Global Mapper selected for Coastal Mapping Project

Blue Marble Geographics announced that the Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (SHOM) has selected Global Mapper for its Litto3D project. The goal of this ambitious program is to create a seamless, high-resolution elevation model incorporating both bathymetric and topographic coverage for the entire coastline of France as well as French Overseas Territories. The inclusion of Global Mapper in the project planning and data processing tasks is a fitting testament to the strength and versatility of the software.

Operating under the administration of the French Ministry of Defense, SHOM, utilizes both airborne LiDAR and multibeam data collection techniques in the Litto3D project. As a result, enormous quantities of raw data are generated covering the swath of coastline from 10 meters above to 10 meters below sea level and extending at least 2 kilometers inland.

The value that Global Mapper provides to the program is evident throughout all phases of the project; from mission planning to field activity management to data processing to file export and delivery. Initially, Global Mapper provides a platform for visualization of the project area and for the establishment of optimal flight paths. In the post-collection phase and in tandem with an array of dedicated tools, Global Mapper is employed in the visualization and processing of the raw point cloud files to guarantee quality and coverage. Global Mapper’s intuitive scripting process ensures that many routine and time-consuming procedures are streamlined saving time and ensuring consistency.

Global Mapper

“We selected Global Mapper because it offers powerful data processing functionality in an affordable and easy-to-use package,” according to Yves Pastol, a senior hydrographer in charge of bathymetric LiDAR activities, “Global Mapper is a perfect tool for our needs. It is both easy to learn and to use and it provides a powerful collection of data processing tools.”

To supplement Global Mapper’s point cloud processing capabilities, the team is also employing the LiDAR Module, a powerful set of tools for performing advanced editing and analysis of LiDAR data. The Module’s automatic ground point detection and reclassification process creates a more precise model of the near-shore seafloor, effectively identifying anomalies in the surface and allowing straightforward filtering and cleanup of the data. While primarily intended for topographic applications, technicians at SHOM are using this tool for bathymetric analysis.

Global Mapper

Data generated by the Litto3D project is accessible through an online viewer ( and through a direct download of the files (

Website Blue Marble Geographics

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