If you haven’t heard already, today, September 29, 2016, is World Maritime Day, an official UN day of observance for the important role shipping has on the modern world.
Right now there are over 1 million seafarers working on more than 50,000 commercial ships trading across the globe, and it’s estimated that 90% of all goods are transported by ship at sea. That’s almost hard to comprehend. So to get a better understanding of what exactly that looks like, check out this mesmerizing interactive map showing the actual movements of the world’s commercial shipping fleet over a one year period.
To create it, they plotted over 250 million AIS data points telling them the location and speed of ships to provide the amazing visualization you see above. The map was actually created to estimate emissions from five different ship types, so along with speed and location the researchers also included characteristics like engine type and hull measurements. You can read more about the map and why it was created HERE.