Monday, June 17, 2019

Mapping UK Marine Traffic

Last year Alasdair Rae mapped out the tracks and routes taken by different types of ships around the UK. In Watching the Ships Go By Alasdair created a series of maps to visualize the paths taken by different marine vessels in UK coastal waters. These maps show the different shipping routes taken by cargo ships, passenger ships, fishing boats, high speed craft, military vessels, tankers and recreational craft.

Esri UK has now released a series of similar maps visualizing 2015 marine traffic to reveal the different tracks created by the different types of marine vessel. What Goes on in UK Waters uses AIS data to visualize and explore the different traffic routes taken by commercial, military, fishing, passenger, and recreational boats in UK waters.

The seas around the UK contain some of the world's busiest shipping lanes. The Strait of Dover is just 20.7 miles wide (From England to France) at its narrowest point. Around 600 ships a day pass through this narrow strait. Esri's map of cargo shipping lanes provides a neat visualization of this heavy traffic through the English Channel. While all this commercial shipping traffic passes through the Channel passenger ferries cross these busy shipping lanes traveling between France and England. You can see these passenger ferry lanes on Esri's map of passenger crossings.

Esri's series of maps includes a map showing marine activity during Cowes week (a huge regatta held each year in the Solent). It also includes a map showing recreational marine traffic in the winter and a map showing recreational marine traffic in the summer (people don't seem to take their boats out much during the Winter months).


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