Radar display (in Cape Town harbour)

The coolest thing I have EVER seen

(Well, almost…)

I found a website run by the University of the Aegean that records live ship movements across much of the world’s oceans. The data is collected using Automatic Identification System (AIS), a transponder-based monitoring system mandated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for all ships over 299 tons. These transponders transmit the vessel’s speed, course, dimensions, name and current position.

The result is this map. Check it out – you can zoom in to specific areas. Click on the little ship icons to get details of the vessel and (often) a photograph. Totally awesome!!

If you explore the site a bit you can also find lists of which vessels using the AIS system are in port at the moment. Here’s Cape Town.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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