How to Get Maritime Traffic Data?

How Marine tracking is done in 2020?

Why maritime traffic data is important on a global scale?

Maritime traffic data services make sure that vessel flow goes smooth. It makes sure there are no collisions on the sea. As Vessels accidents may lead to vessel damage, oil spills, environmental pollution, and loss of transported goods.

International Maritime Organization (IMO) not only ensures safety of vessel routes but also allows to create and maintain maritime traffic efficient. IMO prevents maritime and atmospheric pollution caused by the transportation maritime industry.

Here is a visual example of maritime traffic and ship density on the exit and entrance to a port. This visualization is based on historical data gathered by AIS-receiving stations. The red color represents strong maritime traffic and busy maritime areas common for vessels. The yellow color on the maritime density map indicated the average occupancy of the waters. The green color represents lower maritime traffic on waters around the given port.

You can easily create similar visualizations using Datalastic maritime API.


Map Graf showing color Marine Traffic Density

History of maritime traffic data tracking

Back in the days when Vessel Traffic System (VTS) did not exist, the ship crew was in full charge of manual navigation. The ship would signal docking intention by waving with a flag. With a growing number of maritime fleet and busier maritime traffic, manual signaling wasn’t efficient enough anymore. Vessels accidents became more common to the point when the world realized there is a need for a unified VTS.

Because of that IMO implemented resolution A.578(14) in 1985 which dictates the guidelines for Vessel Traffic Services. At roughly the same time other VTS organizations started appearing (IMPA, IFSMA, IALA, IHMA and IAPH). They are nowadays are also part of standardized VTS protocol.

VTS and maritime traffic surveillance are determined by the law and regulated by a few maritime traffic related parties via AIS maritime traffic identificational system.

How to access vessels traffic databases based on AIS?

All data about ships traffic such as historic ais maritime traffic and live maritime traffic is processed and stored using Automatic Identification System (AIS). Each vessel has an AIS device. After that device emits signals to AIS receiving stations either Terrestrial or Satellite AIS receivers. In the end, different Datalastic partners then receive and decode the AIS maritime data. Datalastic platform takes this information from there and stores it in our databases.

All in all, Datalastic REST API web services stores historical maritime information, real-live maritime traffic overview, and future ships maritime traffic forecast. It is very cheap and easy to get the API key and begin using the data for your project or application.