Here’s something a little different, and although not really weather related it’s interesting and good fun to see all the current shipping movements taking place around our coast. Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an aid to navigation to help ships avoid collisions, as well as helping the rescue services and port authorities to better control sea traffic.

All commercial vessels over 300 Gross Tonnes are fitted with AIS transponders which allow other vessels to see who is sailing near to them. The transponders send data to a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, which collects position and movement details.

The screen will automatically update every 30 seconds or so, and because the map is a Google overlay you can drag it about (simply hold the left button of your mouse down and drag) and zoom in and out. Try it!

Map and data supplied by

If it’s a bit small click here for a full screen version.