THSOA: New Website and US Hydro 2023

Staying Fluid

The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to promoting education in hydrography, inshore surveying, inland waters surveying, offshore surveying, positioning and mapping/charting, including related earth sciences.

We have organized in a National Board, including the president, secretary, treasurer, and four trustees, and our members by geographical regions, in seven chapters: Mid-Atlantic (Washington, DC, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia); Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin); New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island); Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina); Texas; West Coast (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) and Latin America (which has members mainly from that region, giving the opportunity to join to professionals of Latin American origin even living outside of the Latin American region). 

With that wide variety of members spread around the Americas, we recently migrated our website platform to a new one (, to enable all of us with a hub that brings us all closer together, to be engaged with the organization’s initiatives, news on chapters’ activities, job opportunities, and, coming soon, an exclusive section with the technical papers presented at the US Hydro conferences and other “members only” information. This new website will help grow our society and reduce our costs on third party apps that filled in where our previous website failed.  

As with any new technology, it has been a learning curve for us to learn all the capabilities of this new site, we appreciate our members’ patience and feedback. Members will also notice our famous seahorse logo recently got a new look and we’ve updated our branding to match it, giving our image a modern touch. We are very excited to bring new opportunities for our members to get their brand out with sponsorships, and we will be working with our premium corporate members, nonprofit corporate members, and academic corporate members to allow them to promote on our blog and social channels to allow them an additional avenue for sharing their news and innovations. The new site allows us more potential room for growth in the future. 

The US Hydro Conference is the most important technical hydrographic event in America. It occurs every other year, alternating with the Canadian Hydrographic Conference, to collaborate with our colleagues from the north, supporting each other’s events.  

Next year, the US Hydro conference will be held in Mobile, Alabama, at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center. Every conference has a specific theme, and next year we have chosen “Hydrospatial: The Next Frontier of Hydrography.” This theme reflects the relevance that our profession and related sciences have in the marine geospatial world.  

In some circles we are discussing what “the hydrographer of the future” should know (the Canadian Hydrographic Service is leading a series of workshops on this topic), how technology is affecting their activities: the speed and amount of data being collected (Big Data), the wide variety of sensors and platforms used (IoT), the speed and efficiency in data analysis (AI and Deep Learning), the ways in which these data become information and is accessed by different kinds of users (Cloud services, Kubernetes, etc.), and new formats and standards (S-100, voxels).  

All of the above, and the increased attention of international bodies on the oceans, like the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, and the IHO vision toward Marine Spatial Data Infrastructures are elevating (evolving) our profession to become geospatial data scientists of the water, or hydrospatial data analysts, joining a select group of professionals in the geospatial world. 

For the conference, we are using an app called Whova, which will not only include the up-to-date agenda (saving paper and money, and keeping an efficient way of communication), but also many ways to get in touch, learn of different activities, and interact with attendees, sponsors, and presenters. We used this platform successfully in 2021 when we had a virtual US Hydro and really helped in keeping people engaged and informed. We encourage attendees to download the app once registered for the event.  

Hope to see many colleagues in Mobile in 2023!

Rafael Ponce is principal maritime consultant at Esri with a strong background in hydrography, navigation, marine engineering, and naval defense. He is president of The Hydrographic Association of America.


US Hydro 2023 

March 12-16, 2023 
Mobile, Alabama  
Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center 


Sunday, March 12: Student Workshops
Monday, March 13: Industry Workshops 
Monday, March 13: Exhibitor Ice Breaker Social 
Tues-Thurs, March 14-16: Technical Sessions 
Tuesday, March 14: Conference Social 
Wednesday, March 15: Conference Social 

Registration Information 

Full conference for members: $490 
Full conference for non-members: $635 
One-day conference registration for members: $230 
One-day conference registration for non-members: $270 
Students of member organizations: $60 (proof of student ID required)


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