AbstractCoastal, port, and waterway projects often require an understanding of the waterborne traffic in the site vicinity. Knowledge of what types of vessels transit near a project site, along with the vessel speeds and typical transit times/paths, can be valuable information to an engineer. Often the best available information for vessel traffic can be obtained from Automatic Identification System (AIS) data. AIS data includes information about the vessel type, position, course, and speed (IMO, 2014). Historic AIS data is available from a variety of free and commercial sources. Inside the United States, a large quantity of AIS data is available freely to the public from the United States' Coast Guard datasets. AIS data can be summarized in a variety of tabular and graphic formats. For spatial planning and visualization, an intuitive format for communicating vessel traffic to non-technical audiences is a vessel density map. Straightforward methods are available (BOEM/NOAA, 2015) for producing vessel density maps in relatively open water and away from sharp channel bends. This paper addresses challenges with preparing vessel maps in areas with narrow channels and around bends.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (2015): Tutorial: How to Build Vessel Density Maps with AIS.
IMO (2014): SOLAS, 6th Ed., Chapter V, Regulation 19, Paragraph 2.4.
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