The Department of Product and Systems engineering Design at the University of the Aegean (Greece) has developed an interesting service called MarineTraffic. The system provides information about the current geographical positions of ships. The provided information on a ships position and identity originate directly from the ships themselves, which transmit this information through public radio frequencies using the ‘Automatic Identification System’ (AIS).
The MarineTraffic information is not perfect for a variety of reasons, and ship positions may be up to one hour old or incomplete. The University of the Aegean has important disclaimer information on it's website however the information is interesting for ship watchers or any one curious about the types of marine traffic that occurs off of the Oregon coast on any given day. Keep in mind that the ship data is provided for informational reasons only and is not related by any means to the safety of navigation.
The University of the Aegean has some interesting information on how to become involved in this project at the following link: