Vessel Tracking Data Used for Ocean Planning

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Vessel traffic data, or Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, are collected by the U.S. Coast Guard through an onboard navigation safety device that transmits the location and characteristics of large vessels for tracking in real time. The project team has worked with the Coast Guard and NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey to repurpose and make available some of the most important data for use in ocean planning applications. This webinar provides an overview of the data available and examples of how the AIS data are being used, including scoping wind planning areas, evaluating ship anchorage areas, and analyzing changes to shipping lanes through a national marine sanctuary.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify a variety of vessel-tracking data products and tools and how to access them via
  • Recognize how the products can be applied to a range of ocean-planning activities


Daniel Martin, NOAA Office for Coastal Management
Stephen Creed, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Kyle Ward, NOAA Office of Coast Survey
Andrea Dransfield, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Recorded June 2, 2014