A Texas Howdy,! and a big welcome to all the global viewers from the far reaches of the planet on the VesselTrax web site. I came about the idea of vessel tracking from my work at the Texas City Harbor and the problem of figuring out accurate arrival times of vessels for marine transfer operations.
It seems that in society today and all the technological advances that come with it, we have no problem in figuring bus, train, and plane schedules. With VesselTrax it is now possible to locate marine vessels on approaches and departures to the Houston-Galveston-Texas City region. Kind of neat! What do you think?
If there is an area that you would like covered where vessels transit then please let me know. Hopefully with additional interest from stakeholders in the maritime industry we can increase coverage and assist in your logistical requirements. At this time I'm particularly interested in the Port Arthur and Freeport, Texas regions.
Recently, I've been asked, "well how much?" At this time the VesselTrax service is free. There are similar vessels tracking services on the market with annual or monthly fees such as the excellent professional product that AISLive.com, Lloyd's Register-Fairplay provides
Part of AIS feed that you are viewing on the Google Map is originating in Santa Fe, Texas with an antenna height of approximately 48', 20 miles west of the North Galveston Jetty and 25 miles south of the Houston Ship Channel..
If you know where another VHF antenna and AIS receiver could possibly be set-up in the Texas Gulf Coast region then please contact me with the email link provided below.
VesselTrax is trying out something new and if you have Google Earth, a free download installed on your PC you can view a delayed AIS view in Google Earth. So click the Google Earth Marble to check it out
Google Earth recommends you have a broadband connection and a PC no older that 4 years old
Wow! so far the response has been great regarding viewing vessels on Google Earth. But it even gets better! Just a few hours ago, 1/30/2007 I found out about an outfit called DESTINSHARKS that has developed charting software overlay, EarthNC Marine Charts for Google Earth, now in a test beta for use with Google Earth.
You won't believe your eyes when you first zoom in on the vessels. Complete with sounding contours, range markers, wrecks, obstructions, and the colorful red and green navigational buoys.
Using the tilt feature with Google Earth, approaching the level of a wheelhouse or bridge combined with the 3D effect that Google provides is like a gaming feature where you actually can transit down the fairways passing the buoys to port and starboard. An amazing feature for mariners and non-mariners alike.
To Pan Left, Right, Up, or Down click one of the four directional arrows above the zoom bar.
To Zoom In or Out left click the + or - sign incrementally at the top or bottom of the vertical slider bar