Houston plays a small, but significant role in a massive global shipping and transit system that moves many tons of cargo all over the world. This industrial feet of organization requires entities to share a huge amount of data with one another to ensure on time delivery, avoid collisions, share ever-changing information about the oceans and coastlines, and keep track of critical weather updates.

Some of this information, such as weather and ship location, is important for all mariners to know, regardless of whether or not they are on the water for recreation, work, environmental protection, or to protect our coastal waters.

Below is a map from Marine Traffic that shows the exact and approximate locations of every vessel out at sea! This is an interactive map that allows you to scroll in and out, click on various vessels to learn more about them and look at the entirety of global ship traffic.

At the museum, we use this map as a point of reference for where Houston and it’s port sit within the great global shipping economy. After you’ve explored the map here, take a minute to look at the specifics of the Houston Ship Channel in our virtual exhibit.

To view the full-size map, click here.

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