German Oceanographic Data Center

Together with the German Oceanographic Data Center (DOD), the BSH has the task of organizing the national and international exchange of oceanographic data. Since 1967, the DOD has been named within the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) as a node for data collection, data archiving, quality control and data provision.

Its tasks as a maritime service provider in Germany include:

  • Collection and archiving of marine observation data,
  • Providing this data to the scientific community and the public,
  • Perform international obligations (in accordance with the IOC resolution on the exchange of oceanographic data of the Federal Republic of Germany),
  • Passing on these data to the appropriate committees.

Information and news

Our tasks

Within the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the DOD has been designated as a national oceanographic data centre since 1967. The DOD is the hub for the national and international exchange of oceanographic data.

It is primarily concerned with the collection, archiving and quality control as well as the provision of data from the 28 German research vessels.

Physical, chemical and biological data from 100 institutes are archived in the DOD. They originate from research programmes, from state maritime surveillance and from the German navy. Some of them date back very far, to 1873, with measurements taken off Helgoland. In addition, measurement data and information are archived in the course of the approval of foreign research in German waters (Notification, Auswärtiges Amt).

With the end-to-end data management approach, the data is documented from cruise planning and sampling to archiving and publication. The cruise planning, DAVIS-Ship, Cruise Summary Report and data inventory are important tools used in DOD.

In addition to being made available to international committees, the data is also available to scientists and the public on request. About half of the 120 inquiries per year come from the university sector. The data are free and publicly accessible.

The DOD database currently contains data and information from about 10,000 cruises and 300,000 stations with a total of 45 million data records on about 900 parameters. These are mainly physical variables such as temperature and salinity, chemical variables such as nutrients and organic, inorganic and radiochemical components of lake water as well as physical and chemical variables of sediment and pollutants in organisms such as fish and mussels. Within the framework of the Geodata Infrastructure-BSH, DOD currently offers data from marine environmental monitoring.

About the DOD

The DOD was established in 1967 by a supplement to the Meteor Treaty between the German Hydrographic Institute (DHI, predecessor of the BSH) and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

In addition to the Meteor Treaty of 1961, the basis was Resolution No. 9 of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) on the exchange of oceanographic data. It recommends that the signatory states set up national oceanographic data centres. Since 1967, the DOD has been designated as a national oceanographic data centre within the IOC.

It was supplemented in 1987 by the interministerial circular of the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMV, now BMDV) on the central collection of the results of oceanographic observations at the DHI. All departments are asked to make all marine data obtained with public funds available to the DOD, in particular metadata, whereby the standardised cruise summary reports (at that time ROSCOP forms) are explicitly mentioned here.

In addition to these global and national structures, DOD is a partner in the European network of currently 35 oceanographic data centres, where SeaDataNet brings together data and metadata in a virtual portal that can be accessed online.

The DOD is located in the department "Data and Interpretation Systems" of the Oceanography Department of the BSH. In addition to the tasks of the DOD, this department also includes further development and technical operation of the BSH's spatial data infrastructure.