Articles written by Lars Brandstäter

Vessel database now with more then 100.000 entries

in News, Site Updates by

When started three years ago, we had a couple hundred ships listed, mainly tracked in the Southern Baltic. Our effort to build a good designed vessel list, which could constantly grow, has been a success.
With the great help of our members here at Digital-Seas, we’ve created one of the best free resources on the web, today crossing the mark of 100.000 vessels listed. Thanks for that! Read more…

new feature: watermarking your images

in Site Updates by

we added a new way to secure your images against being published on the web by third parties, without beeing asked first. After some discussion in our forum and members asking for a solution, we came up with an automatic watermarking of images.

Since we do not accept uploaded images with interference of the vessels image, there is now an automatic way to secure your images with a switch, if you want to do so.

how to add a watermark to your image

how to add a watermark to your image

This will give people a chance to secure their images (possibly only part-time, when the newspapers are done with the next pirated vessel :-)
Everybody, who does not like a watermark on own images, check your profile page and unmark the option. We still prefer vessel images without extra watermarks in high resolution on this site. Willing to respect every copyright and listening to you, this is another step towards handling the copyright issues…

Effects, when text is given in your profile and switch is ON:
– no watermarks on small thumbnails in lists and preview thumb inside Fleetmon
– watermark is automatically rendered on vessel images in lightbox and preview mode
– your own preview of the uploaded image in full size will not be affected by the watermark, so you can happily continue using DS as your full size image store

Update: Friday, 2010-04-09

in Site Updates by

– more then 35.000 users are registered
– more then 11.000 vessels in permanent AIS coverage
– more then 99.000 vessels in database
– more then 1.000 Fleetmon :mobile users

new AIS receptions:
[+] added new AIS antenna: Denmark: Fredericia
[+] added new AIS antenna: Sweden: Vänersborg
[+] added new AIS antennas: Belgium: Antwerp, Brussel, Zeebrugge
[+] added new AIS antenna: Netherland: Terschelling, Leeuwarden
[+] added new AIS antennas: Brazil: Sao Vicente, Salvador, Sao Lois
[+] added new AIS antenna: China: Tianjin Xin Gang
[+] added new AIS antenna: Indonesia: Kota Surabaya
[+] added new AIS antennas: Singapur: Johor, Kota Kinabalu Kuching Melaka Miri Port Dickson Port Kelang Tanjung Pelepas Singapore Jurong Island Keppel – (East Singapore) Pulau Bukum Pulau Sebarok Serangoon Harbor

Site changes:
[+] new image watermarking option in user profiles
[+] added vessel history to vessel-detail page
[*] added ETA in port arrival lists

[*] improved algorithm to determine vessel location (verbal)
[+] added inland rivers/ports in Europe for location detection
[*] much extended Fleetmon :mobile Version 1.2 released
[+] new Fleetmon :mobile page
[*] still working on vessel detail edit extension

We are always looking for new AIS coverage. If you could share a signal or establish a new antenna in your port of interest, let us know via: Contact

Update: Friday, 2009-11-20

in Site Updates by

numbers: around 100 new users registering every day, 264 people did upload more then 800 images over the last 30 days, more then 900 users made use of the personel vessel-list, our keen moderators sorted out around 40 images due to quality and copyright reasons in this period, communication needs (mail, phone) around the site are rising…

new AIS receptions:
[+] added new AIS antenna: Germany, Bremen
[+] added new AIS antenna: Germany, Mannheim (Rhine, inland AIS)
[+] added new AIS antenna: Austria, Vienna (Danube, inland AIS)
[+] added new AIS share: USA, Savannah
[+] added new AIS antenna: Spain, Vigo
[+] added new AIS antenna: Portugal, Tavira
[+] added new AIS share: SouthAfrica, Richards Bay
[+] added new AIS share: Singapur, SingapurCity

[+] set up a GIS database of world wide ports and areas
[*] rewrote the Port Listing area to reflect the new Port-Areas in GIS – DB
[*] extended our zone alerting for more then 300 new areas (beta)
[*] made all internal AIS statistics available for sharers
[+] added new page: My AIS Station (users sharing with DS, have access to various parameters of their antennas)
[+] added new page: Chat (for users, looking for a fast way of communication)
[*] reworking the search engine for overall search
[*] created a desktop uploader (ImageManager) for power users (closed beta)

[?] did you try out the site-wide search lately ?

We are always looking for new AIS coverage. If you could share a signal or establish a new antenna in your port of interest, let us know: Contact

Vessel sending AIS signal crossing the Atlantic

in News by

british_pride_20091115Check out the tanker BRITISH PRIDE which is sending us signals directly from their journey over the Atlantic.
The vessel sends the signal right to our server, which makes the blue water monitoring possible. It is heading to the port of Sikka in India. We hope this will be an example for many vessels to come in the near future.

Live view and the 24h track of the British Pride is available at our SharingPage:

The day before the day after tomorrow…

in News by

border_openning_germany_1989did bring 20 years of freedom in my live.
We had a big party last night to honor living in a free country almost half of our lives .
In the night of the 9th November 1989 the wall in Germany came down and we jumped into our “Trabant” car to leave Rostock (EastGermany) on the way to the “green Border” to visit the city of Lübeck (West Germany) for our first time ever. That was a really great time and tears are in my eyes watching all those historic backviews in German television. I am still very glad, that I have the right to say and to do what I think is right.
I would never had the chance in East Germany to do stuff, like this site.

Things can change really quick sometimes, keep believing and take the wave of permanent movement…,
that’s what I learned from our history at least :-)

access to new AIS sources with new pages

in Site Updates, Community by

we have done a bit of sorting in our new AIS sources from Africa, Asia and Europe and created new pages for the real time view with Fleetmon:
new regions are now online:





Australia + New Zealand:

Update: Friday, 2009-10-09

in Site Updates by

statistics: we crossed the 9.000 permanent tracked vessels this month,  almost 90.000 vessels in the database, 16.000 vessels with images…

going for a mindopen dive now:

[+] added new page: My Vessel List (list of monitored vessels)
[*] changed vessel lists + vessel thumbnails to new option of monitoring

[+] added new page: My Ship Finder (visualizing SP XML files)
[+] added new page: Uploads Timeline (all image uploads browsable)

[+] added new Tutorials in the FAQ section (you can listen to Lars voice in the iPhone demo:-)
[+] created new Page explaining DynDNS in the FAQ section

[+] API extensions for Fleetmon :mobile for zone alerts

[*] reaching milestone 2/3  in Fleetmon V2 development

[?] did you try the sitewide search lately ?

Fleetmon Presentation on Seatrade Europe 09

in News by


We went to Hamburg this week for exhibiting our Fleetmon software on Europas biggest fair for the Cruise Ship business.  The Seatrade 2009 had 250 companies from around 50 contries showing their services.
Also our iPhone App Fleetmon :mobile had lots of interest. Owners, Agents and suppliers love to have informations available on the road about the journey of a vessel. We had talks to people from all over the world. Seatrade is a nice international fair and meeting place of  people in the Cruise, Ferry, Rivercruise and Superyacht industries.
As a result of our presentation all users of Digital-Seas can look forward to the extensions of new AIS covered destinations in the world.


Arctic Sea Story in a Glance

in News by

here is a really good article with the story of the journey of ARCTIC SEA. The German Magazine “Telepolis” is a technology related publication with lots of backgrounds to developments.
This article is in German language only.

Einen sehr guten Bericht über die Reise der ARCTIC SEA hat Telepolis heute veröffentlicht. Politische Hintergründe des Seetransports und damit passend zu Digital Seas…

the ARCTIC SEA on FleetMon