What exactly is the Density Map Layer?

The set of MarineTraffic's available navigational "arsenal" is composed of various Map Types. All of them can be displayed on the Live Map, so it is up to you to choose your preferred one.
Density Maps can be overlaid on every single Map Type to provide you with a complete picture of the global marine activity!mceclip0.pngMarineTraffic lastingly collects data on ship positions. The accumulated data enables the creation of Density Maps so that anyone can get a picture of the most travelled sea routes around the globe. All the recorded data of all vessels during the past years is taken into account in order to provide MarineTraffic users with detailed Density Maps.

The map itself is fully responsive during that time so that you can zoom in or out as you usually do and focus on the areas you are most interested in.
In general, the zoom level varies from 2 (completely zoomed out) to 19 (completely zoomed in). You can always know the zoom level that is currently active by having a look at the URL address (as shown in the following picture).
zoomlevel.png
Additionally, if you have purchased the Advanced Density Maps, you will be able to use Density Maps to their full extent and display info per Vessel Type. To learn how you can activate the Density Maps, please click here.

Larger vessels, such as cargo vessels and tankers, can be further categorised into sub-categories based on their means of measuring their size.ezgif.com-gif-maker__44_.gif
The size-ranges, as mentioned in the table below, are used by MarineTraffic to further categorise the recorded vessels in Advanced Density Maps:

VESSEL TYPE

SUB-CATEGORY

SIZE (in DWT)

CARGO VESSELS

HANDYSIZE

0 - 39,999

CARGO VESSELS

HANDYMAX

40,000 - 59,999

CARGO VESSELS

PANAMAX+

60,000 - 119,999

CARGO VESSELS

CAPESIZE+

> 120,000

TANKERS

HANDYSIZE

0 - 39,999

TANKERS

HANDYMAX/PANAMAX/MR/LR1

40,000 - 79,999

TANKERS

AFRAMAX - LR2

> 80,000

VESSEL TYPE SUB-CATEGORY SIZE (in TEU)

CONTAINER SHIPS

FEEDERS

0 - 3,000

CONTAINER SHIPS

LARGE

> 3,000

Note: Keep in mind that the categorisation is not universal. You may come across slightly different size-ranges per Category.