Areas of higher density shipping can have a disproportionately higher incidence of wrecks due to the inherent hazards related to multiple vessels operating in proximity to each other. Ports were therefore mapped to both provide a basis for designing the ship routes network and to characterise the increased shipping traffic expected within the approaches to ports that could indicate areas of increased archaeological potential.
The names of historical ports were provided by the National Monuments Record, many of which were accompanied by a history of maritime activity. Co-ordinates were generated using Ordnance Survey data (under licence).
Much of the information gathered during the project can be related to ports. They therefore provide a good basis for querying the data. For example, in many cases data relevant to journeys lacked specific information on the departure and destination points of those journeys and data within the port records was found to give a better representation of the density of marine traffic.