Talk:Automatic identification system

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Additional Links[edit]

Hi! I'd like to suggest a link for this article: U.S Cost Guard page about A.I.S: Maybe a link to the Wikipedia-article about ACARS? This is my first posting on Wikipeida.. I know I can edit the article itself... but to make sure I don't step on anybodys toes.. :-)

I understand and agree with the US Coastguard link - but why the ACARS link?
Added Coast Guard link. No toes stepped on! -- Muffuletta 19:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi - Can I suggest an additional external link for live AIS data & maps from the port of Southampton in the UK: 10:24, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Sure thing; seems to meet the requirements (free and helpful). Thank you for discussing it here and for finding a good resource! - Davandron | Talk 02:54, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Greetings. I am new to AIS, and I found the 20-30 links to various AIS displays (which used to be at the very bottom of this page) very useful. I failed to copy the links and now they are gone. They were very helpful to me. Could they be put back? Is there another way to recover them? Pbhls (talk) 20:48, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Minor Edits[edit]

I added a few minor upgrades to the article, and also added a picture of an operations specialist managing vessel traffic using AIS and RADAR. Thought it might be helpful. April 13, 2006

Corrected spelling error "standarized" to correctly read "and using IEC AIS standardized protocol" Stringbean (talk) 18:52, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

SOLAS Link?[edit]

The "SOLAS" link, in the first section, points to something completely random, although still called SOLAS...

Thanks to user, who fixed this on November 19, 2006.

Links to Commercial / Subscription sites[edit]

I've removed the links to non-free AIS data websites and to providers of transponders. Please see the Links to avoid section of the style guide for more on why these links are discouraged. Davandron | Talk 23:38, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Update: Recently, has repeatedly added a link to, a site which is an industrial service site and charges a subscription fee and displays paid-advertisements as well. I have reverted these additions, and asked the user to discuss here. They have not stopped, and have not discussed. I am asking others in the group to look at this site and determine if it is appropriate, given policy on external links. - Davandron | Talk 14:32, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

From what I understand, there is also a free, but limited page on the AIS-live website. The limitation seems to be that you don't get real time information, but instead 1/2 hour delayed info. You do have to register though (for free). Once done, you can access harbors and coastal waters around the world. I haven't tried it, it's just what I'm being told. Please note that I am not the original contributor of the link (at least not this time, but I added the same link a long time ago). In fact I don't care whether it is placed or not, it's just that I saw this discussion about it, and this is my two cents. Regards, Lexw 11:07, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Links to commercial hardware receivers, is it ok?[edit]

Removed the following as potential link spam

*[ AIS Receiver] from

Added by and edited shortly after by The link in question appears to be a hardware manufacturing with links on how to purchase their equipment.

How does the group feel about this? - Davandron | Talk 02:52, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, I pressume here is the discussion. I would say, the list is way too long, and therefore I cleaned it up. The commercial stuff should go per WP:NOT#DIRECTORY, and links should only be there if they tell more about the subject, per WP:EL. Many satisfy one or more of the criteria in WP:ELNO, and this is way beyond a few links as mentioned in the intro. I am going to add a {{linkfarm}} here while this discussion is ongoing. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:37, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it is legitimate to add links to any source of AIS tracking as long as the link denotes the general class of the source (amateur, civil, government, commercial, scientific). This serves as an indicator of AIS promulgation, and is a service to the general interest. If the list leads to vendors, but is not used for commercial purposes by the vendor, it meets the purpose of the wiki. All Things Tracking (talk) 18:08, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

AIS Range Question[edit]

I'd first like to say that I found the entry on AIS very informative and much better than just reading the manual. I'm a merchant mariner and I've noticed that we can pick up other vessels' AIS range from quite a long distance away (50+ Nautical Miles in some cases). On the wikipedia it says that it uses digital VHF which may be better than normal VHF but says that nominal range is around 20 miles. Does AIS "piggyback" with other vessels? In other words, when my AIS signal hits another ship does it carry the information that that other ship already has back to mine thereby making the range greater? Also, I notice that when ships are picked up farther away that the AIS picture only shows the MMSI number instead of the ship's name on our ECDIS. Why is this? If we get the signal why wouldn't all of the AIS information get to us? Aargh57 01:01, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I can offer some potential answers to these questions:
  • 50 miles?: If both the receive and transmit antenna are a significant distance above the water's surface, you'll get a longer line of sight. I don't have first hand experience, but 50 miles doesn't sound impossible.
  • Piggyback: Nope, there is no retransmission of position data. I think there is a provision for safety-of-life messages (panpan/mayday) to be rebroadcast but I can't remember for sure.
  • Only MMSI?: This sounds like your AIS display truncating info for ships such a long distance away. You are correct that if you receive any data it should also have all the AIS information. (At least how I understand the specification).
Hope this helps - Davandron | Talk 15:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

My first thought would be the originator's AIS set isn't properly set up, vice your receiving gear being at fault and dropping data fields within a given message frame. All Things Tracking (talk) 19:10, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

50Miles: Agree. Ducting can do it too.

Piggyback: piggybacking only occurs when shore based repeaters are used. It won't occur between ships at sea, including safety-of-life messages)

Only MMSI: You only get ship information when you receive the two-slot message #5 from the ship, transmitted less frequently that the single-slot Message #1 position report. The reason you only see MMSI is because you are only receiving the message #1 position report from the ship. Not surprising at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Class B AIS[edit]

I'd like to add a section on Class B 'CS' AIS. Is it appropriate to add that as a subsection of the article or should a new article be created for this? I would include: i) Purpose of Class B 'CS' AIS, standards etc. ii) Differences between Class A and Class B Marinate 10:32, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Welcome to the Wikipedia, Marinate!
That sounds like a great addition. I'd say add it here; this article can cover both Class A and Class B. Please make sure you fully source / cite your additions. Last time I looked for Class B info there wasn't much available since Class B hadn't been finalized or approved. Other than that, go ahead and be bold! - Davandron | Talk 15:03, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
(P.S. If you can, please use the "+" button to add discussion topics. This places them at the bottom and gives the page a consistent history. I once argued this practice, but have learned it really is for the best.)
Class B has been finalized and a few systems are approved and sold in europe already. None has received FFC approval for use in the US though. Info on Class B is certainly warrented in the article. In addition, I see no mention in the article of a distinctions between full AIS transponders which send and also receiver, and receive only AIS, which could also use a mention. This article is extreamly well written and researched, so I dont feel comfortable editing it, but I would gladly collaborate with an existing editor on it. Unfortunately adding information on class B and receive only AIS does not just seem as simple as adding a section, it will take a lot of tweaking through out the article, thus my hesitancy. Russeasby 00:58, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
We can work on it together if you'd prefer, but don't be afraid to try things out. I often create a sandbox copy in my userpages, starting with the original page and then editing and such. That way I can see how the whole article looks without messing up the main section while its still in progress. I've gone ahead and done that with this User:Davandron/AIS and anyone here would be welcome to contribute. - Davandron | Talk 03:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I made a start on adding Class B in a copy of the article at my user page - feel free to edit and add to this. It might be a slow job I'm afraid! Marinate 15:54, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Great! I deleted my old user page since this one continued to evolve. I'll see how I can help. - Davandron | Talk 23:01, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Which standards body? Where is the standard?[edit]

As far as I can see, this document is lacking pointers to the "owner" of the AIS protocol and/or its standards number. Where can I find the standard itself if I want to look up the real details? Is this an IMO standard? --Andre Blum 12:27, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I think its an ITU-R standard, since it deals with radio transmissions. Here is what the US coast guard website says:
  • ITU-R Recommendation M.1371-1, Technical Characteristics for a Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification System Using Time Division Multiple Access in the Maritime Mobile Band
  • IMO Resolution MSC.74(69), Annex 3, Recommendation on Performance Standards for an Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)
  • IEC 61993-2 Ed.1, Maritime navigation and radiocommunication requirements - Automatic identification systems (AIS) - Part 2: Class A shipborne equipment of the universal automatic identification system (AIS) - Operational and performance requirements, methods of test and required test results
Here is the draft version for purchase.- Davandron | Talk 19:05, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Base Stations and other administrative requirments for AIS[edit]

I noticed that there is no discussion of AIS Base Stations. Also perhaps some information regarding the approval requirements for these devices would probably be helpful. For the US that means a US Coast Guard Approval and an FCC license. For other countries it means a Type Approval from their Administration. For example the EU approves equipment under the Marine Equipment Directive (MARED). There is also an agreement between the US/EU to allow for cross approvals between the two organizations. I.e. the US Coast Guard can issue an EU wheelmark for certain items and the EU may issue a US Coast Guard approval number for the same items. I don't know that that necessarily belongs in this article (and I haven't looked to see if it is addressed somewhere else). But, I think it might be useful information to include, somewhere. Craig Burch 15:41, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Related articles on VMS and MCS[edit]

Hello to all the fisherfolk! I normally post on computer networks and medicine, with an assortment of other things, but, having moved to Chatham MA (for people worldwide, a fishing port on Cape Cod on the US NE Atlantic coast), I've been learning more than I ever thought I'd know about commercial fishing and shellfishing. I do know a fair bit about naval warfare, but it's one thing to know how to defend a carrier task force from a submarine, and another thing to know that when scallop dredging, the pointy end of the boat usually goes forward.

Two new articles of mine, still needing categories, are on Vessel monitoring system (VMS) and the more policy level of Monitoring control and surveillance. In both areas, systems may very well share at least antennas, and possibly computing platforms with AIS and VTS. Feedback and crossreferences are welcome. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:50, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Suggested link[edit]

User Maritecc added the following link to AIS.

[ Maritec articles and information about AIS]

It appears to be a conflict of interest and potential linkspam. Guidelines suggest that, when such conflict exists, the addition of links should be at other users discretion. I've moved it here for discussion / consideration. - Davandron | Talk 16:08, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

The below also appears to be linkspam & suggest it's removed from the references section? --Marinate (talk) 16:00, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

*'''Bernard Legros inventor of AIS (France)''' (embarked, located electronics system) patent and copyright FR 2 586 845, European EP 0235171, ES 2 001 887, CA 1270549, WO 87/01491 official deposit 27/08/1985 [ Automatic identification system AIS©Bernard Legros 1985] Consultant, engineering project, world application

Yep, I've been undo'ing this change each time the individual restores it; seems like it must be at ten times by now. - Davandron | Talk 01:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Question about Links[edit]

Having spent much of the day trying to find documentation of a number of proprietary marine network protocols, I was a little surprised to find a couple of links here dealing with hobbyist decodes. Seriously, am I missing something? Is there something missing in the official standards that needs to be decoded? Howard C. Berkowitz 21:50, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what your question / thought is, but I'll reply for what I think you are asking about. Hobby decoding is for decoding (and encoding) the information stream outside of a commercial processor, such as with a self-assembled radio modem. It's not a matter of the standards, but of the commercial aspect. - Davandron | Talk 14:22, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! So using the term this way is not so much finding out what the message formats are, which are in the standards, but in developing the parsers and message handlers used in hobby-developed equipment? The information is available, but not code for it? To draw an amateur radio analogy, you have to be sure that your frequency-determining components are correct, and can't just leave it to the manufacturer? Howard C. Berkowitz 14:49, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Removed from See Also[edit]

I removed this content from the See Also section as it doesn't link to the wikipedia. That said, it probably could be worked into the article, where appropriate. - Davandron | Talk 17:33, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed Content:

  • ITU-R M.131-2 Technical Characterisics for a Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification System using Time Division Multiple Access in the VHF Maritime Mobile Band. Version 3 is in the works.
  • ITU-R M.493-11 Digital Selective Calling System for use in the Maritime Mobile Service
  • NMEA 0183
  • IEC 60936-5 - Guidelines for the use and display of AIS information on Radar
  • IE 60945 Maritime Navigation and Radio-communication Equipment and Systems - General Requirements - Methods of Testing and Required Test Results
  • IEC 62320 - Maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment and systems -

Automatic Identification Systems - Part 1: AIS Base Stations - Minimum operational and performance requirements - methods of test and required test results

  • IALA Navguide Dec 2001 - Chapter 4 - Universal Automatic Identification System (AIS)
  • IALA Guideline No. 1028 - The Automatic Identification (AIS) Vol. 1, Part I, Operational Issues
  • IALA Guidelines on the Universal Automatic Identification System (AIS), Vol. 1, Part II, Technical Issues
  • IMO SN/Circ.236 - Guidance on the Application of AIS Binary Messages - Defines the 7 international test binary messages
  • The Maritime Domain Awareness Data Sharing Community of Interest (MDA DS COI) Pilot, Data Vocabulary and Schemas, Version 1.0, 16-June-2006
  • United States Voluntary Observing Ship Project ([VOS])
If we add a "Further reading" section, we could copy these references there. Sv1xv (talk) 08:01, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Since NMEA 0183 is so closely related to AIS (AIS practically talks NMEA), I've taken the liberty of putting that link back. Jaho (talk) 13:19, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Bernard Legros inventor of AIS (France)[edit]

There are repeated insertions of this reference to the article. Does anybody have any reference for this claim? (That Bernard Legros invented of AIS.) That is, except for the guys own homepage. There is the reference to the patent, but I can not find any english version of it (except the abstract, which is non-informative). Mossig (talk) 17:41, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

The part about Bernard Legros has been repeatadly added to the article, latest by .The claim in the additions, cited below, does not seem to be independently verifiable, and the whle things seems to be self-promotion. Does anybody know of any source that says that this BL is the inventor of AIS? What actions to take? Mossig (talk) 18:34, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Part in question:

Mossig: I, too, have repeatedly undone these edits and issued warnings to the various IP addresses that have performed this edit, but to no avail. A few weeks ago I requested the page be edit-protected from anonymous users and it was for seven days. Since the problems continue, we may need to request the protection again, this time for a longer period. - Davandron | Talk 03:50, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
He's baaaack - I just removed the links again Trapper (talk) 16:04, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Conflict of interest, Siitech link[edit]

The following link was added by User:Siitech

* [ Free version of AIS Server for testing your AIS equipment and monitoring vessels in your area]

It is the one and only edit by this user and the link appears to be a conflict of interest and is removed to this page until another person deems it appropriate to be added to the article. - Davandron | Talk 15:46, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Questionable link?[edit]

The following link was added by

  • AIS physical shore stations components

This link is to a company page describing base station products. It doesn't appear to add anything to the article; it looks a lot like a sales link to me. I'm going to remove it, but ask that the original contributor help us understand how this link adds to the article (so it can be restored). - Davandron | Talk 04:32, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

New AIS-Link[edit]

Digital Seas are offers AIS-Data from all over the world what are you thinking about adding this link on wiki page? (talk) 08:31, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

WP:EL discourages links that you must register for in order to used, and that link appears to require registration. - Davandron | Talk 18:08, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
mhm... there is no registration required for browsing datapase or discover vesselpositions on fleetmon-applications. registering is only required for uploading and managing photos or tracking realtime positon of an single vessel. for example: fleetmon useable without registration Sumwiki (talk) 08:12, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
My mistake; I'll support a link that takes people directly to the AIS part of the site.
Ok, i added a direkt link to the fleetmon-application Sumwiki (talk) 19:39, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Regional channel switching[edit]

I've been out of the development of AIS transponders since 2004 - so I'm out of date somewhat - but I remember we put a lot of effort into regional alternative channel switching algorithms - ie. a base station transmits geographic co-ords (a rectangle of sea) with transition zones and frequencies to switch to. Was when the US had sold the two channels to a commercial operator and the requirement was added to allow for the usage of alternative channels in defined geographic regions. The AIS transponder was to remember up to 8 regions and replace the oldest with a newly received one if 8 regions were already in memory.

Are they still used? If so would it be an idea to include the capability here?

I remember that an Inmarsat link was mandated - allowing interogation and response (and, I think, of being able to set regions as described above). Are these links actually used - I also remember that there was discussion of Inmarsat links being mandated around the coast of the US and Canada.

I'm curious... Daveratters (talk) 18:41, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Channel management was incorporated when AIS was first developed because it was thought several countries (USA included) would not have access to both international channels AIS 1 and 2. But in the end nearly all countries were able to implement the international channels. So channel management was never used much. But the capabilitry still exists, and reasons still exists for using that capability in the future (RF interference, relief of channel congestion). So stay tuned - ot may be used in some locations in the future. (J.Hersey, US Coast Guard) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:19, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Binary Messages and Special Applications[edit]

There is a lot of work going on right now with AIS Binary Messages. The article lacks coverage of the European River Information System (RIS) binary messages and the RTCM group looking at AIS for VTS. The RTCM group has been looking at alternate zone messages and is currently testing a zone message for right whales in the Boston, MA approaches. This is probably a conflict of interest for me to write about research that I am a part of, but there need for people to know about these messages. Plus, it is hard to find what other countries are doing as each country has control of all the messages (FI's) within their DAC. Also, some places are using basestations (e.g. Louisville, KY) to change the update rate of Class A transponders as vessels transit a difficult current coming up to a lock. -Kurt Goatbar (talk) 01:19, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Military vessels[edit]

Do military vessels use the system? Do they turn it off during combat and covert operations to hide their positions? -- Beland (talk) 14:49, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not an authority on them, but I don't think you will find that any military vessel would advertise its position willingly, with the probable exception of entering or exiting civilian ports, where they turn over pilotage to the local authorities. Once they are out past the last buoy and the pilot is off the ship, sayonara! Remember that it is possible to use this system for deception as well. // Mark Renier (talk) 16:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
AIS Class A is a requirement for ships over 300 gross tons, however military vessels are exempt. // Mark Renier (talk) 10:25, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Military vessels are usually equiped with an AIS device, but these AIS devices also come with a transmit inhibit function essentially disabling transmission of information but keeping the receiving going. Besides that some navies also utilize so called WAIS equipment which also includes extra spoofing and covert options and secure layers of AIS communication. An example of a vendor is brainball (talk) 10:15, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Most larger military vessels in the United States have AIS. The unit that I have includes normal mode, silent mode (listen only), and secure mode. Secure mode transmits the position and ship identification information over AIS message 8 with an encrypted payload. These are referred to as "blue force" units. In the US they are a part of the Hawkeye blue force system. --Goatbar (talk) 19:07, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

For the US "blue force" transmissions, they are done with type 8 messages, DAC 366, and FIDs 56 (256 bytes) and 57 (512 bytes). These are sent not only by military vessels, but also Homeland Security (USCG) and law enforcement vessels. An example would be


Lucien (talk) 02:23, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Seems (from observations around UK at least) that many warships, when at least active in home waters, are using AIS openly, but often with the vessel's identity reduced to "NATO warship" or similar. I guess that helps the civilian navigator to make sensible decisions in crowded seas.Davidships (talk) 19:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

On MarineTraffic, we could find a lot of "FRENCH WARSHIP", "NATO WARSHIP"… sometimes followed by a hull number e.g. "FRENCH WARSHIP F794" for the frigate fr:Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubet Pyrog (talk) 17:55, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

External links to open source software decoding AIS[edit]

There are links to closed packages. Having access to open source code will be helpful to those trying to gain a deeper understanding of AIS and perhaps give a try at decoding some messages. Here are three possible packages. Note: I am the author of libais and noaadata. --Goatbar (talk) 19:03, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

(Note: I am the author of nmea_plus) Ifreecarve (talk) 19:21, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

external large list of references[edit]

I am hoping that the list of references will get those learning or researching AIS to find the key works. I have seen too many papers lately that seem to miss key aspects of AIS. Finding many of the key AIS references is very difficult and I haven't had reason to cite most of these in my papers yet. I have solicited many people in governments, academia, and industry to contribute links in addition to those that I've found on my own. I understand if the link to my ais-references.html gets deleted, but I would hope that its value is enough to keep it. In the past, I have tried to link in more of the references that define AIS and the best practices. Is this a more acceptable form of getting out the word about these references? A lot of this is really gray literature. --Goatbar (talk) 12:23, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Any AIS experts about?[edit]

I'm wondering if we have anyone on wikipedia very familiar with AIS. An ad hoc subgroup of Wikipedia:WikiProject Geographical coordinates (i.e. me, User:The Anome & User:Chris j wood) are mulling the idea of scraping AIS data to provide near real time coordinates for moving vessels that have articles in wikipedia. I respect it sounds like a daft idea, but then, so does wikipedia. I note websites such as and think, if they can do it, why not us? But I tend to think we'll need a guide, either to how AIS data can be accessed, or how contact can be made with the people behind marinetraffic. All thoughts welcome. (For the avoidance of doubt: many articles have discrete coordinates printed at the top right. I think we're simply thinking of doing adding exactly those sort of discrete coords for moving vessels, based on a query from wikipedia at the time the page is viewed.) thanks --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:23, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

External links section[edit]

This section contains quite a few links and I had given it a trim a few days back but found that the links were returned without comment. The size of the links section seems disproportionate to the size of the article and probably violates WP:NOTDIRECTORY. In this light, I have placed an external links cleanup tag in the section to gain the attention of interested editors. Thanks, Dawnseeker2000 02:26, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

New BBC Article[edit]

This 20 Jul 2012 article on BBC News contains a lot of information on AIS, the number of ships, and the historical shift of the technology over time: Ahoy! Your ship is being tracked from orbit, by Jonathan Amos. Cheers. N2e (talk) 03:13, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Recent addition of Satellite AIS descriptions[edit]

I've noticed that a lot of additions related to satellite detection of AIS have been added recently towards the top of the article. I think this information is relevant to the article, but needs some adjustment:

- satellite detection of AIS is secondary to the main purpose of AIS as a ship to ship system for collision avoidance. As such I feel the satellite AIS stuff should go under it's own subheading after the general description of the AIS and the types of devices. - I'm concerned the additions are not very impartial, and seem to be promotion of exactEarth's services. Other satellite AIS services are available.

I'd like to combine all the S-AIS stuff under one sub heading and remove the references to specific providers where possible. Are there any strong feelings on this? Marinate (talk) 20:31, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

I completely agree with this. Especially sentences like "In deploying an operational S-AIS constellation, exactEarth faced many technological challenges due to the fact AIS was primarily intended for sea-level reception" and "AIS messages are received at the Canadian data processing centre and forwarded to customers via a secure internet link" seem to be very specific to the operation of exactEarth. Disclaimer: I'm part of the AAUSAT3 cubesat team, so I'm not completely impartial in this discussion. In my opinion, a general page on AIS should not be a sales platform for commercial AIS data providers.

The diff also shows that all references to Orbcomm have been removed:

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:22, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

As a representative of ORBCOMM, we object to the deletion of all references of ORBCOMM's satellite AIS system. We also object to the blatant marketing promotional material that was inserted for ExactEarth's service. We respectfully request that the information on ORBCOMM be restored. We also agree that this page should be balanced and objective, not just for space-based AIS but for all AIS information. --ALoretta--.

Number of vessels using Class A AIS[edit]

The text says "Based on the number of Class A vessels in service in 2008—it is estimated that there are more than 40,000 ships currently using AIS Class A equipment on an ongoing basis."

"Currently" means 2013? What is the source of this number?

-- (talk) 13:31, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Precision of position[edit]

The article currently states:

  • Positional accuracy:
    • Longitude – to 0.0001 minutes
    • Latitude – to 0.0001 minutes
    • Note that this positional accuracy is not adequate to tell 2 personal watercraft apart.

(Only the fourth italicized line is contended - the first 3 are included for context.)
There is no source on this claim.
Also 0.0001 minute is equal or less than to 0.0001 nautical mile which equals 0.1852 meters. A precision of 0.18 meter or better in each axis should make it possible to distinguish 2 personal watercraft from each other.
In practice the location source would have less precision than this and might make it impossible to tell 2 craft from each other. But this is no a result of the reporting accuracy(the subject of this section) but of the sensing accuracy (which relates to the NAVSTAR/GLONASS/LORAN system used.

--Mads.bahrt (talk) 06:57, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Since nobody seems to have any opinion on the line in question I will remove it. It is not essential to the article. Mads.bahrt (talk) 15:54, 6 August 2013 (UTC)


"Aids to navigation (AtoN) ...... as well as relay AIS messages to extend network coverage."

Land based repeaters are used, where necessary, to provide extended network coverage. Aids to navigation do not perform this function.

See Rec. ITU-R M.1371-4 page 52 4.6 Repeater operation (talk) 12:03, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Web based AIS services[edit]

The list of we based services below was recently deleted from external links.

I feel that some examples of these are needed to provide a practical demonstrate of what AIS data can do. A quick look at, say, Marine Traffic (to take one at random), immediately conveys what AIS data can acheive in a way that the article alone cannot. Purely commercial links should certainly be removed but if they materially advance the text and they are free, then I believe that they have a place. At least two of these sites have substantial free content and reserve charges for the addition of satellite data, fleet tracking and marine charts overlays, which is fair enough. By substantial free content I mean the whole of the data from all shore based AIS stations globally, all of the ports, winds and a number of public domain map overlays. This usefully augments the article and does not involve users in commercial transactions. I suggest that the sites be checked out and if they offer substantial free services then it would be of value to replace the links. I am not affiliated with any of them by the way, it's just that when I try to tell anybody about AIS I get fairly blank looks until I show them the web based service and then I get an "Ahh!" moment. Ex nihil (talk) 09:55, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

The job of explaining adequately what a thing does falls to us. Punting it and just saying "look, just visit this site and it'll show you" is lazy. Nor are we a random Web directory: if someone simply wants to find representative examples of a given service then that's Google's job and not ours. And as soon as we're including one arbitrary example, there's an argument to include all of them (which was, of course, what the article previously tended to). We're not doing our readers a disservice by omitting these links. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 11:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 27 December 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Arguments that this is a proper name have not been refuted. Jenks24 (talk) 10:30, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Automatic Identification SystemAutomatic identification system – Please place your rationale for the proposed move here. Tony (talk) 08:42, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Per WP:MOSCAPS ("Wikipedia avoids unnecessary capitalization") and WP:TITLE, this is a generic, common term, not a propriety or commercial term, so the article title should be downcased. In addition, WP:MOSCAPS says that a compound item should not be upcased just because it is abbreviated with caps. An Ngram search of books found that at least a quarter of usages are downcased; this is despite the counting of title-cased headings in the upcased proportion. Tony (talk) 08:42, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Support - No reason to keep Identification System capitalized per MOS. Meatsgains (talk) 20:08, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep AIS has come to refer to a specific marine identification system and is universally used capitalised. It is not a proprietary term but has become common usage as AIS or capitalised. Try Googling AIS Transponder or AIS system or and see, or about AIS or try ANY government policy document on the subject or on marine navigational aids generally VTS or any equipment supplier, marine navigation forum or other discussion. AIS has, for better or worse long become a 'thing'. The marine use of AIS is so entrenched now that if there is a concept of a generic Automatic identification system it would need a separate page called Automatic identification system (subset) Ex nihil (talk) 12:27, 28 December 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Requested move 26 June 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 10:52, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Automatic Identification SystemAutomatic identification system – Contrary to the opinions in the December RM, it is easy to find sources that downcase this, including reference 1 and other "official" sources. It is not a proper name. Dicklyon (talk) 22:52, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Support as nom – see in particular the first ref, which says The chapter makes mandatory the carriage of voyage data recorders (VDRs) and automatic ship identification systems (AIS) for certain ships. and this document that consistently uses lowercase and refers to a "type approved AIS" which wouldn't make sense if AIS were a specific AIS. And this book that has it in caps in the title uses lowercase throughout. There are more ... so since it's not consistently capitalized in sources, we don't interpret it to be a proper name, per MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 23:03, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support: Sources appear to treat this as a common noun. I don't see "Automatic Identification System" published as a universal standard like "Standard Generalized Markup Language", etc., so there doesn't seem to be any evidence this is a proper name. The capitalization in some works is just "Term Overcapitalization, Governmental" a.k.a. bureaucratese.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:01, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Support—the first thing you notice is that in several places of the main text, the language gives away that it's generic. Tony (talk) 01:40, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

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