MB-System is an open source software package for the processing and display of seafloor mapping data, particularly bathymetry and backscatter imagery data derived from multibeam, interferometry, and sidescan sonars. MB-System is freely available for download as source code that can be  built and installed on Linux and OS-X computers. Documentationtutorials, and FAQ are provided in this website. The MB-System discussion email lists allows users to engage with MB-System developers and other users from around the world.

MB-System was originally developed in 1993 at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO) of Columbia University  by David W. Caress and Dale N. Chayes with support from the Marine Geology and Geophysics  program of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

MB-System is now a collaborative effort between the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), the Center of Marine Environmental Science (MARUM) at Universität Bremen, and the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM) at the University of New Hampshire. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has provided the primary support for MB-System through MBARI since 1998. NSF supported MB-System development from its inception in 1993 through 2018.  

Current Distribution Release Status

  • Latest Release: 5.8.1 (22 March 2024)

Note: MB-System is under active development and is updated periodically. This (usually) results in improved performance and additional capabilities, but often means that the documentation (including web pages) lag somewhat behind the actual software. Please bear with us and email your comments and suggestions to the MB-System user’s discussion list.