Historical Vessel Tracking Data

Apr 15, 2021 | Historical Vessels Database

Ship types Database

In this article, we will talk about our Historical Ship Tracking API, possible use cases, types of data the API covers, available API endpoints/filters, and how to subscribe to get started in minutes. We will address the importance of maritime data and maybe inspire you to build a profitable maritime project or give you ideas to improve what you already have in mind.

Keep reading for the details and get your project started today!

Maritime transportation has always been crucial for humanity. It plays a major part in the transportation of cargo which includes both finished products we use every day and raw materials or fuel that is necessary for the production of these.

Fishing ships, cruise ships, and passenger transportation ships also cover a considerably high portion of maritime traffic and play an important role which is all covered by our API.

This heavy load on maritime transportation makes one thing very important: maritime traffic control. Determining real-time and especially historical locations of ships and their courses makes organizing maritime traffic possible. This important data is used every day to maintain maritime traffic and avoid accidents, prevent maritime crimes such as illegal fishing or carry out rescue missions, just to mention a few.

In addition to these, the private sector also obviously hugely benefits from historical vessel tracking data. This is a crucial type of data for the prediction and optimization of operations,
especially for the maritime and transportation sectors to maximize profits and minimize the

Historical ship tracking data use-cases ideas:

  • Running data analytics of maritime traffic
  • Seeing trends in ship movements and water transportation around the world
  • Creating/optimizing maritime operations based on these trends
  • Finding out optimal maritime routes
  • Keeping a track of maritime accidents to help avoid future ones
  • Creating own maritime forecast based on historical data
  • Building virtual maps of past movements of ships

More and more businesses are now looking to build game-changing tools for these purposes to get one step ahead of the competition and we offer just the data you are looking for!

We, Datalastic, have made historical ship tracking data very easy, fast, and accessible via our Historical Ships Data API. With near-perfect uptimes and fast response times, you may track detailed and accurate historical ship tracking data. In this article, we will also go through essential developer information and describe the data.

Historical Ships Data API

The historical vessel tracking data focuses on the historical movements of ships. A standard response includes boats’ location, destination, speed, and course, all available to see based on an earlier date day of your choice.

We have included multiple different, most widely used parameters to filter the data for your convenience when needed. We will also be explaining the nature of these types of data for a better understanding of what’s included in the API.


– uuid (Vessel UUID): Each ship available in our database has a universally unique identifier which is also included in a standard response.

– mmsi (Vessel MMSI): MMSI stands for “Maritime Mobile Service Identity” which is a unique, 9-digit number that identifies ships for monitoring and maintaining maritime traffic. Since it is unique for each boat, it is a convenient parameter to search for the exact boat you are looking for.

– imo (Vessel IMO): “International Maritime Organization” number is a unique identifier for ships, assigned under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). It consists of three letters of “IMO” followed by a seven-digit number unique for each ship. Vessel IMOs are mandatory for all ships carrying out any type of maritime activity whatsoever. A vessel IMO number stays the same even if the ship’s owner, registered country or name changes. Especially because of this feature, this parameter is the most common one to track individual ships and is included in every response.

– days (The number of days from the current day): Including this parameter in the endpoint allows you to determine how back you want to go retrospectively when making a query. Select the date of your choice.

Example endpoints would be:



Data Included in the Historical Ships Data API 

We will now take a quick look at the types of data of a ship, included in a standard Historical Ships Data API response.

An example API response looks like:


    “data”: {

        “uuid”: “edd5cbcf-5844-a0ba-c22c-3f53ec5c8bae”,

        “name”: “OFFSHORE GUARDIAN”,

        “mmsi”: “339301230”,

        “imo”: “9797058”,

        “eni”: null,

        “country_iso”: “JM”,

        “type”: “Other”,

        “type_specific”: “Offshore Supply Ship”,

        “positions”: [


                “lat”: -9.52099,

                “lon”: 143.418,

                “speed”: 7,

                “course”: 229,

                “heading”: 229,

                “navigation_status”: “Under way using engine”,

                “destination”: “Thursday Island”,


“last_position_epoch”: 1615692346,

                “last_position_UTC”: “2021-03-14T03:25:46Z”



                “lat”: -9.50044,

                “lon”: 143.417,


“speed”: 7.3,

                “course”: 53,

                “heading”: 53,

                “navigation_status”: “Under way using engine”,

                “destination”: “Thursday Island”,


“last_position_epoch”: 1615670076,

                “last_position_UTC”: “2021-03-13T21:14:36Z”





    “meta”: {

        “duration”: 0.005833293,

        “endpoint”: “/api/v0/vessel_history”,

        “success”: true



The format of the historical vessel-tracking data is the same as our real-time vessel tracking API. If you plan on using both APIs, this can provide you an advantage in terms of development.

The Historical Ships Data API response mainly separates into 3 groups,

  1. General vessel information: UUID number, registered ship name, MMSI number, IMO number, registered country, category of the ship.
  2. Geographical details: Latitude and longitude values of the ship, speed in knots, heading (direction of the ship), navigation status, destination point, last recorded position based on the dates you give in epoch and UTC formats.
  3. Meta: API response details.

Access Historical Vessel Data API 

Our historical vessel data expands every day as new, massive amount of ship data is recorded and stored in our servers constantly. With an API subscription, you will have full access to all the current and “future” Historical Ships Data API content as long as your subscription is active, and at budget-friendly costs and introductory rate advantages.

For any further questions you may have about the API, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

We’d be happy to talk about your project and exchange ideas about how our data can be useful for you, and in the most efficient way.

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