Application Name: MarineTraffic.Com

Description: View marine ship traffic anywhere in the world; monitor ships; get port information.

Publisher’s website: MarineTrafic

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v.0.9.3  /  3-8-11

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market (mobile app only)
Android Market (browser)

If you live by the water, and want to know what ship is passing by, or if you’re just generally interested in matters nautical, MarineTraffic for Android is a must-have app.


The app starts out with a default view of marine traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean, and not much else on-screen to let you know what to do next. Triangles mark ships in motion, with the “pointy” end showing which way it’s going. Large diamonds indicate anchored/moored ships, while small ones show navigation aids. The colors indicate what kind of ship/craft it is (more on this later). It’s a standard Google Maps interface, so you can pinch to zoom, and pan to different areas.


Zoom out far enough, and you’ll find the grid areas where there’s information for ships; notice it includes Great Lakes and Mississippi River traffic information as well.


Tap on a green grid square, and you’ll be zoomed in closer to that area. You can then zoom in closer to any desired area for more information.


Here’s the entry to New York City’s harbor area; most of the markers are large diamonds, indicating anchored/moored ships. If you tap on the blue moving marker near the bottom …


You’ll bring up multiple options for additional data.


Vessel’s Details brings up full information about the vessel, including size/weight, current speed/position/course, and its schedule. If photos are available, you can view those (also available from the Show Photos option), but you can also upload a picture of your own.


Select Show Track, and see where the ship has been recently; based on the track above, and the schedule in the Details section, I’m guessing this is a sightseeing cruise boat.  Choosing Add To My Fleet “bookmarks” the vessel so that you can find it again.


From the app’s menu, choose Options to get a listing of vessel types and their color codes. You can choose not to show specific types by unchecking the box; additional options include displaying vessel names on the map, and switching to an aerial image instead of a map.


The Ports menu lets you select a world port for more information. Click on the “globe” icon to go to the map view centered on that port; click on the “magnifier” to get details about the port, and recent/upcoming arrivals and departures.

Additional options on the Menu:

  • Vessels – Search for a vessel by name, then find it on the map
  • Near Me – Fires up your GPS, and shows you the view near your location. If you’re outside of a marine area, you’ll just get a black screen.
  • More – Fast access to your My Fleet bookmarks, About the app, and a quick zoom out to a World Map view.
  • Areas – General marine areas by name (e.g. Baltic Sea, Japan, Ligurian Sea, etc.). Tap on a name, and go to that area in the map view; select a green grid square to zoom in closer.

Other issues: None; no problems.

Final thoughts: Pretty much a model of what this kind of data app should be like. Obviously only for those interested in maritime traffic, but if you are, a must-have.

PS There’s an iPhone version as well, and a general mobile website; the main website is also worth a look if you’re at a computer.

HT to Goya Bauwens for alerting me to the app.

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