International Bathymetric Chart of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico


The International Bathymetric Chart of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (IBCCA) is a regional cartographic project sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). The objective was to create bathymetric mapping for the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and adjacent regions. The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) of Mexico took the responsibility coordinating the project in its editorial phase, converting to digital media, editing, printing and the distribution of this new cartography. The Editorial Committee integrated by Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, United States of America, Mexico and Venezuela; have held meetings of the Editorial Committee every two years and in each of the countries.

The bathymetric mapping of the ocean floor is the equivalent of topographic mapping for the continental and insular surface. Both topographic and bathymetric information are considered as base maps or layers of essential information for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for a wide variety of purposes, applications and uses, including scientific research, geospatial modeling, exploration of natural resources, establishment of environmental policies and education. The final products will be vector-raster datasets, compatible with GIS, cartographic image files for delivery on CD-ROM, available online and printed maps.

The IBCCA project is also integrated with other regional Ocean Mapping projects sponsored by the IOC, these are: East Indian Ocean (IBCWIO), Western Pacific (IBCWP); South Eastern Pacific (IBCSEP); Eastern Central Atlantic (IBCEA), Mediterranean (IBCM) and Arctic Ocean (IBCAO); Antarctic (IBCA). All the regional bathymetric projects are also coordinated with the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), which is co-sponsored by the IOC and the IHO. Representatives of the IOC, OHI and GEBCO collaborate and participate in the meetings of the IBCCA Editorial Committee where cartography and bathymetric data are shared, as well as technical experiences among all the members.

Return to IBCCA Home Page

revised 2019