What with the news of the Russian ship going missing you might be aware of AIS (Automatic Identification System). AIS is a short range coastal tracking system used on ships for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and VTS stations. With AIS information such as unique identification, position, course, and speed can be easily retrieved and displayed. AIS is generally used to allow maritime authorities to track and monitor vessel movements but it is possible for anyone with the right equipment to receive the data, which is what someone on the Isle of Wight has done and with their website www.solentwaters.co.uk very cleverly incorporated the live data with Google Maps and even webcams overlooking the Solent. If you are curious as to which ships are passing Southsea now and previously this is an incredible online resource and a fascinating slice of technology and web integration.