Short Citation:
Office for Coastal Management, 2021: AIS Vessel Transit Counts 2018,

Item Identification

Title: AIS Vessel Transit Counts 2018
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2020-08-27

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) are a navigation safety device that transmits and monitors the location and characteristics of many vessels in U.S. and international waters in real-time. In the U.S. the Coast Guard and industry collect AIS data, which can also be used for a variety of coastal planning purposes. NOAA and BOEM have worked jointly to re-task and make available some of the most important records from the U.S. Coast Guard's national network of AIS receivers. This dataset represents annual vessel transit counts summarized at a 100 m by 100 m geographic area. A single transit is counted each time a vessel track passes through, starts, or stops within a 100 m grid cell.


To support ocean planning activities pursuant to the Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States, the Energy Policy Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Supplemental Information:

Bureau Code: 006:48, Program Code: 006:055


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Categories oceans
ISO 19115 Topic Categories planningCadastre
ISO 19115 Topic Categories transportation
None coastal
None planning
None renewable energy

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords Continent > North America > United States of America
None Exclusive Economic Zone
None Outer Continental Shelf
None Territorial Sea

Physical Location

Organization: Office for Coastal Management
City: Charleston
State/Province: SC

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: None Planned
Data Presentation Form: Map (digital)
Distribution Liability:

Data Set Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Support Roles

Point of Contact

CC ID: 915955
Date Effective From: 2020
Date Effective To:
Contact (Organization): NOAA Office for Coastal Management (NOAA/OCM)
Address: 2234 South Hobson Ave
Charleston, SC 29405-2413
Email Address:
Phone: (843) 740-1202


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Description:

Spatial Representation: Grid

Dimension Count: 3

Cell Geometry: Point

Transformation Parameters Available: No

Axis1 Dimension Type: Row

Axis1 Size: varies

Axis2 Dimension Type: Column

Axis2 Size: varies

Axis3 Dimension Type: Count

Axis3 Size: 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 915971
W° Bound: -168
E° Bound: -60
N° Bound: 50
S° Bound: 15

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 915970
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2018-01-01
End: 2018-12-31

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Grid: Yes
Vector: No
Text / Table: No
Stereo Model: No
Video: No

Reference Systems

Reference System 1

CC ID: 940180

Coordinate Reference System

CRS Type: Geographic 2D
EPSG Code: EPSG:4269
EPSG Name: NAD83
See Full Coordinate Reference System Information

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Use Constraints:

For coastal and ocean planning

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 915958
Download URL:
File Name: AISVesselTransitCounts2018
File Type: ESRI File geodatabase
Compression: Zip



CC ID: 915960
Name: AIS Page
URL Type:
Online Resource


CC ID: 968378
Name: Data Registry
URL Type:
Online Resource

More information and online data visualization.


CC ID: 968379
Name: National Viewer
URL Type:
Online Resource

More information and online data visualization.

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows, ArcGIS Pro

Data Quality



Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Compiled to meet 10 meters horizontal accuracy at 95% confidence level

Completeness Report:

a) The geographic extent of these data include the conterminous United States, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

b) Presence, absence, and contiguity of a track is dependent on the distance and temporal filters applied in the track building algorithm. Parameters for these data were one nautical mile and 30 minutes.

c) This is an aggregate data product derived from input files that were segmented generally by ocean basin. A gap can be seen along the seam line of the input files. The gap distance should never exceed the distance a vessel has traveled between two consecutive position records.

Conceptual Consistency:

These data are logically consistent



AIS Vessel Tracks 2018

CC ID: 915966
Publish Date: 2018-12-31
Citation URL:
Citation URL Name: Source Online Linkage
Citation URL Description:

URL where the source data were originally accessed.

Source Contribution:

Annual vessel tracks built using the Track Builder Pro 1.0 tool with time and distance parameters of 30 minutes and 1 nm. Vessel type definitions derived from the original NMEA record and the Authoritative Vessel Identification Service (AVIS) Vessel Catalog

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 915967

1. Select tracks for each vessel type from the 2018 AIS Vessel Tracks geodatabase by groups as defined in the AIS Vessel Type and Group Codes, Marine Cadastre

2. Calculate transit count grids using the AIS Vessel Transit Counter tool for each month of tracks and for each ocean basin

3. Merge monthly transit count grids into an annual transit count grid

4. Merge all 4 ocean basin/regional rasters into one raster using the mosaic to new raster tool

Process Date/Time: 2020-01-01 00:00:00
Source: AIS Vessel Tracks 2018

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 60419
Metadata Record Created By: Jesse Brass
Metadata Record Created: 2020-07-17 17:24+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: Jesse Brass
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2020-08-26 16:30+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2020-07-29
Owner Org: OCM
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Next Review Date: 2021-07-30