What Is BioBase?


What Is BioBase?

What is BioBase? BioBase is composed of two different products, EcoSound and EcoSat. Ecosat processes satellite imagery to create shallow vegetation and benthic habitat maps. While, EcoSound uses off-the-shelf sonar technology and automatic cloud processing to create professional bathymetry, bottom composition, and aquatic vegetation maps. BioBase removes the labor intensive and high cost elements of acquiring high quality data very quickly so you can focus your efforts on aquatic resource management.

BioBase is for anyone interested in aquatic resources. Biologist, surveyors, hydropower companies, environmental agencies, fisheries management, municipal agencies, non-profit agencies, and even private pond owners. It is easy to use from start to finish no matter your skill level. BioBase has a continually updating blog offering tips,  tricks and other success stories. As well as the Support Resources page loaded with step by step guides and walkthroughs as well as a getting started guide.


What is BioBase EcoSound
BioBase EcoSound

EcoSound is the backbone of the platform and utilizes off-the-shelf recreational depth-finders. The sonar logs from the depth finders are analyzed using the principles of object detection from soundwaves through water to create a map from spatial data. BioBase automates what used to be very tedious, manual tasks carried bout by highly trained engineers.

EcoSound is extremely easy to use, simply record the sonar from your depth finder  to the microSD card. After you finished surveying, upload the files to your private cloud BioBase account. From there we leverage powerful servers and cloud processing to provide high quality, accurate, easy to read and understand, maps and reports.

Bathymetry (Depth)  Maps

Bathymetry is a keystone feature of BioBase EcoSound. Not only is it important to know the depth of the waterbody you are dealing with but many of the tools and reports pull data from the bathymetry map. The bathymetry map is created when the ping from the transducer hits the bottom of the waterbody, the signal then bounces back to the transducer and a depth is calculated and a visual representation is presented on the depth finder. Depth is crucial information to any water management organization. Knowing exactly how much water you are working with can provide more accurate decision making and planning.

What is BioBase Bathymetry, Depth Contours
Bathymetry Map

Bottom Composition

Bottom Composition is extremely important to any water management operation. Using BioBase composition maps you can study the changes the bottom of the waterbody goes through over time. Knowing how sediments are traveling through the system or locations where new depositions are being created is key to any long  term management plan. Bottom composition data is created from the sonar and how it interacts with the bottom and the echoes that are created. The data is pulled from the sonar log by the BioBase program and converted to relative hardness data.

Bottom Composition, Bottom Hardness, Sediment mapping
Bottom Composition Map

Vegetation Maps

Measuring biovolume with BioBase is a key feature of EcoSound. Vegetation heat maps elevate water management decisions and give the right data into the hands of decision makers. Combined with the tools on the BioBase user interface, vegetation management is now easier, more effective, and efficient than ever before. EcoSound’s unique algorithm can detect the vegetation canopy from sonar logs to create vegetation heat maps. Combine vegetation maps with bottom composition to map out areas and locations for your next planting program.

Submersed Aquatic Vegetation map BioBase
Vegetation Map

Tools and Features

BioBase’s user interface is loaded with tools and features to help you make informed decisions. The polygon tool allows users to draw a polygon around an area of interest on any map to see statistics for the area of interest such as average depth, surface area of the polygon, average vegetation biovolume and many more. Data offsets are a powerful tool that allows users to offset data as needed. This tool is especially powerful for managers interested in hypsographic curve and water storage capabilities. Data created in BioBase is also exportable to most other platforms. Exporting data in CSV, GIS shapefile, or Google Earth KML allows users to add a new feature or layer to existing maps.


BioBase offers a free EcoSound Habitat Plus subscription to qualifying organizations such as, government environmental agencies, research and education institutes, non-profits, and sustainability organizations. With four other subscription options there is a EcoSound plan for every need. EcoSound Habitat Plus is BioBase’s most popular plan and includes access to every feature. EcoSound Habitat is is geared towards organizations with an internal GIS department it includes most features. The EcoSound Basic subscription is the entry level subscription and still offers the ability to create high definition data sets for the analysis of waterbody bathymetric characteristics.

Getting Started


BioBase EcoSat
BioBase EcoSat

EcoSat leverages high resolution satellites to map emergent, floating and near the surface vegetation in wetlands and lakes. After the map is generated they are fully exportable Lowrance and Simrad GPS charts, ESRI Shapefiles, and include an automated summary report of the total areas of each classification. EcoSat fills the gap between upland areas and EcoSound.

EcoSound and EcoSat have been implemented in various ways since their inception. Check out our professional spotlight blog series on how professionals around the globe are using them here.


Author: biobasemaps

BioBase is a cloud platform for the automated mapping of aquatic habitats (lakes, rivers, ponds, coasts). Standard algorithms process sonar datafiles (EcoSound) and high resolution satellite imagery (EcoSat). Depth and vegetation maps and data reports are rapidly created and stored in a private cloud account for analysis, and sharing. This blog highlights a range of internal and external research, frequently asked questions, feature descriptions and highlights, tips and tricks, and photo galleries.

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