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Situational awareness benefits both casual seafarers and merchant shipping

Optimal route selection is important for maritime safety. Through route selection it is possible to improve the maritime safety of ships, their crews and cargo. This is especially important in the Baltic Sea, where thousands of vessels of all sizes are sailing at any given time. It is possible to select the optimal route with sufficient situational awareness.

The BONUS ESABALT project, coordinated by the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, has striven to develop a system to improve maritime safety through situational awareness.

Workshop on Solutions for Maritime Situational Awareness

The BONUS ESABALT project is organising the Workshop on Solutions for Maritime Situational Awareness on 12 February 2016 at 8:30–16:00. This international workshop is directed at scientists and representatives of maritime companies and will be held in English. Presentations will be held by guests from Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Estonia, Finland and Sweden.

Location: Iso auditorio, Opastinsilta 12, Pasila, Helsinki.

Crowdsourced information in the cloud

There is a long tradition of mutual assistance at sea, which has been included in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The aim of the BONUS ESABALT project has been to develop a system to help improve maritime safety by sharing crowdsourced information in an open cloud service.

The project has developed a user-driven and smart crowdsourcing mechanism for maritime traffic in the Baltic Sea Region. In the system, data is provided and utilised by both merchant shipping and casual seafarers.

Ships that do not communicate with each other via their own systems can share information and improve each other's safety. BONUS ESABALT also integrates casual seafarers into the joint security system and makes it possible to utilise observations made by casual seafarers in pollution monitoring of coastal areas.

"Situational awareness improves reliability in sudden extreme circumstances, such as in poor ice conditions or unexpected emissions of pollutants into the sea," says Project Manager Sarang Thombre.

"In future, we would like to enlarge cooperation to improve situational awareness at sea and develop crowdsourcing methods."

Participants in the ESABALT consortium are the Maritime University of Szczecin, Poland; SSPA Sweden AB, Sweden; Furuno Oy, Finland; and The Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) at the National Land Survey of Finland.

More information 

Research Scientist Sarang Thombre, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI),, +358 404 819 476

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