mAIS is a mobile application that makes possible to use your mobile device on board, to report the positions of a vessel to MarineTraffic. GPS-enabled devices (iPhone/iPad) can be used to report the position, the details and the status of a vessel in case an AIS transponder is not available or the vessel is out of the range of MarineTraffic’s AIS receivers.
The positions of a vessel will be reported if the application is started on the mobile device and whenever Internet connectivity is available. The position reporting will continue even if the app is running at the background on the device. This application is intended to be used only as a vessel’s reporting tool and not as a personal location reporting tool. Therefore, it is important to be used only when the device is on board a vessel and it must be switched off whenever the device leaves the vessel.
This is not AIS:
mAIS simulates the data transmitted by AIS transponders, however it only transmits data through the Internet and not through AIS radio-frequencies. It is clear that the information transmitted by mAIS is not visible by the AIS receivers of other vessels. It will be only displayed on MarineTraffic web site and apps. As such, iAIS is only a ship’s self-reporting tool that does not substitute real AIS transmissions and it is not by any means related to the safety and navigation equipment of a vessel.
mAIS will work on GPS-enabled devices such as iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 3G, as long as the ‘Location Services’ are enabled. It may not work properly on iPod or iPad WiFi, as these devices do not have built-in GPS and the position reports may be not accurate.
mAIS is continuously using the GPS of your device in order to report its positions. In most cases this is a power intensive operation and it will exhaust the battery of your device in a few hours. It is recommended to have your device plugged-in whenever you are using mAIS.
How to use it – Registration Required:
A valid account registered at marinetraffic.com is required in order to start position reporting through the iAIS application. Register at http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/alerts.aspx The app must be configured to use the registered email and password as well as all valid details of the reporting vessel. A valid MMSI number together with the other details of the vessel (such as vessel’s name, call-sign, dimensions, destination, ETA, etc) must be also configured in the app.
What if the vessel does not have a MMSI number assigned?
MMSI number is the key value for position reporting. A valid MMSI number, configured in mAIS app, is required in order to send position reports to MarineTraffic. It is possible that smaller vessels have not been assigned a MMSI number by their authorities. In this case you are still able to use iAIS, after having registered your vessel for a unique vessel’s ID here: http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/generic_form.aspx?datasource=SHIP_NOMMSI
In order to avoid unwanted position reporting, MarineTraffic will send e-mail notifications at your registered e-mail address, whenever your app is active. This serves as a reminder that position reporting should only be active when you are at sea and must be turned off when at land.
The bandwidth consumed by mAIS is minimal. Even if iAIS is configured to send position reports at the highest frequency, it will use about 150 bytes/minute, which means about 210KB in one day or 6MB for a whole month of continuous use.