Articles written by Lars Brandstäter

Update: Monday, 2009-05-18

in Site Updates by

This monday brought many changes to the Site, we worked on over the last weeks.
They will solve issues of lost vessels Ids and missing assignments of images, our users reported.

[*] introduced complete new database and recieving scheme for AIS data
[+] extended evaluation of AIS types and messages (Class-B, Stations, SARs etc)

[*] adjusted all modules for new unique vessel ID
[+] Added new Coverage Flag in Vessel-Lists

[*] Vessel image thumbnail view updated.
[+] Added new Vessel Image Detail page.
[+] Added image alert on detail page.
[*] Fixed bug on URL redirect, leading to 404 pages for Users
[-] changed User page speaking URL (attention: bookmark adjustments could be neccs.)


Attention: Database rebuild is going online today

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Today is a big day for us, we will bring a completely remodeled database online.
We will try to keep the site running inbetween, in the best case you want notice the switch, in the worst, the site will not be available at all :-)
So please excuse any disturbances over the day, we are still working hard.
It was already hard work over the last weeks, what will this update approve? Speed, Class-B tracking, a multi level scheme for vessel identification (no unassigned records anymore) and the ground for feautures like zone alerts, port tracking and destination lists.
We will give you another report, when today works are finsihed.

Lisboa, Terneuzen, Bremen, Antwerp online

in AIS Station Update, Community by

Always good to talk about new Stations in the network covering more maritime areas. Over the last weeks we covered the ports of Lisboa in Portugal and closed some reception gaps on the river Weser with an Antenna in Bremen.  The Port of Antwerp is now covered with three stations to give you the track of vesel traffic for this long entrance.
A new antenna in Kiel will finish the last bit of the Kiel-Canal between Rendsburg and the Kieler Förde, coming next Weekend. Thanks to Jose, Stevo and Bernward and Bernd from Navkom (please use the links to visit their projects and companies).
We are welcome very much, every attempt to share AIS signals with DS, or open new antenna stations in regions worldwide.

We are working hard on the new database scheme, it will be released next week and brings blasting speed and much better reliability (known issues with overwritten data will be solved). We also extended the reading of the complete AIS set, to be open for Class-B and all other messages. It is fun to follow the SARs objects in real time (much faster then the ordinary ship)  :-)   We adjusted the start view of the vessel search to reflect the most actual changes in traffic. There is also a new flag for beeing inside the coverage right in the list.

I will fly to Istanbul tomorrow, to have meetings and will give you some impressions over the next days.


Rebuilding DS and new features already done in April

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Thomas and me are planning a new DS database for a while, which will be able to add different kind of data around vessels, even ships, we haven’t tracked yet via AIS.
Also the new Fleetmon – client is in the works and better community features for the site. This will be a major step for this website and there is a lot of background work neccessary. Hope to see the results in May, we are trying hard (in our small amount of spare time). Done already is the rebuild of the Vessel Gallery, with photographers credits and comment options.

A :en:U.S. Coast Guard Operations Specialist u...
Image via Wikipedia

In between you could try the new comment feature for Vessel-Images, the option to flag images in question and the new counter of comments, shown in all Ship-thumbnails. We have extended our Forum and the Blog. Now it is possible, to upload or link images also in your posts / comments. This will make live easier for all of us, when talking about ship images.
I will use this new option to start a discussion with you, about image quality and workflow and hope for feedback. Have a nice sunday…. Lars

New AIS Stations in the Netherlands, Greece and Germany

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Over the last two weeks we opened new AIS stations on Digital-Seas to extend the coverage.
There are now Antennas in Harlingen-NL, Samothraki-GR, Wismar,DE and another part of the river Elbe right above Hamburg,DE connected.
Thanks to Sebastiaan, Ralf, Dennis and the port of Wismar.
We are now working on AIS tracking in Portugal and Spain and yes, a little bit more of the States :-)

Digital Signage: – Hello Ship – at port of Rostock

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We’ve created a solution to show live traffic in the Baltic (on several big screens) for a newly opened place here in Rostock called “Pier7”. It is located right at the Port entrance of Rostock and it’s a crowded place with a shop and a restaurant and lot’s of space to hang out and have a drink during spotting. They were asking us to develop something like a “Schiffsbegrüssungsanlage” (ship welcome point) and we made some suggestions for having a live view on maritime traffic. On the big screens inside and outside the area, it is now possible to follow the action, watch AIS traffic, get to know the next days arrivals, look at live webcams and nice for us: know when to take the next shot (with a coffee on the table if you like to…)

So everybody who wants to come to Rostock-Warnemünde and spot some ships, do not miss the Pier7 spot and relax at this nice located place.

Updates in february: coop with aishub opens the Black Sea

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coverage_in_february2009with Varna in Bulgaria beeing online, we are also covering a nice port in the Black Sea thanks to Peter of VTExplorer. The view of the Bosphorus in Istanbul gives you great maritime live and with the help of Mehmet there, we will also get some vessel images right from this wonderfull place. Sinisa shared his signal from Split in Croatia with us and we opened our new station today with the help of Andreas in the port of Limassol in Cyprus.
Thanks also to Henrik who managed to put the North of Denmark online and Lars in Malmö for his great “Swedish” coverage.
Look up in the North of Norway, the Ports of Riga in Latvia, Tallin in Estland or Kotka in Finnland. There is much better coverage now for GB and Ireland.
Samothraki in Greece will be our next shot this month :)
With all those new places to cover, there are around 2000 vessels per day more to handle.
We will work hard to release the next version of Fleetmon with much improved performance soon.

Get your fast overview here:

Busy winter times, here are the numbers.

in News, Site Updates by

just to give you a short update on our developments in the new year 2009:

more then 20.000 Users registered,
more then 50.000 vessel entries in the database,
more then 10.000 vessels with over 20.000 image-uploads,
new AIS Sources every month (Malmoe, Helsinki, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Dover, Athens)
new global AIS vessel traffic – KML with our complete coverage is now available,

restructure of menue: Tracking/Regions to reflect new AIS sources,
permanent up to date overview of our AIS coverage,
new topic in forum section regarding image copyrights,
brand new sharing server, new webserver,
loads of code fixing in the website and the AIS section of the site,
lots of conversations to possible partners,

Please let us know in the Forum Section about your experiences and whishes with Digital-Seas.
(or comment right here :-)

Thanks to all of the users,
great cheers to our sharers and
all the best for the new Year 2009!

Happy New Year 2009

in News by

Trying to produce a better understanding when explaining AIS, I have to come up with some visuals also.
So here are the first results. There will be another final version.
Let me know about any comment :-)