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MarineTraffic position self-reporting

Use your smart phone on board to report the positions of your vessel to MarineTraffic without the need for an AIS transponder

mAIS is a mobile application which enables you to use your mobile device as a means of reporting the positions of a vessel to MarineTraffic.

GPS-enabled devices (iPhone/iPad and Android) can be used to report the position, details and status of a vessel in case an AIS transponder is not available or the vessel is not within the range of the MarineTraffic AIS-receiving Network.

mAIS is not AIS

mAIS simulates the data transmitted by AIS transponders. However, it only transmits data through the Internet and not through AIS radio-frequencies. It is clear that the information transmitted by mAIS is not visible by the AIS receivers of other vessels. It will only be displayed on the MarineTraffic website and apps. As such, mAIS is only a vessel's self-reporting tool that does not substitute real AIS transmissions and it is not, by any means, related to the safety and navigation equipment of a vessel.

Intended mAIS Use

Provided that Internet connectivity is available, the vessel's positions will start getting reported once the mAIS application is started on your mobile device. Note that the position reporting will continue even if the app is running in the background! This application is intended to be used only as a vessel's reporting tool and not as a personal location reporting tool. Therefore, it is important to be used only when the device is on board a vessel and it must be switched off whenever the device leaves the vessel!

How to Use mAIS

An active MarineTraffic account is required in order to start position reporting using the mAIS application.
The registration process is easy and completely free
After creating your MarineTraffic account, the app must be configured to use the registered email and password, as well as all valid details of the reporting vessel. Thus, a valid MMSI number together with other vessel details (such as the vessel's name, call-sign, dimensions, destination, ETA, etc) must also be configured.

What if my vessel does have a valid MMSI number?

The MMSI number is the key value for position reporting. A valid MMSI number (configured in the mAIS app) is required in order to send position reports to MarineTraffic. However, smaller vessels may not be assigned with a MMSI number. In such a case, you are still able to use mAIS, after having registered your vessel for a unique vessel ID using this form. Note that the unique vessel ID number we will provide you with is not an official MMSI number and it is only used for position reporting purposes on MarineTraffic. This number is NOT to be programmed into any radio equipment such as AIS transponders or DSC radio.

mAIS is recommended to be used on GPS-enabled devices

mAIS will work on GPS-enabled devices such as iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or later, iPad 3G and all GPS-enabled Android devices, as long as the "Location Services" are enabled. It may not work properly on devices that do not have built-in GPS (i.e. iPod or iPad WiFi) and the position reports may not be accurate.

Types/Frequency of mAIS-reported Messages

There are two types of messages that the mAIS application sends to the MarineTraffic servers: Dynamic data (coordinates, speed, course) are sent frequently (default time interval is 1 minute). Static and voyage-related data (vessel's name, dimensions, destination, eta, etc.) are sent periodically (default time interval is 10 minutes). Both time intervals are configurable. Note that the amount of data sent over the Internet (thus, using your connection's bandwidth) is rather negligible in size.

Bandwidth Consumption

The bandwidth consumed by mAIS is minimal. Even if mAIS is configured to send position reports at the highest frequency possible, it will use about 150 bytes/minute, which translates to 210KB in one day or 6MB for a whole month of continuous use.

Battery Consumption

The mAIS app is regularly reporting your vessel's positions while making use of your device's GPS. In most cases, this is a power-intensive operation that will exhaust the battery of your device in a few hours. It is recommended to have your device plugged-in whenever you are using mAIS.

E-mail Notifications

In order to avoid unwanted position reporting, MarineTraffic will send e-mail notifications to your registered e-mail address, whenever your app is active. This also serves as a reminder that position reporting should only be active when you are at sea and must be turned off when at land.


Data is provided for informational reasons only and is not to be related by any means to the safety of navigation. MarineTraffic provides the collected information via the mAIS application on mobile devices "as is". MarineTraffic does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the collected information nor commits to ensuring that the service remains available or that the material on the MarineTraffic website is kept up-to-date. Under these terms and conditions, MarineTraffic will not be liable for any direct or indirect loss or damage or in connection with the information provided by the mAIS application or by the MarineTraffic website. Consequently, the Provider, the administrators of mAIS and MarineTraffic Services and their partners cannot provide any type of guarantee neither are responsible for the correctness, validity, thoroughness and accuracy of the published information, nor for the suitability of its usage for purposes other than informational.

Make sure you have read the MarineTraffic Terms of Use