In a demanding market within a dynamic industry, the MarineTraffic Research Team offers continuous enhancement and development leading to a competitive edge.
As Miluse Tichavska, the Academic Relations Manager at MarineTraffic proudly boasts, the team is “devoted to the fusion of heterogeneous sensor data for surveillance tasks and building distributed systems capable of extracting the value of Big Data in the shipping industry.”
Big Data is expected to affect society in various ways since there are already big amounts exploited, especially in the socio economic sector. It is given that Big Data will provide solutions for important challenges to society such as climate impact analysis and more. In the maritime sector, it already helps towards making shipping greener, safer and more efficient. As Miluse states, “Knowledge extraction from this data relies on distributed techniques so that the challenges created by the volume, velocity and variety of data can be faced”.
Apart from the vast amounts of Big Data, strategic relations and collaborative projects are of great importance to MarineTraffic. “These are frameworks for collaboration that facilitate a positive interaction with a variety of organisations,” says Miluse. In addition, during these collaborations the Research Team can both contribute and gain something of significance, which will eventually lead to solutions.
An important collaborative project that aims to enable maritime big data scenarios for EU-based companies, organisations and scientists is “Big Data Ocean” an EU funded Project. This research and innovation project will deliver a platform from which maritime stakeholders can benefit. For MarineTraffic it is an opportunity to investigate the Maritime Data Value Chain and generate novel knowledge originating from diverse sectors and languages. Specifically through our involvement in the Maritime Security and Anomaly Detection Pilot, “We believe that it can give us insights on safe paths and help us identify anomalies on vessel voyages,” says Konstantinos Chatzikokolakis, a Senior Researcher.
Another important EU project, MarineTraffic is a partner in is SELIS. This promising initiative aims to deliver a pan-European logistics applications platform that will make information exchange more efficient, assist in better understanding the sea trade and logistics risks and make them more visible. “The development and use of information pipelines (logistics, trade and regulations) across a variety of solutions and applications may certainly become an interesting reference in the maritime digitalisation arena.”, says Miluse. In addition, this project is considered crucial, as it can can add risk assessment analytics to the existing MarineTraffic services
The Research Team has a technical aspect as well. Dimitris Vitoris is the Network Support Manager who leads the forefront innovation in terms of hardware and strongly supports that “οnly through innovation will we create the tools necessary to stay ahead of the competition. Also it is refreshing (and fun!) to experiment with new ideas”.
Through his internal hardware research and development, MarineTraffic is able to deploy receivers which can connect to any wired or wireless network and send data to up to five user-defined destinations. The receivers also have powerful features for the collection of raw data from our stations’ network, which have changed the way the company manages and supports data.
In terms of challenging tasks, the Research Team has had their fair share. From finding ways to fund their collaborative opportunities, getting to know the maritime sector in depth to drive their research activities, working on vast amounts of data to extract information that provide solutions, to experimenting with new practices and technologies with hardware that drives innovation, the team does its best to exceed expectations and deliver the best possible solutions through Big Data.
Despite the challenges and hard work, everyone in the team reported that they enjoy working at MarineTraffic for the open-minded stance the company has towards new ventures and practices, the expansion of their knowledge while working around various subjects, the opportunity to be involved in analysing big amounts of data and last but not least, the people of the company who very positively affect the work environment.