This image is created uniquely from a GPS-like signal emitted by ships carrying an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder. By Maritime International Organization rules, all ships above 300 tonnes (currently more than 60,000 vessels world-wide) must carry such a transponder. The signals they send are collected by ground stations and satellites. These signals can then be processed to project the movement of ships on the globe sphere. No geographic knowledge or information was used in the creation of this image – the contours of continents and major rivers are an artefact of Big Data at work.