MarineTraffic AIS Network: a growing global community

The evolution of the biggest vessel tracking network and how it is helping us deliver the most comprehensive AIS coverage available today

Photo: “Acqua alta “ Oceanographic Tower of the National Research Council of Italy” (image: Mauro Bastianini / MarineTraffic AIS Station 1018)

Back in 2007 when MarineTraffic began its journey, we operated around just 20 stations in the Aegean. More than a decade later, we have grown to become the largest network of terrestrial AIS receivers in the world.

We have expanded our AIS terrestrial network with over 5,000 active AIS stations located across more than 180 countries around the world, and we have enhanced our coverage with satellite AIS data from the top three satellite providers.

RelatedEverything you wanted to ask about AIS

Anastassis Touros, AIS Network Team Leader, told me that the number of our AIS-receiving stations keeps rising day by day as we continue to improve our global coverage.

“Combined with satellite AIS data and stations onboard vessels, we are able to deliver the most comprehensive AIS coverage available today and provide an updated position every six minutes,” he added.

Related: [Free Guide] Understanding AIS: Terrestrial vs Satellite AIS Tracking

This means that more frequent updates on the location of the ships are generated, helping more people stay connected and safe, contributing to the efficiency and the transparency of the shipping industry.

“We have recorded an increase of about 16.59% in positional AIS messages received over the first ten months of the year compared to the same period last year,” Anastassis commented.

Most of our terrestrial AIS stations are operated by volunteers who work in partnership with MarineTraffic. As no technical background or involvement in maritime business is needed to become a station owner, you can easily install a station to simply contribute to the safety of sailors at sea.

“Practically, anyone can set-up and operate an AIS-receiving station. The only prerequisites are constant power supply and a stable internet connection.”

With the amazing help of our contributors, we are able to make more maritime data available to the world, even in the most remote places.

“From Belize to Angola, Turkmenistan and Guia de Isora in Spain and many many more countries around the world, we are excited to have welcomed a lot of new stations over the past months,” says Katerina Koukaki, AIS Network Development Agent at MarineTraffic.

The MarineTraffic Contributors community has been very active, while their involvement is ongoing. Especially in difficult times such as natural disasters or other incidents, most station owners are providing assistance to search and rescue operations and further contributing to safety. It’s important to us to be building all of this with people who are invested in the community and who represent a diverse set of backgrounds and voices.

Meet our AIS Network Success Agent

AIS is on the rise, and as the number of stations is increasing, we have made changes to our Network team, introducing a new role: AIS Network Success Agent. Our team member behind this exciting role is Riza Acuna who makes sure all AIS-receiving stations are up and running.

Riza is dedicated to keeping this passionate and super active community of AIS station owners engaged and happy through a series of great initiatives! For example, a few months ago, we launched a photo contest exclusively for our station owners

“While it has always been our goal to be reactive as well as proactive to the needs of our AIS Data Contributors, we also try to engage more by running fun contests, such as this photo contest,” says Riza.

“It is impressive to see how our station owners can get creative with their installations and it is so cool seeing where our stations are installed,” she highlights.

To participate in the contest, the station owners had to submit the photo(s) of the actual place that their station is located. The photos that received the most votes from the rest of the community were the winners. 

Curious to see the winning photos?

MarineTraffic AIS stationsThese are the photos that received the highest number of Likes from every MarineTraffic AIS station owner who participated in the photo contest.

With three inspiring photo themes, you can see what MarineTraffic AIS stations look like in various places worldwide. From magnetic photos of stations in “Scenic View” to impressive displays of the station setups (“Innovative Setup”) and others captured in low light (AIS in Darkness), our contributors have been really creative.

Being part of the MarineTraffic Contributors Crew, means you are also entitled to enjoy free MarineTraffic datasets that can be leveraged in both personal and professional cases. From endless ship-spotting to business operations at ports and marinas, AIS-receiving station owners have access to even more information and support.

We are proud of this powerful community and we will continue to work closely with them to improve our global coverage and services.

Invite a friend to join our community

Send to your friends the link below and help them be part of the world’s largest AIS-Receiving Network: