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    Re: look into marinetraffic.com
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Mar 1, 20:23 -0800

    Thanks for pointing this out. I've been having a lot of fun with this as well as local sites that do similar things. For those of you who know the San Francisco Bay area, you will get a kick out of http://Hd-SF.com which combines a live web cam with AIS data. It's great fun watching ships approaching the camera's field of view on the map and then switching over to see them glide by, knowing the vessel's name and where it's headed. Big Brother may be too much fun to escape. This, btw, would clearly be a great application for those new smartphones with their "augmented reality" applications. Just click on the app, point it at SF Bay (or the English Channel, or Long Island Sound) and little tags appear over each ship in view identifying them and giving all that other fun AIS data.

    These software products, even at this demo stage, also convince me again that we're headed very rapidly for an era where the seas are navigated and managed more like air-traffic control. The technology has already been demonstrated to receive and distribute AIS data from small cheap satellites in Low Earth Orbit. In just a few years, we may have the ability to track every vessel on Earth in real-time (how many are there anyway?). That will change everything...


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