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National Ocean Service Bathymetric & Fishing Maps as Scanned Images

click here to view a 100dpi sample scanned map - color maps on the CD are 300dpi.
View 100dpi (1.2Mbytes) sample map
(color maps on CD are 300dpi, black & white are 400dpi)


The images are grouped by region, each region on a separate CD-ROM. See links above.

The NOS Bathymetric and Fishing maps are now available as digital images on CD-ROM. These are topographic maps of the seafloor. Through detailed depth contours the size, shape, and distribution of underwater features are portrayed. Fishing maps are produced at a scale of 1:100,000. They contain Loran-C rates, distribution and identification of bottom sediment types, and known bottom obstructions in addition to the basic information found on standard bathymetric maps.

All color maps have been compressed using MrSID. Decompression software (a MrSID Viewer) for these files is included on the CD-ROM and is also available free from

MrSID plugins for your Web Browser are also available at (see the "ExpressView Browser Plugin" button), and in the "MrSID" directory on each CD-ROM. The browser plugin allows viewing of MrSID files from the "NOAA_MAPS_*.html" file on each CD-ROM in this set. With the plugins, you can read the MrSID files directly into Photoshop and save them in any format provided in Photoshop.

Preliminary maps (part of the collection which were never published and are only available as black & white images) are stored in CCITT (Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph) Group 4 TIFF (Tag Image File Format) format, commonly used for Fax transmission. For PC, the Kodak "Imaging for Windows" application supplied with Windows9x can view these files. On PC and Mac, you can also use the Quicktime Image Viewer (free from Apple Computer), or various Fax reader programs, as well as more sophisticated programs such as Photoshop.

Please note that none of the maps from the Topo/Bathy series are included in this collection. The Topo/bathy series are detailed multipurpose maps that show the National Ocean Service (NOS) bathymetry and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) land topographic information. These maps were cooperatively produced by NOS and USGS and are exclusively distributed by the USGS.

The benefits of digital files are that you can:

  • View maps with your shipboard computer system.

  • Always have a copy of the original to print when needed. You can print page size portions on a desktop printer or the entire map can be printed at shops with that size capability.

  • Edit the digital file to add personal annotations using a graphics editing program such as Adobe PhotoShop. For manipulation of the images (adding labels and other editing), Export the image at the desired scale (Caution: full-size images are over 100 MB) as a TIFF file. Various commercial and shareware applications are available for editing the images after they are saved on your hard disk.

You cannot:

  • Separate the map information into layers. These are raster, bitmapped images.

Warnings and Limitations

The full-sized scanned images make very large files, since they come from originals of up to 36 inches by 48 inches. All color maps were scanned at 300 dpi, all preliminary (black and white) maps were scanned at 400 dpi. Computers with slow processors and limited RAM (Random Access Memory) may have trouble handling these larger images.

Recommended Minimum System Requirements:

PC: Pentium 333, 64 MB RAM, Windows95/98/NT/ME/2000 or later, 100 MB disk space.

Macintosh: Power Macintosh, 64 MB RAM, System 7.5.5 or later, 100 MB disk space.

UNIX/Linux: Beta Viewer software can be downloaded from for AIX 4.2.1, IRIX 6.2, Linux 2.0.32, and Solaris 2.5.1.

Disclaimer of Endorsement:

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

For More Information: