The Origins of Maritime Informatics

Robert Ward*, Niels Bjørn-Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Maritime informatics—the collecting and recording of information that supports maritime operations and trade—is not new. It started with the need for seafarers to have knowledge about how to safely and efficiently navigate rivers and oceans by knowing what the hazards are, where they are located and the safe passages around them. At times this important hydrographic and charting information was withheld from competing exploring and trading nations for economic and military advantage as well as for territorial gain. However, this attitude changed with the advent of national hydrographic offices beginning in the eighteenth century. More recently and increasingly, ships’ voyages and activities are monitored and recorded remotely to increase efficiency and to improve safety. The shore-side maritime infrastructure is also being re-formed along similar lines by the better sharing of relevant data between all the parties involved in the port call process. This is all being done under the banner of digitalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaritime Informatics
EditorsMikael Lind, Michalis Michaelides, Robert Ward, Richard T. Watson
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9783030508913
ISBN (Electronic)9783030508920
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Series Progress in IS

Bibliographical note

Published 15 November 2020.


  • Data sharing
  • Digitalisation
  • Nautical chart
  • Port call optimisation

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