A CIESE Realtime Data Project

Handout #3: What's your destination?

Handout #3: What's your destination?

Lesson #3 Web Site Instructions:

Part One: Determine direction you are headed in

  1. Using the latitude and longitude data you recorded, plot both the Current Position AND Previous Position #4 on your desk-size map. Make sure to label each position (use "C" for current and "P" for previous).
  2. What direction is the ship heading? (north, south, east, west, northwest, etc.) HINT: The ship moves FROM its Previous Position TO its Current Position. Record the direction on Handout #3.

Part Two: Determine what city or port-of-call you are headed towards

  1. On your smaller desk-sized map draw a straight line, using your ruler, that starts at the Previous Position (marked "P") and goes through the Current Position (marked "C"). Extend the line past the Current Position mark until the line intersects or hits land.
  2. Assuming that the ship will sail in a straight line the place where your line intersects the land is the port where your ship will dock or the port-of-call. Circle this area on your map and label it "port-of-call". Record the name of the country that your destination is located in on Handout #3 .
  3. In many cases, the place where your line intersects the land will not correspond to a particular shipping port. To determine exactly which port or city your ship is headed towards you will need to search a database of world shipping port. Follow the link to the World Sea Ports database. At that site you can either click on the map on the country your ship will dock in or enter in the name of the country in the second search window on the left-hand side.
  4. After selecting a country you will get a list of all of the major shipping ports that are located in that country. Look at your map again and see if one of the cities near the area you circled is listed in the database list of results. Select the port which is closest to the area you originally circled. Record the name of this city on Handout #3 on the lined labeled port-of-call.
  5. OPTIONAL: You can click on the link to the port-of-call to learn more about your destination.

Discussion Questions

Instructions: Take a close look at the map showing where your ship has been over the past few days. Make some observations about how the ship has moved and then discuss the questions below with your class or group.


  1. Is the ship moving? If so, is it moving in a straight line? Circle? Curve?
  2. Is the ship moving towards or away from the coast of the United States?
  3. Approximately what direction (N, NE, NW, S,E,W, etc.) is the ship moving in?
  4. Could you make some predictions on what port the ship is headed towards? Explain how you come up with your answer.

Lesson #3 Data Collection Form

Name of Ship:_____________________

Direction the Ship is Headed in:_______________________

Name of Country Where Ship is Headed:____________________________