Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM seminar on the use of AIS data

From raw data to statistic and maps

The HELCOM Secretariat is organizing an open seminar on the use of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data​​ on Tuesday 9 May 2017 (9:00 – 16:00) at the HELCOM Secretariat, Katajanokanlaituri​ 6 B, Helsinki, Finland.

HELCOM AIS – a unique regional source of maritime data

The HELCOM AIS network has enabled the​ HELCOM Contracting Parties (Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) as well as Norway to share the​ Automatic Identification System (AIS) data received by their national base stations. It has also generated a unique database on historic ship movements since the launch in 2005. The network server is currently hosted by Norway and overseen by the dedicated HELCOM Expert Working Group on AIS and data, meeting annually since 2002.

The historic AIS data from this regional network is increasingly used for various HELCOM related policy and research purposes, including maritime accident risk assessments, analysing emissions from ships and mapping underwater noise in the Baltic Sea.

However, due to the lack of joint and openly available data processing methods, tools and joint definitions of data end products, such as traffic density maps, the HELCOM community has only recently been able to use this valuable information in full. The same issues are facing AIS data users around the world.

A seminar on joint best practices and shared inspiration

In order to support the development of the needed joint AIS data processing methods, tools and definitions the Secretariat drafted some initial guidance during spring 2016. The HELCOM Expert Working Group on AIS and data (HELCOM AIS EWG) meeting in June 2016 welcomed the draft material, requested the Secretariat to develop a new HELCOM Recommendation based on it and also recommended that the Secretariat should organise a seminar on the use of HELCOM AIS. This seminar will be organised on 9 May 2017 in Helsinki.

Anyone willing to share ideas on handling AIS data is warmly welcome. Please send registrations as well as proposals for short (max 10 min) presentations or other ideas (demos, posters) by 9 April 2017 to the Secretariat ( Final Seminar Programme will be drafted based on this input.

Please book your calendars – welcome to discuss joint AIS methods, tools and data products!