There are two major sources of real-time (or near-real-time) marine traffic data available online that I know of, MarineTraffic.com and VesselTracker.com. Both rely on volunteer shore stations to monitor local Automatic Identification System (AIS) nets, and both offer a variety of subscriber services. They provide somewhat varying coverage, depending on whether there’s a local source for monitoring shipping data and sharing over the Internet; MarineTraffic.com has generally lagged in providing this data for the Galveston Bay entrance region. Overall, however, choosing between one or the other seems largely a matter of personal preference. I happen to like MarineTraffic.com’s map interface a bit more than the other, but have also previously used the tools available from VesselTracker.com to illustrate posts here on Maritime Texas.
That said, MarineTraffic.com has had data for the Galveston Entrance up and running for several days now, so I’m going to test an embedded map. I may make this a regular feature, perhaps linked from the main page. Thoughts?