Visualization of vessel movements

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We propose a geographical visualization to support operators of coastal surveillance systems and decision making analysts to get insights in vessel movements. For a possibly unknown area, they want to know where significant maritime areas, like highways and anchoring zones, are located. We show these features as an overlay on a map. As source data we use AIS data: Many vessels are currently equipped with advanced GPS devices that frequently sample the state of the vessels and broadcast them. Our visualization is based on density fields that are derived from convolution of the dynamic vessel positions with a kernel. The density fields are shown as illuminated height maps. Combination of two fields, with a large and small kernel provides overview and detail. A large kernel provides an overview of area usage revealing vessel highways. Details of speed variations of individual vessels are shown with a small kernel, highlighting anchoring zones where multiple vessels stop. Besides for maritime applications we expect that this approach is useful for the visualization of moving object data in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-966
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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