City Metric’s article “This data visualisation shows the path of every trade ship in the world over the course of 2012” reports on the work of UCL Energy Institute to calculate the C02 emissions generated by global trade.
UCL-Energy researchers used AIS (Automatic Identification System) data. I’ve previously described AIS data and how it can be viewed to follow ship movements. Two wonderful examples are, ShipAIS – live vessel movements from around the UK, and MarineTraffic – a free and rich resource on worldwide marine traffic movements.
Back to the UCL Energy report – CO2 emissions for every ship for every hour, now that’s big data!, in which they say they used,
AIS data to estimate emissions from five different ship types and display this in a new interactive map that plots 250 million data points to show the movements of the world’s commercial shipping fleet over the course of the year 2012.
Viewing the interactive map at www.shipmap.org is riveting.