Articles written by Lars Brandstäter

Rebuilding DS and new features already done in April

in Updates by

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

in AIS Station Update, Community by


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 Updates, 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 Updates 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 :-)

Update: servers are going down for maintenance this night!

in Updates by

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, 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

in Updates by

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 :-)