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Author Topic: Ships that have no photo in database  (Read 2132 times)
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Richard Paton
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« on: June 13, 2020, 01:56:02 pm »

Hi all,

Shipspotting is i think you would all agree THE premier place to view ship photos of all ships going back to the early days of steam to the present day. That said there must be a tremendous amount of ships that are yet to still be added to the database, even relatively young ships of less than 5 years old.

This leads me onto this question: Would there be a way for the site to flag up missing ships by obviously their IMO number, listing them for us spotters to try and strike them off? I know it's most likely impossible but it would be interesting to know the percentage of a random block of ships built in say 1974 or 2005 for example that are covered on the site? How many blanks (no photos to view) must there be out there?

I'd guess tens of thousands....
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csaba
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 05:43:32 am »

Interesting suggestion. My dad was a civil engineer and he said that you can build anything anywhere as long as somebody can pay for it. So the same here. Somebody would have to be payed to do that as I can imagine there would be huge amount of work. First you need a list of ships going back X decades. This list would have to be linked to the SS and, say, a notification posted somewhere that m/v X has been photographed and taken off the list.
And, ummm, why would we do this?  Smiley
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Tony des Landes
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 07:54:39 am »

What could be a way to achieve this is for this site to look at the feasibility of collaborating with the Miramar Ship Index. Miramar is possibly the most comprehensive ship index there is and vessels can be linked with the IMO number. Technically it should be possible but it would require resources to do this.
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Kyle Stubbs
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 02:48:30 pm »

Unfortunately, Miramar is nowhere near a comprehensive database of IMO-registered vessels, especially in certain fields. Fishing vessels are a particular area that is improving, but still lacks a massive amount of information in their database.

I checked my 10 most recently photographed, IMO-registered fishing vessels against the Miramar database, and found 3 of them listed. Of those, one did not have the vessel's IMO number connected to the entry, and one of the others was not up-to-date on name history, by over 10 years.

These are all US-built vessels, and I believe fishing vessels from other nations are covered more comprehensively, but it's a sign of some of the major gaps that even the best resources can have when it comes to this subject.
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libertyshiplad
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 03:22:22 pm »

What about all the "yachts" ?
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pieter melissen
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 06:14:25 am »

To the two above posters. I think Miramar refers to Ships. and not to coastal fishing nutshells or pleasure stuff for the rich and infamous. It also fortunately completely lacks all the pure military stuff. 

And yes their up-to-date coverage of ships "disappearing" in sinkholes like some Far Eastern countries, the African Coast or Latin America may be far from complete, but you will also not be able to find those data even if you are subscribing to a much more expensive database.

For me it is invaluable and just look at how many times corrections are reported on this site based on Miramar data. Whether Captain Haworth would be prepared to share his data in such a way that it can be used for identifying "missing" ships on Shipspotting is another matter, but Shipspotting seen as a comprehensively illustrated Miramar is a concept that has always appealed to me, much more than having to look at 800 photo's of the same new cruise ship or largest container ship in the world.

What is also needed is a short term solution for the lack of data for the newest ships. The demise of Gross Tonnage has halted that completely, and we can not even add those data manually. So there we have the photos and not the data, and in the other case we have the data but not the photos. Lets try to combine that into one system.   
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Kyle Stubbs
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 02:59:31 pm »

Pieter,

However, the original poster inquired about vessels with IMO numbers. "Ships" is such a loosely defined term that I don't even want to get into that debate.

The fact is, fishing vessels, tugboats and yachts over 100 gross tons make up a massive portion of the vessels allotted identification numbers by the IMO, and are often overlooked by the Miramar database. Even if they do not match your personal opinion on what is, or is not, important, they are a major player in the "tens of thousands" of vessels described in the initial post.

Do not get me wrong, I consider Miramar to be an invaluable resource for historical research. However, when it come to the topic brought up by the original poster, all vessels with IMO numbers, my experience shows me it would be better off used as one of many supporting sources.

The issue with databases is that they all have holes. As such, relying on a single database is folly, and the only way to be truly comprehensive is to unite multiple sources of data. Unfortunately, like any solution we're pondering, that takes time, work and money.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 03:10:01 pm by Kyle Stubbs » Report to moderator   Logged

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pieter melissen
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2020, 06:00:30 pm »

So back to the original question then.

For the order of magnitude that we are talking about, here are some figures. Grey haired people among you may remember Lloyds Statistical Tables, which have now been digitized by the Lloyds Heritage Foundation, and I had a look at latest edition available, that of the year 2000.
So this is photograph of the fleet (over 100 GT) in that year, but it gives an idea of the size and the distribution of the fleet.
There were 46000 cargo carrying ship at that year, with a total GT of 515,4 million. Further more there were almost 41000 ships in the miscellaneous category, grossing 28,2 mln tons.
Of that miscellaneous group a staggering 23000 ships were fishing related, or half the amount of the total cargo carrying fleet, but only adding up to 12,5 mln tons. (i have given the tonnage only for illustration purposes, I am aware that fishing are much smaller than cargo carrying ships) 
Currently the fleet is probably much larger, but the relative importance of the categories could be the same.

Perhaps another interesting figure is that Miramar now contains data on over 265000 individual ships, but that figure would have to be compared with a long time series of World Shipbuilding completions which I do not have at hand right now.

We have currently 2,7 mln photographs on line but I have found no way in the current set-up of Shipspotting whether we can determine how many individual ships are in the database, first we have to allow for individual ships under different names and then of course for multiple photo's of the same ship with the same name. If we count the number of ships purely on the basis of the IMO number we might be able to an idea of the magnitude of the job we would be facing if we want to comprehensively fill all the gaps as much as possible.

For the time being what is left is just to ask photographers to check whether their OWN archives may contain ships of which no photograph exist on the site, and then publish them.



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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 11:19:52 pm »

Thank you, Richard, for raising an interesting question, though finding practical way of introducing something like that may well prove elusive, there are some ideas that can be followed up.  In particular, I do expect that we will be able to interrogate better in the future what we have within what is effectively a Shipspotting database. 

In the meantime I would echo particularly Pieter's last comment:
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For the time being what is left is just to ask photographers to check whether their OWN archives may contain ships of which no photograph exist on the site, and then publish them.

I add how much it is appreciated that so many members have been doing just that during these difficult times.  Please continue (not forgetting to give the best date/place info that you can)
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