AIS vessel tracking has come of age in the 15 years since MarineTraffic was set up in Greece as a free website by founder IT academic Dimitris Lekkas.

Its launch came as the International Maritime Organization extended the AIS system to allow lower-cost B-type devices after initially mandating that about 100,000 vessels on international voyages fit a Class A-type transceiver in 2002 as part of its safety at sea rules.