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China’s Seabed Mapping Speeding Up

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

China, as per its Twelfth Five Year Plan for 2011-2015 and Gao Zhiguo, the director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs of the State Oceanic Administration, is poised to achieve further economic boom as per the last decade through exploration and development of the marine economy.

To help achieve its estimated growth potential, the government is proposing the acceleration of its deep seabed mapping, said the President of the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, Zhang Jixian, while speaking exclusively to China Daily. China’s land survey and mapping industry is the largest in the world. In fact, in the last week of August, China released its new 1:50,000 seabed map as well as an electronic navigation chart.

However, Zhang pointed out that the offshore surveying and mapping is completely different from that for land. The reason for this difference is that water is flowing all the time and thus it is difficult for engineers and project managers to set a fixed target.

Surveying and mapping the marine areas, according to Li Jingwei of the Star Geomatics Park Investment Co. Ltd, will definitely aid people in understanding the undersea resources and the ocean in a better manner. This program thus stands to be accelerated and fast-tracked to optimize the economic boom the country envisages.

Cartographic Satellite for Greater Capabilities

The first Chinese cartographic satellite is to be launched in December and will further improve the surveying and mapping industry. With its immense lengths of seashores, economists project that the marine industries, by 2020 will bring in a gross product of 5.3 trillion Yuan (approximately US$814 billion). Already, the 5,188m deep-diving submarine Jiaolong has been successfully accelerating deepsea mapping in the areas of the Sourthwest Indian Ridge for polymetallic sulphide deposits.

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