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What are the origins and purpose of MarineTraffic?

The MarineTraffic website has derived from a community-driven project that was based on research collaboration among global academics and the development of existing Information & Communication Technology (ICT). It has always been (and still is) dedicated to collecting and presenting data which can be exploited in research areas such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Study of marine telecommunications in respect of efficiency and propagation parameters
  • Simulation of vessel movements in order to contribute to the safety of navigation and to cope with critical incidents
  • Interactive information systems design
  • Design of databases providing real-time information
  • Statistical processing of ports' traffic with applications in operational research
  • Design of models for the spotting of the origin of pollution-related incidents
  • Design of efficient algorithms for sea path evaluation and for determining the estimated time of ship arrivals
  • Correlation of the collected information with weather data
  • Cooperation with Institutes dedicated to the protection of the environment

The steadily growing interest regarding the MarineTraffic project enabled it to become a world leader in vessel-tracking. Nowadays, through its website, it provides free near real-time information to the public regarding vessels' positions and movements as well as other related information (e.g. ports' traffic, voyage details), mainly across the coastlines of most countries around the world together with a series of related services.

The initial data collection is based on the Automatic Identification System (AIS). We are constantly looking for partners to take part in the community. These partners will be able to contribute by installing an AIS-Receiving station and start sharing the AIS-data of their area with us and, consequently, with the whole world. This way, more and more areas and ports around the world will be covered!

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