When traveling by boat (or for that matter any mode of transportation) a constant question is: "What is at my potential destination?" For years the source of this information was "cruising guides", books with information about marinas, dining, fuel availability, etc. With the advent of the ubiquitous Internet that information is now available on "crowd sourced" web sites. Essentially cruisers volunteer to provide information on a web site that is shared by other cruisers.
I have, for several years, used Active Captain: https://activecaptain.com/
(I confess that years ago I was kicking myself that I did not host such a web site and become a multi-billionaire. I don't think the owners have reached billionaire status yet either.)
Active Captain has a very large database of information on the East Coast of the United States, its world coverage is a bit less. It is a good service and I have used it a lot.
While recently updating my OpenCPN software I started investigating the "plug in's" that been added since my last perusal. One that was new for me was a link to Squidd.io. This is also a crowd sourced cruising guide. It has two attributes that made it particularly interesting to me:
1. Since it is linked to OpenCPN I expect more users to start to participate.
2. It permits one to "check in and out" of various locations. These "check in's and out's" are then reflected in the data base. One can "friend" other boats. As a consequence their current location will show up on your OpenCPN chart. One's boat does not need to check in, the last location transmitted will be updated in the data base. Updates can be sent from a maximum of every ten minutes to a minimum of once a day. Of course sending logs requires an Internet connection. However the system will log one's track and send the entire track when a connection is available. Kind of neat.
A final entry is Good Anchorage: http://www.goodanchorage.com/ Although I have an account I have not used this web site to any great extent.
Fair winds and following seas :)
I was curious about the Internet domain ".io" It turns out to be the domain for the British Indian Ocean Territory. You can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Indian_Ocean_Territory
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Crowd Sourced Cruising Guides: Active Captain, Squidd.io and Good Anchorage
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