Traditional maps do a good job of showing features and the extent of ocean activities, like shipping lanes, but they don’t tell the whole story. Because most maps are two-dimensional, they can leave the false impression that the ocean contains virtually no unused space; in fact, information about the ocean spans three dimensions and includes the sea surface, seafloor, water column, and air column. Some ocean activities and their correlating data apply to several dimensions, meaning that many ocean activities do not intersect at all.
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Crowded Open Space: A 3D View
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration