shipping nerds, rejoice
June 18, 2009 11:41 AM   Subscribe

"Now this is cool. Hellenic Shipping has a Google Maps mashup showing interactive, live data on the global shipping fleet." [via]
posted by lalex (43 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's pretty amazing, and useful to those of a piratical mindset.
posted by jquinby at 11:43 AM on June 18, 2009


This is good. I was so sick and tired of using the stupid click-and-wait MapQuest interface to find my piracy targets.
posted by Plutor at 11:46 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I hovered the mouse over a ship, and the pointer turned from a finger to a grabby hand.

Oh, the disappointment.
posted by darksasami at 11:46 AM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Strange how there's currently no activity near the Panama Canal.
posted by jaimev at 11:51 AM on June 18, 2009


Suck it, shipping nerds!
posted by Eideteker at 11:56 AM on June 18, 2009


Looks like the map is actually from http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/.
posted by idb at 11:56 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sittin' in the morning sun
I'll be sittin' when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah

Yeah. It's cool.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:57 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having just finished season 2 of The Wire, I'm convinced I can break up an international trafficking ring with this by the weekend.
posted by Adam_S at 11:58 AM on June 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


You'll know what my riddle means
When you've eaten mangosteens.

Or if you can't wait till then, ask them to let you have the outside page of the Times; turn over to page 2 where it is marked 'Shipping' on the top left hand; then take the Atlas (and that is the finest picture-book in the world) and see how the names of the places that the steamers go to fit into the names of the places on the map. Any steamer-kiddy ought to be able to do that; but if you can’t read, ask some one to show it you.
posted by darksasami at 11:58 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is unendurable, gentlemen.

Someone needs to create a simulation in which our grabby hands can sling bulk freighters into the bows of hapless tankers or bring them into range of the batteries at Gibraltar or simply scuttle them in the middle of a busy sea lane.

A running account of the Baltic Dry Index and skyrocketing maritime insurance costs would be nice, too.
posted by Kikkoman at 12:02 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are there shipping nerds?
posted by flippant at 12:08 PM on June 18, 2009


Literal shipping? Bleh. I was hoping for a "where's my 'overnight' shipment, amazon!?!?" live action.
posted by DU at 12:15 PM on June 18, 2009


I find this strangely compelling, even if I am a girl. My brother is fairly active on Boatnerd.com which tracks Great Lakes shipping traffic (they go out on their boat to "spot" interesting vessels coming into Chicago). Must be genetic.
posted by readery at 12:16 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was hoping for a "where's my 'overnight' shipment, amazon!?!?" live action.

You want boxoh.com for that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:21 PM on June 18, 2009


For all of you would-be pirates, I'm sorry, but it's not accurate at all. I commute from South Seattle to North Seattle every day along highway 99 (the Alaskan way viaduct, HWY 99), and none of the ships that I see are on this map. Do ships in port not count? And, even if docked ships don't show up, how are almost all of the non-US ships missing from Seattle?
posted by shrabster at 12:43 PM on June 18, 2009


This will be banned as a national security risk in 3.....2......1......

Seriously, why are all the ships around shorelines? Can't they track ships on the high seas?
posted by Avenger at 12:45 PM on June 18, 2009


Why can't it monitor offshore? Lets check the FAQ for hints:
Our base stations are equipped with an AIS receiver, a PC and an Internet connection. The AIS unit receives data, which are processed by simple software on the PC and then sent to a central database by means of a ‘web service’. This software is free for anyone interested, under a GNU license. (Read section 'Cover your Area' for more information on how to install your own AIS base station).
So basically, this data is mainly coming from ports. You'd have to do serious maintenance to monitor the entire ocean.
posted by pwnguin at 12:57 PM on June 18, 2009


And the plot of another E Annie Proulx novel is made obsolete.
posted by GuyZero at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are there shipping nerds?
Yes
posted by adamvasco at 1:03 PM on June 18, 2009


And again: Yes
posted by adamvasco at 1:05 PM on June 18, 2009


Google Earth Shipping simulator plugin
posted by acro at 1:08 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Recent Ship Positions in the San Fransico Bay (which also uses that nifty AIS tracking) has little animated boat-y icons.
posted by bhance at 1:16 PM on June 18, 2009


This is awesome.
posted by !Jim at 1:25 PM on June 18, 2009


All it told me was that the big red RORO that's been anchored just south of the Bay Bridge on the Chesapeake for the past few weeks is still there. My only guess as to why they've been there that long is that nobody's buying cars. Poor bastards. Cool post, though.

And yeah, like someone else said, the AIS system is so ships know where other ships are. It's public info. It's pretty cool to see them pop up onscreen and give you course, heading, etc. And then you realize none of the little sailboats have the system and you have to keep a lookout for them because half of them don't understand the Law of Gross Tonnage. Jibe ho!
posted by zap rowsdower at 1:27 PM on June 18, 2009


I am hoping this can tell me the more about of the big barges that spend the weekend on the Hudson from around 86th street up to around 150th street.
posted by shothotbot at 1:35 PM on June 18, 2009


It's true! I can see this one from my window!
posted by Acey at 2:06 PM on June 18, 2009


This is awesome. If you zoom in to the Strait of Gibraltar, you can see the poor ferry cat that is crossing back and forth amidst all the real traffic.
posted by smackfu at 2:10 PM on June 18, 2009


Wasn't there a post on the blue a few years ago similar to this? I can't find it now. Where my ships at?
posted by emelenjr at 2:15 PM on June 18, 2009


This is super cool. I'm astonished not only that the data is public, but that it's collected in a central place.
posted by Nelson at 2:16 PM on June 18, 2009


This will be banned as a national security risk in 3.....2......1......

If you pick Norfolk in the list of ports, you can zoom in to see the US Naval base. Which has no ships in it that are broadcasting this location data.
posted by smackfu at 2:20 PM on June 18, 2009


It's true! I can see this one from my window!

Who the fuck calls a boat 'aqua'?
posted by twine42 at 2:26 PM on June 18, 2009


This is really cool, however absolutely accurate it really is.

I'm surprised by all of the ships clustered around Iceland. I didn't realize that it was such a busy shipping area. And what's up with that one lone ship indicated in Antarctica, just south of Australia?

The Recent Ship Positions in the San Francisco Bay link from bhance is cool, too.
posted by Samantha the Curious at 2:29 PM on June 18, 2009


Konami code doesn't work. Also, I want to play as a pirate.

Two and a half stars.
posted by rokusan at 2:41 PM on June 18, 2009


Amazingly, it shows boats on the Thames up to Westminster bridge it seems.
posted by Helga-woo at 2:45 PM on June 18, 2009


I'm putting this next to the RSOE EDIS in my situation room evil overlord command center.
posted by djb at 3:28 PM on June 18, 2009


Oops,

I'm putting this next to the RSOE EDIS in my situation room evil overlord command center.
posted by djb at 3:29 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


djb, I was just about to go get that link... nice.
posted by acro at 4:08 PM on June 18, 2009


Are there shipping nerds?

Apparently so, and I wasn't aware I was one until I started playing with this map today. If the weather weren't so atrocious here I would walk over to the East River to see if I could observe some of the plotted boats.

Incidentally, the interface idb links to above is far superior to the one I posted.
posted by lalex at 4:13 PM on June 18, 2009


Ancient Greece Express
posted by homunculus at 4:33 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


djb, I had no idea that the bubonic plague was still out there killing people, let alone in Santa Fe. Thank you. I'm sure to sleep better tonight.
posted by cvilleluke at 9:31 PM on June 18, 2009


This is cool, but yeah, completely inaccurate. You're going to tell me they don't have a single vessel on the Asia-Europe route via the Suez? Right. I mean, I know you don't want the pirates having that info, but seriously.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:25 PM on June 18, 2009


AIS is designed as an anti-collision system. Basically every commercial ship (since 2004) need to send a AIS signal (position, speed, direction etc) on VHF. This gets received by other ships in the radio range (some kilometers) - then a small program calculates the chance of a collision and eventually raise an alarm.

some small boats have this system too, just the receiver part, instead of radar systems (which are a pain for small boats). Because fiberglass is quite transparent to radar, they are not "seen". AIS helps so that *you* at least see them.

The fact you don't see boats at all in certain parts (Suez canal) is due to the fact that there is no one there that can be bothered to install the antenna-receiver-pc-internet stuff required. And of course everything out of radio sight is not displayed at all.
posted by elcapitano at 6:30 AM on June 19, 2009


This is cool! (And yes, the link idb posted is superior.) I'm a shipping nerd to the extent that my job involves working with freight that travels on cargo ships. I don't expect this to provide me with a whole lot of useful information beyond what I already get from the ocean carriers and ports, but there are some carriers that are notoriously unhelpful when it comes to giving information about, for example, when vessel x can be expected to arrive at port y after stopping at port z. With this, I won't have to suffer being bullshitted by customer service reps who claim that there's no way for them to tell if a vessel has departed yet.

This morning I used the website to track the Cosco Dalian as it approached Seattle, and when it was shown to be entering Elliott Bay I looked out the window, and there it was. Very cool!
posted by Balonious Assault at 6:29 PM on June 19, 2009


« Older The American Empire Is Bankrupt...  |  The Snyderphonics Manta... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments