Transit Time – Mobile Phone App
Summary: The Houston-Galveston ship channel is the second largest port by tonnage in the U.S. and is used by over 350 vessels daily. These vessels are piloted along the channel by ship pilots who rely on available atmospheric and oceanic information. Hydrodynamic predictions from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) PORTS models are available online in the NetCDF format. Although this file format is familiar to coastal researchers, few methods exist to bring these predictions to a broader base of users, and none that leverage the capabilities of mobile platforms, such as georeferencing. This project’s goal is to use mobile technologies to make these predictions easily accessible to the Houston-Galveston ship pilots. Hydrodynamic predictions are combined with information provided by the pilot to predict ship travel along the channel. The app includes several displays including currents and water levels at the present or a future time and predictions along the channel at the predicted time of the ship’s passage.