Ship Tracking

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by ComeAbout, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Can someone recommend a live ship tracking application? Currently I'm using the freebee offered by Marinetraffic.com.
    Thanks.
     
  2. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Well Marine traffic "dot" com is the most widely used and it's the best from my experience. That said since you asked I'm guessing the issue is that the ship you are looking for isn't in an area where AIS based tracking is all that reliable. I know from personal experience recently using Marine traffic dot com can be frustrating when that is true....

    So here's a few others we've used (from top to bottom based on my own preferences):

    http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ (AIS based and the largest service that's pretty much free, also there are add on pay services and features available)

    http://www.sailwx.info/ (AIS and Mid Day Reports if the vessel participates in the NOAA services which most if not all US Flag vessels do...)

    http://www.vesselfinder.com/ (A little more user friendly that marine traffic, IMO but seems to have as many or more data feed discontinuities and a few more ads, etc.)

    http://www.shipfinder.com/ (AIS based like Marine Traffic but a different feed and user interface; also I like for when/if I'm looking for US Coastwise trade vessels)

    http://www.fleetmon.com/ (A lot like the others above but apparently offers iphone app which i confess I haven't yet tried but am thinking of trying ...)
     
  3. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I have used marinetraffic a lot with pretty good success. I actually used it once in a taxi to find my vessel when reporting for the first time. It can be a bit difficult when you have multiple vessels with the same or similar names but it has gotten better about that. I have noticed they have changed some of the vessel designations to make it easier to differentiate. I haven't used the app, only the website so I cant comment on the app.
     
  4. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    There are times that I need to track vessels in order to arrange surveys, visits, etc. I use a combination of the above, but fine Marine Traffic to be the most reliable. I just used it this morning, as a matter of fact.
     
  5. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Reliability and accuracy vary depending on what route your ship is on. I found sailwx most helpful of the sites and I proudly claim the title of "stalker mom" when my DS was at sea. Survived Arab spring stuck in the Suez Canal, close encounters with pirates (including shots fired) and ship dead in the water in the North Atlantic due to engine problems. I thought sailwx had failed me on that one because I kept refreshing and the ship just wouldn't move.
     
  6. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Thanks, and...

    Thanks everyone for you inputs. I think I'll stick with MarineTraffic for now. I've had pretty good success with it so far, I just wanted to know if it hadn't become out dated by something else.
    For part 2 of the question, does anyone know how to add Google Earth to Marine Traffic (or vice versa)? I see an option for doing that in the "Services" menu tab on Marine Traffic, but the link they provide on how to do it doesn't work. I've emailed them but don't know if anyone is "listening" on the other end.
     
  7. ComeAbout

    ComeAbout Member

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    Missing Reports

    When using MarineTraffic, is it unusual for days to go by without any change in position reports? I don't think range should be an issue. Position updates stopped somewhere between Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas. Is the AIS transmission just a convenience, not used for any "required" navigation or reporting?
     
  8. kdbax

    kdbax Member

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    I'll leave it to the pros for technical advice, but yes, that's my experence with MarineTraffic. When our son's ship crossed the Pacific, there was no change from the time she left Japan until she was off the California coast.
     
  9. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    That was very common in my experience. That's why I switched to sailwx. The only time I have had that site fail to report is for security reasons where pirate danger is high.
     
  10. 2009KPer

    2009KPer Member

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    The vessel's AIS remains online, and is required to be transmitting at all times, except in very limited instances (piracy, security reasons, etc). It is a very valuable navigational tool for the bridge watch, even in mid-ocean.

    Marine Traffic.com uses shore-based AIS receivers to display targets on the site. Once a vessel moves out of range of the receiver (generally, 30-50 miles depending on antenna heights involved), the target is dropped.

    SailWX works completely differently via weather reports manually sent in by the crew.
     

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