A beginner’s guide to the Live Map

We dive deep into some of our Live Map features that help more than 6.2 million users navigate, explore and get the most out of MarineTraffic

The first thing a user sees when visiting our platform is the Live Map

From essential daily business operations, such as tracking a vessel’s position or an entire fleet in near real-time to people simply following the movements of the vessels that are carrying their loved ones, our Live Map receives more than six million visitors every month.

Whether you know what you are searching for or you just want to explore a cool functionality, we’ve put together a list of five tips to make navigating the Live Map easier and a bit more fun.

Measuring Distance

Do you want to measure the distance from point A to point B? With our recently added feature, you can now easily calculate how many nautical miles this would take with just a few clicks.

Here’s how it works

With a right-click on any point on the Live Map, a menu is displayed. Choosing “Measure Distance” sets a first waypoint where you clicked and, from there, you can create more waypoints wherever you want on the map. Each time you create a waypoint, the distance from the last is visible by hovering over the marker. To exit this view, right-click again and choose “Exit measure distance”.

Pro tip: Did you know that you can also display a projected trail of each vessel’s course on the Live Map? Select the Projected Course feature from the Layers option in the Live Map Toolbar, to see a route estimation based on the vessel’s actual routes reported via AIS (make sure you are in zoom level 8).
Sounds exciting? Learn more

Past Track 

Let’s say you want to see where a vessel has been the past few days. You can visualise its past movements with our Past Track feature. 

Here’s how it works

Through the Live Map toolbar, simply search for the vessel you want to track and select the Past Track option on the new window that is displayed. By clicking on the button, the vessel’s past positions will be shown on the map. The positions of the past few days are available to all free users, and more past positions can be accessed through Voyage Data service, accessing activity for the last 30 days.

Voyage Planner

With Voyage Planner, you can visualise and review sea routes information based on our Density Maps of actual movements of vessels. Stay informed and easily check the routes through this handy feature.

Here’s how it works

Select a position on the Live Map and right-click so the context menu is displayed. Choose “Plan Voyage From here” and enter the destination port. If you are not sure, you can also search for the destination port through the Live Map Toolbar on the left. Once you choose it, the route is automatically displayed on the Map.

Add the Voyage Planner service to your account for more Route and Voyage options. Learn more about Voyage Planner Pro here.


Whether you are supporting media reports, reviewing an incident or simply want to visualise the tracks of your favourite yacht or racing boat, you can see an animated playback of vessel movements on our Live Map. 

Here’s how it works

From the toolbar on the left of the Live Map, select the Playback feature. When the player control appears at the bottom of the map, you can “Select vessels” to search and select which vessel you want to view. Clicking on the Play button will start your replay.

Pro tip: You can see more information when playing back a vessel’s movements, (such as name, MMSI and speed) by ticking the boxes on the player.
If you want to get animated replays for multiple vessels with an even more detailed view of their activity, check our advanced Playback functionality here.

Weather Maps

Weather conditions have a massive impact on maritime activity and you can see weather conditions and forecasts on our Live Map. This means you can have a view of vessel positions and local weather information so you remain up-to-date on potential risks or delay factors.

Here’s how it works

Clicking on the Weather icon on the Live Map Toolbar automatically activates the Wind barbs option, giving you a picture of current wind conditions and a 24-hour wind forecast. This feature is available to all MarineTraffic users. However, you can get additional weather information, as well as wind forecasts for up to 72 hours, with the Weather Maps Service or the MarineTraffic Essential Bundle.

Need more weather information? Stay tuned because our Product Team is about to introduce two new weather features! You can always check out our latest product updates here.

I hope you find these features useful and start using them right away. If you haven’t already registered, and want to get access to more cool features, sign up to create your free account here. You will be able to create a fleet and custom areas or set notifications to get notified on important events.


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