Monday, May 21, 2012

Google "Seas" U.S. Navy Ships

Like the screen shot above from, ship tracking applications have been around for more than a few years. However, most of these viewers have a regional focus and only report transmitter locations of large commercial ships participating in the Automatic Identification System (AIS) anti-collision system.  

Last week, Google raised more than a few eyebrows when "Chief Technology Advocate" at Google Ventures, Michael Jones, announced at a U.S. Navy technology focused event in Virginia Beach, VA, that it was in the final stages of preparing to publicly release a satellite-based ship tracking system that can display the location of virtually every ship at sea - including U.S. Navy warships.  To read an article on this development from AOL Defense, click the link below:

Comment: Although this effort may appear unpatriotic at first, there are some very good reasons why such a system could be valuable from the standpoint of disaster response.  For example, after Katrina, an armada of U.S. Navy ships was deployed off the U.S. south coast and tasked with providing a wide range of services.  Indeed, "warships" became a floating city that included: hospitals, berthing quarters, search and rescue command centers, logistics bases, airports, water purification plants, and much more. And although the Navy knew where all its response assets were - virtually no one outside the military chain of command could make the same claim.  A situation that is problematic on many levels when last responders, become first responders.  Thus, from the perspective of emergency preparedness and response there is solid merit in Google's efforts in this realm.  (Now if I could just get them to fix their U.S. National Grid issues......)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the navy will like or should tolerate something as public as google being able to see where their ships are. That information in the hands of hostiles could lead to disaster.