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The objective of hydrography is to collect and record information about the physical features of water bodies  (oceans, seas, lakes, …). Hydrographers measure the water depth and search for all types of submerged ridges, banks, wrecks, … rising from the bed of those water bodies . They also gather information on the water levels, tides and currents and use this information in models. Hydrographers also gather  information regarding  other physical parameters of  water bodies (such as the temperature, salinity, …).

The main output of hydrographers’ work are nautical charts, tidal predictions and volume calculations (e.g. for dredging purposes). These data collected on the world’s oceans, seas and rivers have many applications that are indispensable to the merchant marine, offshore activities, dredging, environmental and underwater projects.  This specialized work is carried out by a hydrographic surveyor.  He will not only be involved during the preparatory activities but also during the data processing  and the follow- up actions.

Hydrography in Belgium

The Hydrography Cat. B programme is the only of its kind in Belgium.  The Institute for Hydrography (IVH), created within the Antwerp Maritime Academy facilitates its organization. The collaboration between the Antwerp Maritime Academy and Ghent University results in a unique concentration of combined knowledge and experience.

The emphasis of the Hydrography B programme lies/is based on a solid theoretical framework, complemented by practical and hands-on experience.  For the Integrated Fieldwork and the Field Training, the IVH relies on its partners from governmental organizations and the industry: the Agency of Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK), The Flemish Hydrography, Flanders Hydraulics Research, DEME, GEO-xyz, Jan De Nul, …

After a successful completion of the Hydrography B postgraduate courses and the accomplishment of the Field Training, students will get a Hydrographic Surveyor cat. B certificate from the HZS.


Hydrography B in short:




Start Date:



PgCert Hydrography


1 year

End of September, annually

Antwerp Maritime Academy, Ghent University

IHO – Cat. B

Hogere Zeevaartschool Antwerpen Universiteit Gent, Vakgroep Geografie International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Departement Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken Agentschap Maritieme Dienstverlening en Kust (MDK) Vlaamse Hydrografie Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ)
Waterbouwkundig Laboratorium DEME GEOxyz Jan De Nul  Jan De Nul