GIS is useful in many sectors, but especially in the maritime industry. And it has particular benefits that are also useful for the navigation of ships.
It helps pinpoint the location of other sea-going vessels, as well as geographic features, and obstacles that may pose a danger to smaller ships. Let’s take a closer look at how GIS helps small ships navigate, below.
It Enables Safer Passage Through High Traffic Waterways
Situated between Key Largo and Marathon Island. Islamorada in Florida is considered by some as the sports fishing capital of the world and almost anything can be done by boat. Because of this, you might find that the waters are crowded. Boat rentals in Islamorada are in abundance, so it’s important to navigate safely and prevent accidents using GIS.
But once you’ve done a bit of fishing, you may want to explore Florida’s waters further. While Florida’s inlets are deep, wide, and well-marked, many boats are coming and going at any given time. GIS is of great use in preventing collisions of small ships in these conditions.
But when you’ve had enough of navigating the crystal clear Florida waters, treat yourself to a delicious bite to eat at the MEAT eatery and taproom in Islamorada. According to TripAdvisor, it’s one of the top burger joints in the US.
It Provides More Accurate Communication Of Data
Of course, like with any science, there is no such thing as absolutely perfect GIS data.
However, some situations that could be hazardous to sailors are in constant flux. And therefore a continuous and real-time update of geographic information is essential to the safety of ships.
GIS improves calculations over longer distances, where only the accuracy of the signal and precision of computing is relevant.
Where geodesic calculations have been needed in real-time, an algorithm has been developed that replaces integrals for distance and longitude. This approach utilizes a finite difference method to correct for locations at the extreme ends of poles.
It Allows For Improved Navigation Through Irregular Terrain.
Some waterways may be more shallow and unnavigable than they appear due to irregular undersea conditions.
This can occur after geological events out at sea or after severe storms. These events can dredge up sand and debris from the seabed and displace them.
The integration of sonar has been an important development in GIS. Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) models relay the topographic elevation of the terrain. And thus can provide real-time information on water depth. This enables safer sailing conditions for both larger and smaller ships.
It Makes Sailing In Nightime And Foggy Conditions Safer
Sailing at night has its own set of issues that are not part of daytime sailing. When sailing at night, sailing too close to shores can take you into floating light indicators, such as signals for fisher pots, or fisherman’s nets, which can be an issue.
Then there is the issue of bad weather or fog. This can cause visibility problems even during the day. It is never advised to set sail in extreme weather. But at times you can find yourself in this situation, unexpectedly.
And as any experienced sailor knows, just a few minutes of sailing in dense fog can be disorientating and nerve-wracking. GIS designed for ships is invaluable at nighttime and especially in foggy conditions when visibility is limited.