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Short Citation:
Office for Coastal Management, 2024: Nationwide Automatic Identification System 2021,

Item Identification

Title: Nationwide Automatic Identification System 2021
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2021-07-30

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 management purposes. NOAA and BOEM have worked jointly to make available these data from the U.S. Coast Guards national network of AIS receivers. The original records were filtered to a one-minute frequency rate, and subset to depict the location and description of vessels broadcasting within the Exclusive Economic Zone.


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 Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
ISO 19115 Topic Category
None coastal
None planning
None renewable energy

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
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)
Entity Attribute Overview:

MMIS, BaseDateTime, LAT, LON, SOG, COG, Heading, VesselName, IMO, CallSign, VesselType, Status, Length, Width, Draft, Cargo, TransceiverClass (see more here:

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: 1076363
Date Effective From: 2021-01-01
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: Ground Condition

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 1076374
W° Bound: -168
E° Bound: -60
N° Bound: 75
S° Bound: 15

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 1076373
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 2021-01-01
End: 2021-12-31

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

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

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 1076368
Topology Level: Geometry Only
Complex Object Present?: No
Composite Object Present?: No
Curve Object Present?: No
Point Object Present?: Yes
Solid Object Present?: No
Surface Object Present?: No

Reference Systems

Reference System 1

CC ID: 1076369

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 Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

For coastal and ocean planning

Distribution Information

Distribution 1

CC ID: 1076364
Download URL:

Data Quality

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

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


Presence and absence of a record is dependent on the:

a) Fixed and unpublished location and height of the receiving antenna relative to the dynamic position, antenna height and wattage of the transmitting vessel,

b) Interference of the radio frequency transmission between the vessel and the receiving antenna, and the

c) Interference in the collection of the record originating from the vessel

Completeness Measure:

a) Visual analysis of daily record byte count over a year long period

b) Verbal and email communications with U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center personnel

Completeness Report:

Records were received from all U.S. Coast Guard NAIS terrestrial receivers

Conceptual Consistency:

These data are logically consistent



Nationwide Automatic Identification System

CC ID: 1076370
Contact Role Type: Originator
Contact Type: Organization
Contact Name: U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center
Publish Date: 2021-01-01
Extent Type: Range
Extent Start Date/Time: 2021-01-01
Extent End Date/Time: 2021-12-31
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Daily compressed log files containing original AIS messages in NMEA format for the months of January through December for the United States. Authoritative Vessel Identification Service (AVIS) Vessel Catalog.

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 1076371

Filter the raw NMEA data to a one-minute sample rate and select a subset of fields using NMEA to SQL Server processing tools

Load filtered records to a SQL Server database using NMEA to SQL Server processing tools

Conduct quality and completeness check using logging results from the filter and loading process, and database record counts

Update the IMO, CallSign, VesselName, Length, Width, VesselType, and Draft from US Coast Guard AVIS

Added or updated the new vessel type code field to each record fragment that was found in the US Coast Guard AVIS

Export records from the SQL Server database to CSV files organized day of the year using Filter and Export utilities

Modify the format of the date and time values to a UTC string format during export

Modify the format of the IMO vessel number to include the "IMO" prefix during export

Trim white space from string attributes during export

Replaced comma punctuation marks with a semi-colon in the vessel name or call sign field if present to improve CSV formatting during export

Include a header record with descriptive text for each field during export

Write extracted AIS data to an ASCII CSV format file using Filter and Export utilities

Compress each ASCII CSV file

Process Date/Time: 2021-07-01 00:00:00
Source: Nationwide Automatic Identification System

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 65082
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:65082
Metadata Record Created By: Jesse Brass
Metadata Record Created: 2021-07-28 17:03+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: Jesse Brass
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2023-10-11 13:54+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2021-08-02
Owner Org: OCM
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2021-08-02
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2022-08-02