Getting Started With BioBase-EcoSound

BioBase is a powerful lake, pond, and coastal mapping cloud software tool. To get the best results with BioBase – EcoSound, it is important to use proper data collection and management procedures. This post contains links to the resources that will help you get started with BioBase and get you on your way to collecting quality data.

First, ensure you have a compatible sonar device to use BioBase. BioBase exclusively processes raw sonar files from Navico Group manufactured devices, specifically Lowrance and Simrad. BioBase is compatible with multiple generations of these brands and if it can hold an SD card, you can probably record a compatible .slg, .sl2, or .sl3 sonar log. However, if the unit is greater than 5 years old, it might be time to consider an upgrade. This blog will help you determine the best sonar for your application. Please note that the GPS antenna is embedded into the display so if you have a console-steer boat, you should consider acquiring an external GPS antenna like the Lowrance Point-1 GPS or Simrad GS25 that can be affixed to a position on the boat that is directly over the transducer.

THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT INSTALLATION DETAIL IS PROPER INSTALLATION OF YOUR TRANSDUCER. This is the most overlooked detail and means the difference between a very high quality output and a very poor one. If you are still uncomfortable installing your transducer after reading this blog on transducer installation, then we suggest taking your boat to a service center and having it professionally installed.

Our quality control team reviews every uploaded trip, creates or fixes shoreline boundaries according to the Bing aerial photo basemap, and looks for glaring issues like evidence of a slanted transducer, signal loss, and poor signal quality.  They may email you if they notice any significant issues with your trip, and suggest ways to fix the issue or ways to improve data quality before logging again. Please allow one business day for quality control to review your trip and fix waterbody boundaries if needed. If there is a quality control section in the report’s header, then trip has been reviewed (note, the quality control team does not generally review merges). You can also see any comments that were not emailed to you on the report.

It is critically important to keep your Lowrance software updated. Software updates can be found here. Using hardware with outdated operating system software can result in a range of issues.

Our blog and our Support Resources Page is full of good content for “How Tos,” case studies, feature descriptions, etc. Use the search tool within the blog to search any particular topic.

Our YouTube channel has many helpful videos, including field demos and data editing tutorials.

This post gives you a more in depth look at how EcoSound works. This blog shares some tips and tricks along with some answers to frequently asked questions that many new users have.

The EcoSound Support and Resources page has links to the EcoSound Full Operator’s Guide including a slick online manual with full keyword search functionality. There are several tutorials, including guides for using EcoSound data in QGIS. The EcoSound Quick Start Guide shows recommended settings to use on your Lowrance or Simrad while logging sonar. Please follow this quick start guide carefully.

Finally, we have a Facebook BioBase Tips and Tricks Group page that you may consider joining to ask questions of the user community.

If you ever need any assistance, contact the BioBase support team at

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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