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Route planning and cost analysis for travelling through the Arctic Northeast Passage using public 3D GIS

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To plan undeveloped optimal routes between Asia and Europe via the Arctic Northeast Passages using a 3D geographic information system (GIS), voyage paths are simulated in a 3D visual form. This ensures that the distances are calculated accurately, and that other voyage data such as water depths, sea ice distribution, and seashore topology are also easily deciphered, giving a more direct and clear demonstration compared to simplified presentations on an Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS). This article also implements a higher-geometry maze router in ice zone areas to obtain the optimal path in relation to safety and costs. This article compares the optimal Arctic Northeast Passages with traditional routes through the Suez Canal for dynamic analyses of the cost efficiency (including time costs, fuel costs, and other factors) of travel between major ports in Asia and Europe. The average benefit assessment is around 30–45% in a bulk carrier comparison. Thus, a 3D GIS can easily obtain and demonstrate safe navigation routes, providing a very convenient tool for initial planning.
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Keywords: Arctic Northeast Passage; higher-geometry maze router; route cost analysis; route planning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Merchant Marine, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan 2: Department of Shipping Technology, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 3: English Language Center, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: August 3, 2015

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