Articles written by Lars Brandstäter

Update: Thursday, 2009-08-20

in Site Updates by

[+] added iPhone page with ScreenCast
[+] added iPhone ForumSection
[+] added Image Pager on VesselDetailPage
[+] added VesselThumbNail on ImageDetailPage

[-] removed pager on VesselDetailPage

[*] changed label speed of vessel from km/h to kn on VesselDetailPage
[*] fixed link to user profiles from ImageDetailPage
[*] finished API to database for external access
[*] base coding for site wide search created

-Recent Ports- integrated and New -Voyage info-

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Last weekend was tough. When adding six brand new harddrives to the server, the sync process took almost 12hours, which was quiet a burden for the server, when all of you came from the weekend, ready to start up Fleetmon in the morning. The database is in full effect, with lots of new opportunities. Now there is enough space and faster drives too and also some exciting new features implemented.


Over the last weeks Thomas worked on a zone scheme and alerting functions. We are taking snapshots of regions and ports the vessels are in, storing this into a new database.
We started using this new info by adding a “recent ports” list on the vessel detail page, running for a week now. Be prepared for more to come and tell us, how you like it.


Also our graphic skills got some chances due to new Vessel-Type-Icons. Streamlining them with the color-scheme of our friends at marinetraffic,  should make it easy for users to learn reading charts here and on other sites. We will use this icons in the new Fleetmon Client and other apps.

One will be the new Fleetmon iPhone Client, which is about to be released at the apple website in the next two weeks. This is cool stuff, with a special “spotter” mode, we will give you the insides, as soon the approval was succesfullwith apple.

This really took some time to program, and now we can fully concentrate on the Site again, defining milestones for Fleetmon V2.
Thomas and me will take a short holiday break next week, some time to relax and write mails again.
All of you have a nice summer too.

Update: Wednesday, 2009-07-08

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We did not want to withhold some Fleetmon internas from you, since we attached great value to this matter. (screenshots of App)
Over the last week Thomas programmed a Flash-Application which makes monitoring quiet simple for us. Now we will get alerted about new sources, it calculates the coverage of antennas, shows the last reception and gives us values like: Raws/minute, range in Kilometers and stream quality.
It will make live easier for us with now more then 50 active AIS sources.

[+] added new internal tool for source monitoring, coverage measuring
[+] added new statistic tool, programmed in Flash


Kiel,DE and Wolgast,DE are new AIS stations

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Today we crossed the amount of over 8400 ships in permanent AIS coverage (real time streams), which is also produced by new antennas established over the last week.
The busy port of Kiel right at the end of the Kiel-Kanal, which is connecting North and Baltic Sea, is covered now by Digital-Seas. With the help of Bernward at we now have a wide view from the tower of a high church, spanning almost 40sm radius.
A bit farer located  in the East of Germany is the city of Wolgast. The small town has a larger yard, where cruiseships and military vessels are produced. The Antenna there is catching traffic up to the border to Poland.

Free Ship Simulation Game Uses Google Earth Platform

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3D Ships Simulator<br /> game in Google Earth has released the first version of a free 3D simulation game which leverages the browser-based Google Earth plugin as the primary graphics engine. The game is called “Ships” and lets you take the helm on ships – barges, cargo ships, container ships, and even a cruise ship (the Queen Mary 2). Everything is in 3D, you can drive the ships anywhere in the world,
there are sound effects, physical modeling, and realistic visual effects that makes this a wonder to behold. Not only that, but the author – Paul van Dinther – has created some great camera tools to make it easier for people to follow the action and see the sights.

You can try Ships right now, click the “Play Now” button, and make sure you read about the keyboard shortcuts. You can also watch the video review of Ships by Frank Taylor, where you might learn more tips on how to use the simulator. Or, read Frank’s complete review at

QUEEN MARY 2 taken by veerluuker
QUEEN MARY 2 taken by veerluuker

old AIS – Sharing server is going offline on Friday, 29th of May 09

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our brave two years old server is going out of business on friday, which makes it necessary for sharers still using this server to change the IP to: Port 33000

we have a video on this page, showing how to setup ShipPlotter with the correct sharing option, to send to the new Digital-Seas Sharing Server.

There are three sources still using the old IP, so if anybody is missing a signal from friday on, please let us know and check the settings in your SP program.

Update: Monday, 2009-05-18

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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.