Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region

AIS Services




About AIS

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships, AIS base stations, and satellites. When satellites are used to detect AIS signatures, the term Satellite-AIS (S-AIS) is used. AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.

Information provided by AIS equipment, such as unique identification, position, course, and speed, can be displayed on a screen or an ECDIS. AIS is intended to assist a vessel’s watch standing officers and allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements. AIS integrates a standardized VHF transceiver with a positioning system such as a GPS or LORAN-C receiver, with other electronic navigation sensors, such as a gyro-compass or rate of turn indicator. Vessels fitted with AIS transceivers can be tracked by AIS base stations located along coast lines or, when out of range of terrestrial networks, through a growing number of satellites that are fitted with special AIS receivers which are capable of tracking a large number of signatures.

The International Maritime Organization’s International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more, and all passenger ships regardless of size.




AIS Web Access

The Marine Exchange offers three types of service for AIS Web Access.

AIS Web Access AIS Web Access AIS Data Feed
Standard Enhanced  

AIS Web Access – Enhanced features include:

  •      Limited AIS History Playback
  •      More Chart and Map Layers
  •      Greater Coverage Area
  •      Custom Alerts

Note: The AIS Data Feed has restrictions on storage and distribution at the standard price level. Please contact the Marine Exchange for more information regarding our AIS Data Feed and restrictions.


AIS History Services

There are three types of service for AIS History

AIS Playback AIS Playback AIS Playback
Screenshot PowerPoint Video

Screenshots and PowerPoint slides are available in .JPG file format. PowerPoint slides are in 1 second intervals. Video playback is stored in .AVI file format and available as a download. AIS data is compiled in 1 to 3 second intervals. CD or DVD available as well. A DVD to play in any household DVD Player is available upon request for an additional fee.


Fees for AIS Services