Marinetraffic.com falls in the category “why wasn’t I told about this before?”. It aims to plot all ships carrying AIS and uses volunteer ground stations. Stunningly simple concept (connect AIS receiver to a computer and upload AIS data to a central site)
Here is the state of shipping going to and from (and anchored at) Newcastle this morning:
Clicking on a vessel displays its details:
Wow…. Try it out.
Coverage is not complete (it needs a station in MacKay for example) and of course this is not a system on which yachties would want to rely on exclusively, but its yet another reason for having internet access on board. And a sensible resource for those as yet without our own AIS.
The shape of things to come.