ship tracker

tracking ships through the Bay
exhibit designer/developer – apr 2013
Global shipping is fundamental to San Francisco Bay Area commerce. The ports of Oakland and Richmond turn around multiple massive container and tanker ships daily, providing and supplying raw materials and manufactured goods to the region and the world.

Understanding the travels of these ships, as well as the daily paths of smaller ships like ferries and tug boats, helps us to better understand our place on the world stage. And it makes for some beautiful visualization.
  • Recent ship tracks

    Visitors can see where boats are and have been recently...

  • Aggregated ship tracks

    ...and visitors can see aggregated ship paths over months of traffic.

  • America's Cup race

    An America's Cup race appears on July 9, 2013.

  • Early prototype

    An early prototype showed only the central Bay.

  • View at the exhibit

    The view out the window adjacent to Ship Tracker: a tugboat travels out toward an incoming container ship.

  • Container ship tracks

    Container ship paths for two months.

  • Ferry tracks

    Ferry paths for two months.

  • Tanker tracks

    Tanker paths for two months; note the mooring circles to the south, where tankers until they are prepared to offload their cargo at the Port of Richmond to the north.

  • Tugboat tracks

    Tugboats and Bar Pilot paths for two months.