Soon Almost Anyone’s Boat Will be Able to Map the Great Lakes

To help complete an open, high-density map of the Great Lake’s lakefloor as part of Lakebed 2030, the Great Lakes Observing System is preparing to tap into crowd-sourced bathymetry. This data is collected by non-research vessels, using standard navigation instruments that measure lake depth during outings such as fishing trips or while transporting cargo. The Great Lakes Observing System also funded the creation of the Mussel Kit--a small device that plugs directly into a boat’s electronics--to make this process even easier. The hope is this data will be usable for most common applications of bathymetry like navigation, exploration, and habitat assessment.

Waves crashing against a boat in the water

Photo Credit: Orange Force Marine