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    Re: look into marinetraffic.com
    From: Carl Herzog
    Date: 2010 Feb 23, 08:29 -0800

    Jeremy wrote:
    "I love AIS for traffic management. When I first was going through the English Channel in 2000, our radars were interfaced with GPS, so when we called another ship we read off their course and heading, as well as their location. We then told them that we were the ship so many miles and at some bearing to them. This was reasonably accurate, but a lengthy process. Today with AIS, especially if they are interfaced with the radars (mine aren't unfortunately), you can call a ship by name and/or callsign and they can find you by name or callsign. It makes for much clearer communications."

    AIS has dramatically cut down radio traffic on the ships I'm on. Determining intentions is much easier with everybody automatically id'ed and plotted. In addition to being fed to an ARPA, AIS data can also be displayed on a chartplotter. The combination of these features makes for incredibly rapid situation assessment.

    By the way, in addition to all the other information it provides, AIS is also capable of transmitting text messages between vessels. I don't think that gets much use -- at least not for navigation. More than once I've heard the buzzer from an incoming message only to find a "Hi! How are you?" text from a bored, late-night watchstander on a passing ship...


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