The Geospatial Council of Australia

Member dashboard

Access your account details and member services

Manage CPD points

View and manage your Continuing Professional Development points

Member events

View and attend our events

Member support

Please contact our Membership Officer with any queries




Surveying in marine environments

The Area of Practice Committee for hydrography is a group of professionals within the geospatial industry who are dedicated to advancing the practice of hydrographic surveying.

The Committee recognises the critical role that hydrographic surveying plays in a wide range of applications, from marine navigation and coastal management to offshore oil and gas exploration and environmental monitoring.

The Committee serves as a forum for collaboration and knowledge-sharing for our members in the hydrographic surveying field.

If hydrography is your career, lifestyle or passion, you will find enormous benefits as a member of this area of practice. Connect with others in the field, share your experience and ideas for the future of the profession. GCA will tap into this targeted community for guidance on all areas of hydrographic surveying as it evolves in the digital age.

To get involved in the Hydrography Area of Practice Committee, you can contact

Neil Hewitt

Hydrography Chair
Neil Hewitt

Paul Kennedy

Hydrography Deputy Chair
Paul Kennedy


The professional assessment and certification of hydrographic surveyors is conducted by the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel. The Panel represents all the IHO nominated hydrographic surveying specialities:

  • Nautical charting
  • Coastal zone management
  • Industrial offshore surveying/offshore construction surveying
  • Education
  • Private practice

More on Certification

Find a hydrographic surveyor

Hydrography icon
Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) List of Current and expired Certified Professionals in Hydrographic Surveying.

Hydrographic Coaching Program

The GCA Hydrographic Area of Practice Coaching Program is an initiative to encourage the professional development of emerging professional hydrographic surveyors to Level 1 and Level 2 in Hydrographic Surveying certification.

The Coaching Program will offer participants connection with industry professionals, access to coaches’ technical knowledge as well as guidance towards attainment of Hydrographic Surveying certification. For a trainee seeking certification, the assigned coach may be able to assist in identifying knowledge gaps and addressing them prior to the trainee applying for certification.

Certified Hydrographic Surveyors generously offer their time, experience and expertise to the emerging generation of hydrographic surveyors and contribute to the future of the industry. Interactions with certified surveyors are highly valuable in supporting trainees in their preparation for certification, early career and technical pursuits.

CPD points may be claimed in accordance with the GCA CPD policy.

For trainees working towards certification, the program offers interaction with certified professionals who may offer guidance in the application process.

Trainees should note that participation in the program does not guarantee a successful application for certification. However, the program will help trainees identify and work on knowledge gaps prior to their application for certification.

Note: A Hydrographic Surveyor can apply for certification without participating in the Coaching Program.

Download coaching program PDF

What does a hydrographic surveyor do?

The hydrographic surveyor is a specialist in precise positioning and data acquisition in marine environments, expected to work in a wide range of differing situations and applications from inland waters and rivers, to ports and the deep oceans. The effects of wind, waves, changing land and sea levels all necessitate coastal protection. The hydrographic surveyor is a key member of a team comprising planners, ecologists, civil engineers and others dedicated to the acquisition and application of data necessary for monitoring and protection of the environment.

Navigation, oil, gas and mineral resource exploration and recovery, dredging, coastal works, bridge and port construction, submarine pipeline and telephone cable construction, environmental monitoring, aquaculture and oceanographic research are all crucially dependant on the hydrographic surveyor for accurate, reliable information.

hydrographic surveyor

Hydrographic surveyors use state of-the-art technology ranging from sophisticated sensors to high accuracy positioning systems and were at forefront of developing and refining the use of GPS/GNSS, enabling worldwide, 24-hour, all weather, high accuracy positioning. The latest underwater acoustic techniques provide precise relative positioning of both surface and subsea vessels over large distances. Seawater temperature and salinity profiles make allowance for changing signal paths in the water layers. Sound impulses emitted at close intervals as a vessel moves ahead enable electronic stacking of reflected data from points on the rock strata. The resulting high-resolution two and three-dimensional images are essential to the successful search for oil and gas. Developments in swathe sounding technology allow coverage of large areas of the oceans from a single vessel in a fraction of the time previously taken. Airborne data gathering (Lidar) has also become more commonplace with the use of colour lasers and remote sensing of the seabed.


The Geospatial Council of Australia

Hydrography Supporting Partners’