Vessel density maps offer new traffic insight
New EMODnet digital vessel density maps allow users to visualise vessel movement patterns and the distribution of maritime traffic in European waters to help manage maritime space and activities.
Density is expressed as the number of hours spent by ships in a square kilometre over a month. Data is collected from Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers that track and transmit the location of the ships’ on-board transponders. On the EMODnet vessel density maps, a colour gradient makes it possible to quickly distinguish whether an area is characterised by high or low shipping traffic.
Ana Tejedor, marine conservation and policy implementation expert at the European Environment Agency, stated: “Information coming from the new EMODnet digital vessel density maps will supplement the thematic and sectoral assessments of the European Environment Agency.
“Our platform, WISE-Marine, will ensure the correct linkages to the digital maps – thus allowing information and data to be re-used between Directives and geographical scales without the need to establish new or duplicate data reporting and dissemination structures.”
With increasing economic activities at sea, those making plans to manage these new activities need to know where and when other activity takes place, stated Felix Leinemann, head of the European Commission’s unit in charge of maritime spatial planning.
The service provides access to monthly composite maps by ship type for the year 2017, with more to come. Maps are available free of charge for viewing, downloading, processing and usage for commercial and non-commercial purposes alike from the EMODnet Human Activities portal.
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