12 Top Marine APIs

Earth's oceans are vast and deep, so it makes sense there are plenty of ideas for marine-related applications. Developers who want to create an application using data about oceans or ocean related topics need Marine APIs to accomplish their task.

What is a Marine API?

A Marine API, or Application Programmaing Interface, provides a way for developers to programmatically interact with ocean-related data and software.

The best place to find these APIs is in the Marine category of the ProgrammableWeb API directory. This category contains a wide variety of APIs including services for locating and routing ships, predicting ocean weather, tracking ocean tides, surveying fish, fishing, and diving spots, sonar imaging, tracking rising sea levels, preventing ocean pollution, getting shark alerts, mapping the seas, getting scientific oceanography data, buying and selling boats and yachts, and viewing maritime museum collections.

In this article, we detail the 12 most popular Marine APIs, based on ProgrammableWeb web page visits.

1. World Tides API

The WorldTime APITrack this API returns the local time for a given time zone in either JSON or plain text format. This API can also return information on whether a time zone is currently in Daylight Savings Time (DST), when DST starts and ends, and the UTC offset.

2. Storm Glass API

The Storm Glass APITrack this API gives developers access to global marine weather data from multiple sources using a single REST API. This Weather API returns marine forecasts for the next 7 days in hourly resolution. Forecasts include swell height, swell direction, swell period, wave height, wave direction, wave period, wind speed, wind direction, and air temperature.stormglass

Storm Glass API provides coherent data from multiple marine weather institutes. Screenshot: Storm Glass

3. Fishbase API

rOpenSci is a non-profit that advocates for sharing of scientific data. The Fishbase API returns fish data provided by rOpenSci. With this API, developers can implement data about fish ecology, ecosystems, fecundity, food items, maturity, population growth, reproduction, species, and swimming. The REST API uses backend SQL and it queries data in JSON format.

4. Whale Hotline API

The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, WA, provides the Whale Hotline APITrack this API to allow developers to access public sighting reports of marine mammals. The Hotline receives thousands of sightings every year. Sightings and data can be filtered by species, orca type, orca pod, date and time, and location.

5. FishWatch API

The FishWatch APITrack this API provides access to information on seafood sustainability. For a given fish species, the FishWatch API can return information on population, fishing rate, habitat impacts, bycatch, availability, source, taste, texture, and more. This service and its content are provided by NOAA Fisheries to help spread information about the science behind U.S. sustainable seafood.

6. Marine Traffic API

MarineTraffic provides data on millions of daily vessel positions, which users may integrate with their applications or websites using the RESTful APITrack this API. Users can also get the most recent arrivals and departures for a given port or vessel, all of a vessel's AIS positions, or a popular photo of a vessel to display in their app.


Marine Traffic provides global ship tracking intelligence services and API. Screenshot: Marine Traffic

7. Searoutes API

The Searoutes APITrack this API returns sea route and other data about marine vessels. Sea routes are computed based on historical voyages of vessels, gathered from both satellite and terrestrial data. Also get tides, ocean currents, winds and waves in current or historical data with this API. The Searoutes search service is currently composed of a reverse geocoding functionality. V2 of this API also includes methods to calculate CO2 emissions from real routes and vessel characteristics. V2 is currently in Beta. See v1 for recommended version.

8. Boats Group API

Boats Group is a recreational marine industry service that operates Boat Trader, YachtWorld, boats.com, Cosas De Barcos, and YachtCloser. The Boats Group Inventory APITrack this API provides detailed boating and boat sales related information. This interface supports methods to perform searches, and access resources in several standard units of length and currencies.

9. Marine/Surfing Weather API

The Marine/Surfing Weather APITrack this API from World Weather Online allows developers and programmers to access today's live marine and sailing weather forecast. Data includes high and low tides, swell height, wave height, swell period, tide data, sea temperature, heat index temperature, wind direction and much more.

10. Divesites API

The Divesites APITrack this API returns database information for scuba divers including location, weather, latitude & longitude, map, and tide stations. The API supports POST and GET methods, JSON and AJAX formats. Divesites API determines the location using Geo IP location and return sites in a radius from that point.

11. Magic Seaweed Forecast API

Magic Seaweed provides global surf forecasting and news services. The Magic Seaweed Forecast APITrack this API allows access to core marine weather data such as swell, wind, surf condition, and charts for developers and surfers.

12. CORDC Nautical Charts API

The Coastal Observing Research and Development Center Nautical Charts (CORDC) APITrack this API displays NOAA Nautical Charts within Google Maps API v. 3. The Nautical Charts API provides map layering capabilities and gives developers access to the data. Functionality allows developers to manipulate map layering and access any geographical information they may need. The API is guided towards scientific research and oceanic mapping innovation this service is provided with a JavaScript SDK by University of California at San Diego.

Head over to the Marine category for 50 more APIs, plus SDKs, Source Code Samples, and other developer resources.

Be sure to read the next Marine article: Daily API RoundUp: BrainBit, Spam Words, AdValify, SeaVision