Create a Bathymetric Information System

To use ArcGIS Bathymetry tools in ArcGIS Pro, you need to create at least one Bathymetric Information System (BIS) workspace. The BIS is a geodatabase that contains a catalog of spatial data. The BIS must be created in an existing database; it can be created in either a file or enterprise geodatabase and can reference data stored locally or on a network.

Learn more about creating a Bathymetry workspace in an enterprise geodatabase

Since the BIS manages the location of datasets rather than loading the datasets directly into the geodatabase, file system data storage requirements are reduced, resulting in a highly scalable information model.

You can create a BIS using the Create BIS tool, included in the Bathymetry toolbox. The Bathymetry toolbox is included in the ArcGIS Bathymetry data installer at <installation location>\ArcGIS Bathymetry\Product Files\<version>\Toolbox\Bathymetry Tools.tbx. The toolbox must be added to ArcGIS Pro before the tools can be used.


Documentation for the Create BIS tool can be found in the Documentation folder of the ArcGIS Bathymetry data installer at <installation location>\ArcGIS Bathymetry\Product Files\<version>\Documentation\bathymetry_toolbox_installer_doc.

When creating a BIS, the coordinate system you choose is used to store and manage the BisCatalog and Bathymetric Data Index (BisBDI) mosaic dataset. If no coordinate system is chosen when the BIS is created, the BIS uses GCS WGS84. If you choose a coordinate system whose bounds are not global, datasets added outside of these bounds still appear in your BIS, however, they are not visible on the map.


A BIS created at ArcGIS Pro 3.1 is not compatible with ArcGIS Bathymetry tools at ArcGIS Pro 3.2. A new BIS must be created with the Create BIS tool at 3.2 to use with Bathymetry tools at 3.2.

Complete the following steps to create a BIS:

  1. Ensure that you have added the Bathymetry toolbox to ArcGIS Pro.
  2. Start ArcGIS Pro
  3. On the Analysis tab, in the Geoprocessing group, click Tools.

    The Geoprocessing pane appears.

  4. Under the Toolboxes tab, expand Bathymetry.
  5. Expand the BIS Management toolset and click Create BIS.

    The Create BIS tool opens.

    The Create BIS tool Parameters tab
  6. For the Target Workspace parameter, click Browse Examinar and choose the file or enterprise geodatabase you want to use as the BIS.

    It is recommended that you create the BIS in an empty workspace.

  7. For the BIS Catalog Template parameter, browse to <installation location>\ArcGIS Bathymetry\Product Files<version>\Templates and choose the BISCatalog_schema_MGDB.geodatabase file.
  8. Click Open and click OK to add the main.BisCatalog_schema template.
  9. For the Proxy Raster Location parameter, choose a directory where you want to store the proxy raster TIF files.

    Proxy rasters are automatically created when point cloud data is added to the BIS.

  10. Optionally, click Select coordinate system Seleccionar sistema de coordenadas to choose a coordinate system to be used for the BIS.

    If no coordinate system is chosen, the BIS uses WGS84.

  11. Optionally, under Geodatabase Settings, provide a value for the Configuration Keyword parameter.

    The configuration keyword determines the storage parameters of the database table; it only applies to data in an enterprise geodatabase.

  12. Click Run.

A BIS is created in the geodatabase that was provided as the target workspace. If the BIS was created in an enterprise geodatabase, you may want to enable editor tracking to keep track of who edits features and when the edits are made.