The combined understanding of the earth’s seafloor is very poor, in fact we know more about the surface of the moon than our own oceans. However, it is widely recognised that the knowledge of the oceans will be key to the future of many nations’ economies. Therefore IIC continuously supports global, regional and national efforts that focus on collaboration, standards and improvement of knowledge of the seafloor and oceans.
AusSeabed is a great example of such a collaborative activity. AusSeabed is a national seabed mapping coordination program that aims to serve the Australian community by coordinating collection efforts in Australian waters and improving data access. The AusSeabed mission is to improve the awareness, coverage, quality, discoverability and accessibility of seabed mapping data through coordination and collaboration in the Australian region.
AusSeabed is led by Geoscience Australia, but operated by Commonwealth, State and Territory entities, universities and industry; it is open to all interested parties. In the spirit of "collect once, use many times", AusSeabed provides an open collaboration space where data creators and users can better connect to develop initiatives and products that will improve the quality, discoverability and accessibility of seabed mapping data.
IIC view AusSeabed as not just an excellent collaborative effort, but a potential template that can be replicated by other nations. As such IIC is very pleased to assume a two year position on the AusSeabed Steering Committee.