Articles written by Lars Brandstäter

Update: servers are going down for maintenance this night!

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Update, 20081212, 9:20am GMT:
System is running again, we did need 6 hours indeed for transfer and switching.
So welcome back on Digital-Seas, we hope you “feel” the improvement !

20081211, 12:00am GMT,
We are sorry for your inconvenience.
Digital-Seas is getting new database servers this night (starting: December 12, 2008 at 0:15 am, GMT). During the offline time no image uploads or vessel tracking will be possible.

We have to stop our database and switch over to the new machine, which will take about 4 hours.
Then we will test the new setup which will take some time too :-)

Let’s cross our fingers, if all went fine, digital-seas.com and Fleetmon will be up again early in the morning of December 12th GMT.
The new machine will make all of us happier because it`s about 8 times faster than the old one, with plenty of space for the next time (half year?).

Best regards, (Thomas and Lars) your DS-team.


Tools for image geo-localization

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there is a large variety of tools to tag image with geo positions. We started two years ago with an

  • Freeware:
    • GeoSetter – Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista
    • Microsoft Pro Photo Tools – Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista
    • Plugin for Adobe Lightroom for GPS synchronisation : GeoTag – Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista
    • GPS Photo Linker – Mac OS X
    • GeoTag – Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Shareware and commercial Software :
    • OziPhotoTool – $25 (commercial use) – Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista
    • RoboGEO – $39,95 (personnal use), $79,95 (commercial use) – Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista
    • Downloader Pro – $29,95 – Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista

My personal recommandation is GeoSetter which is an astonishing piece of free software and does all of your geo setting needs :-)



Busy weeks: Antwerp, Amsterdam, Athens now covered.

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Even GB is present now

with a little help of our friends…

Thanks to Stevo in Belgium, Johan in the Netherlands, also Costas and Lekkas in Greece, we did increase the reception of DS for more then 50% in the last three weeks. We rearranged the areas into the known Seas, we dropped the city selections, because there are just to much (hope, everybody is using a fast computer).

Very motivating for us, we now wish for a client, which is able to track all the vessels at the same time.

We are working on that of course. There are a couple extensions in the search function and the detail view of a vessel. We are now displaying the ship history of names and flags. Did we mention the new Blog and the Forums. Please make use of them and start interacting with us!

Uploads of vessel images have strongly increased over the last months, thanks to all the supporters for that.

Next step on Digital Seas will be the introduction of Zone-Alerts for individual vessels and areas, a big step into even more practical returns of this site.

Try searching by typing

Who ever could support us with more AIS reception is very welcome here! Lars


Fleetmon: new client v1.2 now online !

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The next Version of our vessel monitoring client Fleetmon is finally online!We released it this night with lots of new features:
view of scale factorloop-playing trough viewportslooping through vessel listcombination of loop…
The next Version of our vessel monitoring client Fleetmon is finally online!
We released it this night with lots of new features:

  • view of scale factor
  • loop-playing trough viewports
  • looping through vessel list
  • combination of loop modi possible (put this on a big screen please)
  • play modus with anti burn-in design
  • distance measuring between vessels
  • autosave of every user selection (maps, viewports, switches)
  • bug fixes of courseit’s a real improvement, with many new ideas, please give us some feedback> and remarks to it.

We will shortly create a video-training for Fleetmon , to explain the possebilities. Watch out for it next week.


Fall is coming, let us sail into the Mediterranean Sea.

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Just to let you know: with the help of Harry in Spain we are now covering the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea from the strait of Gibraltar up to 120 sm to the East (good weather is our friend here also).

See his website with live weather info from Spain: http://www.malagaweather.com/ and follow his thread in our forum section: http://forum.digital-seas.com/topic/new-tracking-station-online#post-35
Comments are welcome!
We also would like to know, who thinks we should go even more into the south ?


Welcome and thanks to you: industrious members!

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A handheld digital camera.

There have been many new members in the last month, starting to share there spotting results. And they are from all over the seven seas!

I am very happy with the quality of the shots. Since I personally think it’s better to collect one or two nice images of the ship, rather than 8 or 15 of bad angles and views.
Digital-Seas prooves here to be a place for people with high demands on there image quality.
Anyway, we welcome any users here to share with us. If someone is willing to start exchanging ideas about photographing vessels, then let’s talk in the forum:


Usergroup Meeting of Forum-Schiff.de Members in Rendsburg, 2008

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I attended the meeting of Germans famous forum-schiff.de user group Saturday, 30th of August near Rendsburg at the Kanal-Cafe. A Good place to shoot ship-images on the Kiel-Canal, even though the image background at the spot was a bit difficult to manage :)

So everybody was almost all the time outside, spotting and of course talking with each other.
I met Tomas Pinas from Oslo again and we spoke about the developments towards commercializing of shipspotting.com and the next user meeting in Rotterdam in May 2009, also had interesting talks with “hafenfreak”, Martin Leuschner (VT), Dieter Kannengießer, Martin Witte und Christian Costa about spotting and monitoring and could took images of about 15 ships during the day.

Also, beeing in the fields means a good chance, to check on live signals compared to the live situation. The monitoring of AIS signals in the canal happened in three different setups. A small Shipplotter installation with antenna, scanner -discriminator and laptop was available for comparison against AISlive, vesseltracker and Digital-Seas, which where accessed over a mobile-vodaphone connection on the internet. The big picture on the Canal has been available at all three ways, but only SP with antenna and DS showed no distinction, when looking at the live situation. Complete coverage of the area and no delays of the signal are the DS guaranty for beeing usefull and made me kind proud.

tracking AIS with Digital-SeasI would have liked a bit of program over the day to make efficient use of the time and talk about our niche topics as spotters. But the relaxed athmosphere and seeing everybody relishing the perfect day, was a nice impression too. I missed the night talks and the Sunday, since I had to leave in the early evening for my three hour drive back to Rostock.

Thanks to the organizers of www.forum-schiff.de for the beatyful weather, the nice place and the chance to meet and talk in the Kanal-Cafe. Hope to see everybody next year again.



Want some fresh content on your site?

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Put Digital-Seas Widgets onto your Homepage!

Now you can get a piece of Digital-Seas and your contributions also onto your own website. We start with a gallery of the latest vessel images of our database.

Just copy and paste the code for your site and get some fresh content to show.

And meanwhile we continue to program even more widgets for you like: – a “tiny fast uploader” and “all your images on DS” .
Any more wishes here from you ? Please Comment.

Remarks:
To use all of the widgets you need an account on Digital-Seas. After you have logged in you will find a new section in your “My Digital-Seas” area called “My Widgets”.
Here you can copy the HTML-code which you need to be paste into your homepage.