Sunday, August 23, 2009

Live AIS on the Bay

The image is a partial screen shot of AIS ship traffic on a San Francisco Bay Sunday morning. This snapshot was taken about an hour after low tide. The flood had begun which may explain the traffic jam outside the gate.

This map came from who sells AIS units. Another view can be found at

These sites take data from AIS base stations around the world to give you a picture of live shipping traffic in places as far apart as Oslo or Rio.

As a sailor in San Francisco, this is probably most useful when trying to pick a spot to transit the the gate among the freighters moving 10 to 20 knots.

You would probably not be able to access this on the water via Wi-Fi. It might be useful via cellular broadband or of course using your own VHF based AIS unit.

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