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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Real Time Boat Locations From Around The World via AIS

Ever wanted to see where passenger vessels, tankers, cargo vessels, yachts, and tug boats are in real time all over the world? If so, you can see where they are, where they are headed, their name, speed, draft, flag, and even more at www.marinetraffic.com/ais.

The tracking of the boats is done via AIS, or Automatic Identification System. AIS is an electronic transponder that transmits boat information via VHF. This digital information is freely available to anyone with the correct receiver/decoder. You can also transmit AIS information from your boat and join the network.

The photo is a screen shot of zooming into Cape Canaveral on the east coast of Florida. I clicked on a random tug boat which happened to be moored at the moment.

It is fun to zoom in on points all around the world, such as Dubai, Australia, and China.


  1. I love that site! I used it when my daughter was on the Schooner Amistad, and I hope to use it again now that she's on Schooner Quinnipiac. But I do get worried when the boat doesn't move from one spot in the middle of the ocean for 3 days or it's gone completely as if they somehow traveled a great distance over night and are no long on the screen.

  2. I looked at this today in the Gulf Coast off of Louisiana. You can see the heavy traffic out there trying to clean up the oil rig spill. :( I have a question. As I look at this web site and think about the wonderful service it provides I'm also trouble by the cynical part of me that wonders if someone with ill intentions can use this to spot vulnerable targets. If they can, could I post a picture of my future boat as a Coast Guard Cutter? :)

  3. @Joe: We wondered the same thing Joe. Since one can pump out any text string as part of their AIS signature, why not have it be something like a battleship! :)


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