NOAA S-102 Bathymetric Surface Data on AWS

Overview 🔗︎

The S-102 Bathymetric Surface Product Specification is based on the Open Navigation Standards Working Group (ONSWG) work on the Bathymetric Attributed Grid (BAG). It will be used as a bathymetric coverage layer for navigation and other purposes.

This service is made possible through a public-private partnership enabled by the NOAA Open Data Dissemination Program.

Accessing the Data on AWS 🔗︎

The Amazon Resource Name (ARN) for the S3 Bucket is: arn:aws:s3:::noaa-s102-pds

The Amazon S3 Bucket URI is: s3://noaa-s102-pds

AWS S3 provides direct HTTP access to the files, so datasets can be downloaded using any HTTP client such as a web browser. To make discovering and accessing the data easier, a simple bucket explorer web application is also provided which allows you to navigate through the object key structure and download files using a web browser.

Access to the datasets is being provided on Amazon Web Services (AWS) via Simple Storage Service (S3). Files can be downloaded via the native AWS S3 API using tools such as the AWS CLI or AWS SDK libraries such as the Python boto3 package.

Common AWS CLI Access Examples (No AWS account required):

  • To list all files in the noaa-s102-pds bucket:
    	aws s3 ls --no-sign-request s3://noaa-s102-pds/
  • To copy all files in the noaa-s102-pds bucket to your local machine:
    	aws s3 sync --no-sign-request s3://noaa-s102-pds/ /path/to/local/directory/

Additionally, an AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS) Topic has also been created to provide automated notifications when new files are added to the S3 Bucket. Users who operate their own infrastructure on AWS can integrate directly with this SNS Topic to trigger automated workflows using AWS Lambda or other services.

The Amazon Resource Name (ARN) for the SNS Topic is: arn:aws:sns:us-east-1:123901341784:NewS102Object

Format 🔗︎

S-102 is a data encoding standard which is part of the International Hydrographic Organization's (IHO) S-100 Universal Hydrographic Data Model. Individual S-102 files are encoded in S-102 Standard. Because S-102 is built upon HDF5, files can be read and written using existing software such as the official HDF5 libraries/utilities and h5py.

This collection of S-102 files is encoded in DCF-2 - Regularly-gridded arrays ("regular grids"). These files are arranged in a tiling, naming, and resolution scheme corresponding to the Electronic Navigational Chart (ENC).

Data Sources 🔗︎

The National Bathymetric Source (NBS) project creates and maintains high-resolution bathymetry composed of the best available data. This project enables the creation of next-generation nautical charts while also providing support for modeling, industry, science, regulation, and public curiosity. Primary sources of bathymetry include NOAA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hydrographic surveys and topographic bathymetric (topo-bathy) lidar (light detection and ranging) data. Data submitted through the NOAA Office of Coast Survey’s external source data process are also included, with gaps in deep water filled through Global Multi-Resolution Topography, a merged model of bathymetry.

S-102 Bathymetric Surface datasets are provided from the following regions:

  • Los Angeles Long Beach
  • Approaches to New York
  • New York Harbor
  • Hudson River

Data Organization 🔗︎

S-102 datasets are organized in the S3 bucket using an object-key structure similar to a directory hierarchy. This key structure includes the version (edition) of the S-102 standard with which the files are compliant, the data source (i.e. National Bathymetric Source), the geographic region, and the S-102 data coding format (e.g. 'dcf2' == Regular Grid).

Note: This key structure is subject to change in the future pending feedback from users. Please see the Contact section below to provide feedback.

Example Object Keys:

  • ed2.1.0/national_bathymetric_source/hudson_river/dcf2/tiles/102US00_US5NYCGH.h5
    • ed2.1.0 - Files compliant with edition 2.1.0 of the S-102 Standard
    • national_bathymetric_source - Files contain a bathymetric surface derived from the national bathymetric source (NBS)
    • hudson_river - Files were produced for the Hudson River
    • dcf2 - Files are encoded using S-102 Data Coding Format 2, which represents Regular Grids
    • tiles - The full dataset has been split into individual files each covering a distinct geographic area according to the predefined OCS Nautical Product Tiling Scheme
    • 102US00_US5NYCGH.h5 - S-102 filename

S-102 Exchange Set Catalogs (XML Metadata) 🔗︎

Example Exchange Set:

  • - S-102 Exchange Set Filename
    • US - Producing Agency
    • 102 - Product Code
    • 20220714 - Date S-102 Exchange Set was produced
    • 04 Region Identifier
    Example Exchange Set contents:
    • 102US00_US5NYCGH.h5 - S-102 HDF5 file
    • 102US00_US5NYCHH.h5 - S-102 HDF5 file
    • 102US00_US5NYCIH.h5 - S-102 HDF5 file
    • 102US00_US5NYCII.h5 - S-102 HDF5 file
    • CATALOG.xml - S-102 Exchange Set Catalog file (XML Metadata)

Per the S-100 specification, S-102 files are packaged into "Exchange Sets," which are collections of individual S-102 datasets whose basic metadata are documented in an accompanying Catalog XML file. The Catalog XML file is provided in order to allow users to easily determine what S-102 files are available along with some basic information about each file (e.g. geographic coverage area) without requiring the user to first download these datasets.

In this S3 bucket, an Exchange Set is comprised of all S-102 HDF5 DCF-2 (regular grid) tiles from a distinct region. The corresponding Exchange Set Catalog can be found in the same directory (S3 key prefix) as the S-102 files. For example, the S-102 Exchange Set Catalog for the Hudson River can be found at the path ed2.1.0/national_bathymetric_source/hudson_river/dcf2/tiles/

Contact Information 🔗︎

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback about these datasets, please submit your inquiry using the NOAA Office of Coast Survey (OCS) Assist Tool


Hydrographic survey data is subject to rapid change due to several factors including but not limited to dredging activity and natural shoaling and scouring processes. These products may include bathymetric data from a variety of sources, not all of which have been verified to meet NOAA standards. The overlay file must be used in conjunction with the official ENC produced by NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and is not intended to replace the data contained within the underlying ENC.