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AIS Historical Vessel Tracks


Provides historical AIS data tracks via the Spire Historical Vessel Track API. An AIS track segment is the line segment between 2 consecutive vessel positions. The segment inherits the latest vessel position, static and voyage related information from the most recent of the 2 consecutive vessel positions.

Technical information

Geographic coverageGlobal
Data availability2011-present
RefreshNear real-time
File formatGeoJSON (multilinestring geometry)
Coordinate systemWGS84/EPSG4326

Futher information

Historical Vessel Tracks delivers historical ship information related to voyage and static data including positions, destinations, ETA, draught, etc.

The Spire Archive gives customers access to the most expansive Satellite AIS historical data through a pre-packaged and customized service that dates back to 2011.

Using Spire Archive you can easily do the following:

  • Analyse the most complete record of vessel movements on a global scale
  • Reduce risk and plan safest routes based on vessel traffic patterns and seasonal changes
  • Analyse vessel behaviour patterns for the potential prosecution of illegal actions e.g. illegal ballast water exchange, marine protected area encroachment

The Archive provides critical historical data for performing analysis into shipping traffic and trend patterns as well as long-term vessel tracking all across the globe. In addition, Spire also has pre-packaged data sets for analysis into the remote Arctic region.

Use Cases

There are many use-cases for gaining access to the historical ship information. Users wanting to identify ships found in satellite optical or radar imagery can use the historical positions, ship details, along with date/time information to correlate objects within satellite imagery to the identification of a ship. This type of correlation is often used by defence, security, fishing, or border protection agencies to identify ‘dark’ targets that may not be in compliance with standard operational guidelines.


User authorization is required to be able to use the data. The usage of this data is restricted to internal usage, and users from the following categories are excluded: US Government, China, Japan, and companies linked to Commodity Trading.


Area of Interest km²Credits (per km²)

Volume Discounts

Volume discounts apply for areas larger than 1,000 sqkm. For details, please contact [email protected].

AIS Historical Vessel Tracks Metadata

AIS parameterAIS parameter descriptionExample
mmsiThe Maritime Mobile Service Identity is a unique nine-digit number for identifying a ship. MMSI is programmed into all AIS systems and VHF electronics on board of the vessel and provides an internationally standardized number for contacting the vessel.263959721
imoThe International Maritime Organization is part of the static AIS information provided by the vessel’s crew and can be transmitted additionally.IMO9525429
vessel_nameName of the vessel (up to 20 characters)BLACK STAR
callsignInternational radio call sign assigned to the vessel by its country of registryCRA8155
vessel_typeVessel typeCargo
vessel_type_codeThe AIS ID of the vessel type72
vessel_type_cargoDetailed description of the cargo typeCarrying DG,HS or MP,IMO hazard or Pollutant Category Y
vessel_classClass A AIS transponders are required to have a DSC (156.525 MHz) receiver, external GPS, heading, and rate of turn indicator, and can also transmit and receive safety-related text messages. Class B AIS transponders operate using Carrier-Sense TDMA (CSTDMA) broadcast mode and transmit at a power level of 2 watts.A
lengthLength approximated to the nearest meter (based on the position of the AIS Station on the vessel)99
widthWidth approximated to the nearest meter (based on the position of the AIS Station on the vessel)14
flag_countryThe vessel’s flagPortugal
flag_codeThe first 3 digits of the MMSI number indicate the vessel’s flag263
destinationThe vessel’s destination (up to 20 characters)PT FDF
etaEstimated time of arrival (UTC month/date hours: minutes)2460
draught0.1 to 25.5 metres8.6
from_longitudeWSG 84 longitude coordinate (decimal degrees)-9.31822
from_latitudeWSG 84 latitude coordinate (decimal degrees)38.675405
longitudePosition coordinate (decimal degrees)-9.31821333333333
latitudePosition coordinate (decimal degrees)38.6754166666667
sogSpeed over ground (0 to 102 knots)0.1
cogCourse over ground (up to 0.1° relative to true north)85.4
rotRate of turn - right or left (0 to 720 degrees per minute)7.54420872834595
heading0 to 359 degrees79
nav_statusThe navigational status that is manually set by the vessel crewUnder Way Using Engine
nav_status_codeThe navigational status code0
sourceAIS data type (Terrestrial AIS, Satellite AIS, Vessel AIS)T-AIS
ts_pos_utcTimestamp of the last position AIS message (UTC)20211123000040
ts_static_utcTimestamp of the last static AIS message (UTC)20211122235234
dt_pos_utcDate/time of the last position AIS message (UTC)2021/11/23 0:00:40
dt_static_utcDate/time of the last static AIS message (UTC)2021/11/22 23:52:34
vessel_type_mainMain vessel typePassenger Ship
vessel_type_subSubcategory of vessel typePassenger Ro Ro Cargo Ship
message_typeAIS message type1
eeidExactEarth identifier5433869460680721844
dtgDate-time group for the last position AIS message (UTC)2021/11/23 0:00:40

For more information, please check the Spire documentation.

Terms & conditions

View the End User License Agreement conditions

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