While many are excited about live traffic data on firm ground, others have turned their attention to the other 3/4 of the earth. According to The Map Room, many ships are required to carry transponders to broadcast their location. The result is a lot of public marine data and the perfect situation for a classic map mashup.
And that is exactly what MarineTraffic.com has done. Its public map contains thousands of ships, including information like type and name. In some cases, there are even photos of the ship (our MarineTraffic profile).
Outside of satisfying curiosity, the site is also useful. If you create an account, you can add specific ships to your fleet. And soon it will have an API of its own with JSON and XML data exchange.
Dedicated Maps (login as demo/demo) is a company based around the same concept. Using both public geolocation, as well as private methods, those with an interest in vessels can track them.
The rest of us can just appreciate something new: map markers floating in the water.