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Maritime Safety Data Sharing, Quality and Benchmarking


There are numerous sources of maritime data, including publically available data, data available from commercial sources as well as proprietary data from maritime operators. The data cover every aspect of the maritime industry such as vessel operations, maintenance, equipment condition and performance, staffing and productivity as well as safety and environmental issues.

Key challenges to researchers of the maritime industry include identifying and collecting the appropriate and relevant data, as well as compiling and formatting disparate data sources into a useful, integrated whole. Some of the data are considered proprietary by their nature and may require significant “scrubbing” before they can be turned over to outside parties including researchers. In addition, the different nature of these data sources greatly complicates the integration of different data sources to support research.


The Committee on Marine Safety and Human Factors (AW040) encourages research that will enhance sharing of maritime safety related data. Of particular interest is the development of novel ways to eliminate the barriers to data and information sharing among parties. Considerations to be addressed include overcoming proprietary data issues, and data and personal privacy concerns.

An additional challenge is the resolution of erroneous data and data gaps that may exist in existing data sets. For example, maritime researchers are increasingly using Automatic Identification System (AIS) for analysis of a variety of maritime topics. AIS data presents challenges such as errors, anomalies, gaps and/or incomplete information. Ship trajectories based on raw AIS data often present non-continuous series of spatial-temporal positions. The committee encourages research into novel and efficient ways to correct or control for errors in in data used for research.

As noted much of the safety and performance data in the maritime industry are considered sensitive or proprietary in nature. This makes it difficult to assess performance compared to one’s peers or the industry as a whole. A third area of interest is in identifying and demonstrating methods and techniques for expanding data sharing in order to facilitate benchmarking studies. It is expected that this data sharing will facilitate performance assessments and lead to improved performance.


This research can enhance the safety and security of the Marine Transportation System

Sponsoring Committee:AW040, Marine Safety and Human Factors
Date Posted:09/05/2019
Date Modified:09/06/2019
Index Terms:Data sharing, Data quality, Benchmarks, Maritime safety, Safety data,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Marine Transportation
Data and Information Technology
Safety and Human Factors

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