Users visiting MarineTraffic today will notice that our Live Map has a fresh, new look and feel.
They will now be able to see more vessels, wind, ports and lighthouses on the map, while also being able to pan, zoom in and out much faster. In short, we have made it faster and easier to use, so users will now have a much improved overall experience when using the MarineTraffic Live Map, whether it is to track a vessel that has a loved one on board, or to monitor an entire fleet of tankers in the Persian Gulf.
As an avid sailor and maritime enthusiast myself, I considered what I would want the user experience to be, and I think this new map is much closer to that.
One of the key reasons behind our decision to update our map rendering technology is because we wanted to improve performance, and at the same time to be able to display as much information as possible, even when the user zooms out to see the full globe. All this means that it was time to finally wave goodbye to the green clusters, we had on the map for the past nine years.
In technical terms, we are leveraging the HTML5 Canvas elements to draw ships on the map instead of adding individual DOM markers on the map.
Additionally we have leveraged the Leaflet Datagrid Layer to divide our server requests to smaller and better defined areas. Our new Live Map is made up by a series of tiles, each of them 512 x 512 pixels.This improves user experience by achieving better parallelism and caching.
Also, in collaboration with Mapbox, our map service provider, we have prepared a new base tileset named Standard Map. Essentially it is a new map style that includes slight changes to the colour scheme and less focus on land mass, giving our users more of what they want, the ability to easily locate what they’re looking for at sea.
I hope all MarineTraffic users enjoy using our new map, together with all the other wonderful features MarineTraffic offers.