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How does MarineTraffic attribute received positions to certain AIS Stations?

The MarineTraffic Network of AIS-receiving Stations gets loads of information at any given moment as the incoming AIS signals get picked-up worldwide. To get these stations depicted on the Live Map, you can activate the Stations option using the Live Map Toolbar Layers section. By clicking on any station icon, you can bring out an InfoWindow with all the relevant details and options such as Coverage Maps and Vessels In Range.

The number of stations that comprise the MarineTraffic Network keeps expanding over time and, as expected, there are areas of the world that get covered by two or more stations at the same time. Under this perspective, whenever such coverage overlaps occur, this is how the MarineTraffic platform manages the situation:

  • Data gets downsampled server-side to one position report per MMSI per minute in order to handle the increased load - just think that our servers routinely record approximately 19,000 NMEA AIS sentences per second.
  • The contact report with the most recent network timestamp is taken into account by the server. If there are still duplicate records, the station with the fastest report is accredited on a "first come first serve" basis.

The above-mentioned procedures run simultaneously and the station that was recorded as providing us with the latest AIS signal gets accredited on the InfoWindow of the subject vessel. Thus, it is possible to view another station being mentioned although you are viewing the vessels that sail within the range of a certain station.

So, given the multitude of the incoming information, even the tiniest network lag can lead to your station losing credit for a contact on the Live Map and creating the illusion that you send less data to us than what you actually do!

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