Titans: Google maps versus ECDIS

Humans have been using maps for thousands of years. It is therefore not surprising that ‘Cartography’ as a subject exists, which is the art and science of making maps. The oldest known maps are preserved on Babylonian tablets from 2300 BC. They were later depicted on scrolls and paper. But it’s not until the electronic age that maps have come alive. Google Maps and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) can be considered to essentially serve the same purpose.

The autonomous versus automated conundrum

The terms autonomous and automated are often used interchangeably in the marine industry. This is not unique to the marine industry, but is done so in other industries too. The difference between the two is dictated by the degree of human intervention. An automated vessel does not have the level of intelligence or independence that an autonomous one has. The range between Manual - Automated - Autonomous tends to be a sliding scale of different capabilities of man vs machine.