Ports run on information, or as Port of Rotterdam Port Object Information project manager Erwin Rademaker said in The Port of Rotterdam | Esri Video at the 2014 Esri International User Conference, Information is the "5th Modality". This is where Erwin showed live "Briefing Book" access of PortMaps, the central GIS System of Record for the port. Another view from the shipping industry perspective, specifically written by Albert Thissen of Hapag-Lloyd, also requires understanding the logistics of data flow as critical as the flow of physical goods (Information – the most valuable commodity in the world | Port of Rotterdam )
These older links came to mind as I read about a proposed offshore network, or mesh, of blimp-based WiFi routers. BLUECOM+ might also utilize, where appropriate, the towers of offshore wind farms. Such a system could enable the Sea Traffic Management (STM) system that is the next geneneration of MonaLisa 2.0. What do you think? Are we ready for high-bandwidth 'distraction' on our ships' bridges and engine rooms, or the potential for robotic ship 'hacking' that challenges our SOLAS regulations?
On the other hand, perhaps the time-honored joke of "mail buoys" will be a digital reality? We could see a much higher quality of life for the few mariners still required to be at sea aboard ships, without the expense of satellite-based broadband antenna installati.