AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. It was introduced by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) to improve safety in the maritime traffic. All ships equipped with AIS transponders exchange their current movement data such as position, course and speed as well as other additional information via the VHF channels 87B and 88B. In professional shipping, the system is already part of the equipment requirements for SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea).
For vessels on international voyages AIS is mandatory from the registered tonnage (RT) of 300. For vessels on national voyages it is mandatory from 500 RT. For passenger ships the regulation is as follows:
Vessel name, callsign, MMSI number (user ID), IMO number, position, course over ground, speed over ground, true heading, rate of turn, length, beam, draught, type of vessel, navigational status, destination and estimated time of arrival.
Blue - Ship is moving
Orange - Ship is not moving
Our AIS network is still being expanded. Currently it does not cover all the regions you might be looking for. We are always interested in favourable new antenna locations. If you would like to cooperate with us to cover your region, please contact us.
We can highlight the vessels which are most interesting to you, for example by displaying them in a different color. Please contact us.
We can give you the data in almost any format (XML, CSV, etc.). It all depends on your needs. Contact us.
Satellite AIS (S-AIS) is an emerging technology designed to detect wide area maritime vessel movements on a global scale. S-AIS extends the range of the existing maritime Automatic Identification System. Where previously, detecting vessels only occurred within a relatively short range from shore, S-AIS allows maritime agencies and commercial organizations to obtain a more complete picture of their Areas (or vessels) of Interest, resulting in an improved ability to identify potential threats, better monitoring of traffic patterns, and a more cost effective use of other assets.
Satellite-based AIS is feasible because VHF signals from AIS transponders are able to travel the 400 or so miles into space to reach a low-Earth-orbiting satellite. The satellite receives the signal, and then forwards it to a ground station for processing and storage. From here the information can be delivered in a variety of electronic formats to any number of computer systems and displays.
A satellite orbits the planet and collects data as it travels, transmitting that data when it is in sight of a compatible earth station (also often referred to as a ground station, antenna or dish). A satellite typically passes within sight of an earth station in 10 minutes. Once data is downlinked from a satellite to an earth station, it is transmitted to the top-tier data processing centre(DPC). The DPC system receives all data downlinked at the earth stations and in only a few minutes, processes the data to extract every possible AIS message. In the next few seconds, you can see the resulting messages(vessel positions) in our systems.
Green - Ship is moving
Red - Ship is not moving
White - Course and movement status is not yet clear, because we have received very little information from the ship.
You have opened our KMZ file more than once in Google Earth. In the folder "Places" under "My Places" or "Temporary Places", there are probably more than one file named "vesseltracker_xxxx.kmz" or "vesseltrackerlight.kmz". You should remove all but one of these files.
Press the keys <Ctrl>+<F>, then enter the ship's name into the search field that comes up on the left side-bar, and press Enter. Google Earth now shows you the ship you are looking for in the list.
For AIS Tracking with vesseltracker you need at least Google Earth version 4! Please check which version you have and update to version 4 if applicable.
You find the online update function in the "Help" menu under "Check for Updates Online".
For all problems with google earth we wrote a step-by-step manual (only available in german for now). download manual
Please register for our Free Account. Then you can upload your photos and comment on them. Click here to register now.
The photographers list is created as follows:
We have only those vessels in our database, that have an AIS transponder and have visited our covered areas.
At the moment it is not yet possible to add missing vessels manually.