Where can students go to track developments, such as shipping delays or sea creature journeys, that dominate news headlines?

Using tracking sites to bring current events to students


Where can students go to track developments, such as shipping delays or sea creature journeys, that dominate news headlines?

There is a lot of conversation about supply chains and logistics in the news these days. As a picture is often worth a thousand words, maps and tracking sites that allow students to visualize the traffic making up these supply chains can be helpful.

It is possible to track much of the shipping traffic through websites like Marine Traffic. The site is an interactive map showing the movement of many types of commercial ship traffic throughout the world. It is possible to see the general build-up around southern California ports and the normally heavy traffic around the Panama Canal. VesselFinder is a similar tool but seems to include at least some river traffic as well. It allows one to track a specific cruise ship, for instance.

Marine Vessel Traffic allows for tracking through the Great Lakes and appears to allow one to track naval ships. AdsbExchange provides similar information for air traffic. It allows one to filter by type of aircraft–Boeing 777s, for instance–by airline, or only to show military aircraft. FlightAware is a similar interactive map showing flights. It allows filtering by destination or departure location as well as by airline or aircraft type. FlightRadar24 is a third option that provides some additional features with a paid subscription.

Steven M. Baule, Ed.D., Ph.D.