Live ships map

Sunday, August 28, 2011
Click to enlarge
Marinetraffic.com has an interface that allows you to see live ship traffic worldwide. When the map is zoomed out areas with tracked ships will appear as green boxes. When you zoom in you'll then see ships by type (freighter, tanker, passenger, etc.) as well as if they are underway or at anchor.

Above is a detail centered on the Aegean Sea with Istanbul in the upper right corner. As you can see, clicking on a ship gives you further details about it such as the country it is flagged under, its destination, the ETA to its destination and even a picture of the ship. You can then drill down and get even more information about the ship.

There are also tabs that allow you to search by ship's name or by port.

Back in the days when I was a sailor we kept these types of maps by hand. We would get printouts of ships locations and then move pins around. In practice you would keep tack of ships that were near yours and randomly move the other pins around. Normally such slackery worked just fine, but occasionally a pin would fall off the board and the damn ship it represented would appear on the horizon. Needless to say, even though everybody knew the pin locations were a farce, much yelling, lecturing and excuse making would follow such an event. It sure would have been nice to have a program like this back then.

(via The View from Taiwan

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