutting-edge mapping vehicles and technologies on the docks.

Interested in Finding Out More?

Subscribe to the GLBMWG Newsletter

Subscribe to keep up on recent developments in Great Lakes bottom mapping, receive updates on new data sets, and learn about how you can get involved!

Contact the Bottom Mapping Working Group!

It is our goal to maintain data services and information regarding up-to-date bathymetry, sonar data, and derived products. If you have new research, resources, or communications relevant to Great Lakes bottom mapping you’d like to share, please contact us.