Speaking yesterday (27 May) at the Union for the Mediterranean stakeholder conference, “Towards a Roadmap for Blue Investment and Jobs in the Mediterranean” held in Athens, Marine Traffic managing director Demitris Memos explained:
“Activities taking place on the high seas have in the past been almost impossible to monitor. Consequently, it has been difficult for governments and businesses to work out what goes on. The world’s oceans have been and to an extent still are fairly ungovernable places. Companies in the maritime big data area are starting to make sense of sea-borne activity, increasing available knowledge and creating transparency on a global scale. Most stakeholders recognise that it is a good thing and will enable better regulation of our oceans and contribute significantly to the shipping industry’s competitiveness.”
Memos commented further on the need for open data sharing, stating:
“In terms of overall knowledge gaps, a key weakness is the sheer amount of data being generated. This is an issue for the big data industry in general, not just maritime. We need to make better sense of the immense amount of data we have and improve at extracting meaningful knowledge from it. However to do this, more data is needed! To understand causes and effects, data from multiple sources is needed and for this reason, we would encourage open data sharing.”
MarineTraffic believes that open data and transparency can positively contribute to the overall competitiveness of the shipping industry, significantly improving efficiency in a number of areas.
MarineTraffic is the leading and most popular global AIS facility with over 600, 000 registered users and almost 20 million vessel positions registered each day. It is an open, community-based project providing free real-time information to the public about ship movements and ports mainly across the coast-lines of many countries around the world. The system is based on Automatic Identification System (AIS). Marine Traffic operates over 2, 000 AIS stations located in more than 165 countries across the world and delivers the most comprehensive AIS coastal tracking facility available today.
Through a partnership with Orbcomm, MarineTraffic also offers a satellite tracking facility for those vessels on ocean passages and out of range of coastal AIS stations. This allows vessels to be monitored in open ocean.
MarineTraffic attracts around 5 million unique visitors and almost 20 million visits to its website each month. More than 500, 000 users access MarineTraffic from mobile apps.