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Old 16-01-2012, 16:02   #106
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

Just bought another book! Crap I am behind the times again. Will buy a couple or five more then all the electronic stuff that I can find and then paper charts and then
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Old 16-01-2012, 18:05   #107
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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Originally Posted by ActiveCaptain View Post
We've received over 1 million user updates already. We average around 1,500 to 1,800 a day, 7 days a week. On a good/interesting newsletter day, we get 3,500 to 5,000 updates. I really think you're guessing about the "busy" aspect about why people wouldn't update the data. The facts prove otherwise.
I'm not guessing. I think you said yourself that far-flung places will probably never be filled in. I've never heard of your website until now, but most of the places we travel are very internet limited (i.e. none) which makes things like sending email much higher in the priority list than trying to provide ActiveCaptain with data that is difficult for most people in remote areas to access anyway.

However if the internet addiction reaches deeper into our culture perhaps you're right. Those people floating in a crystal clear atoll might have to turn on their satellite phone just to update random people on ActiveCaptain that they are anchored in a crystal clear atoll.

By the way thanks for the nice comments. Can you let me know when you've obsoleted our guides so I can stop updating them?
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Old 16-01-2012, 18:50   #108
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Re: Do you still use cruising guides?

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I'd welcome the comparison on any level at providing practical, quality information that's important to the boater. Sailormap is a trivial mashup between Google Maps and the GlocalSearch (Google's search API). The exact same type of information is available in dozens of other ways with many apps, applications, and websites.

I totally admit that Google's server technology and implementation greatly exceeds anything we could ever hope to implement.

Looking into it a little, you can see the entire Javascript source for the whole mashup by doing a View Source on:
www.sailorsmap.com - localized Nautical Information at yourfingertips

You'll find that it loads the Google Maps API, Google Gears API, and then has about 2 pages of code to do the GlocalSearch and display. A halfway competent Javascript developer could have written that in an afternoon. It probably took longer to set up the domain, website hosting, and little icons for the POI's (although they're all free public icons).
Jeffrey, thanks for responding but I must tell you that I am really taken aback by your brush dismissal and critique of anything which remotely competes with ActiveCaptain. Reading some of the other threads, I think this is the underlying issue which other forum members have with your posts in this thread. There is a saying; "Live and let live."
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Old 16-01-2012, 18:58   #109
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Heading south for the first time on the ICW, I have found cruising guides invaluable. I like having the flip book /chart in the cockpit. I like making notes on anchorage and slip info. Active captain is used to supplement the cruising guides. Using all sources has been very helpful.
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Old 17-01-2012, 07:49   #110
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

Since this thread has pretty much been hijacked, I'll just continue the trend of making this an ActiveCaptain Feature request/critique.

After a first timers brief look at your site I have several suggestions to make it useful for the VERY SMALL group (read as: poor market capital) of long distance sailors:
  • Low bandwidth version. While I like the pretty flash interface, it takes forever to load with the typical bandwidth cruisers can use (outside Carrib/US/Canada of course). How about a text only page?
  • Ability to specify Lat/Lon or country and get a list of Markers. If I use the Search Location tab, I get a lot of generic useless information (IMHO).
  • In the search location feature, it seems to weigh the title of the item higher than the actual location. Try searching for Alaska and the second hit is a place in Canada?!
  • If you want people in remote places to update your site. I suggest you make an offline Java tool where people can record their experiences over the course over the year and when they get to a place that has good internet, they can then use this tool to upload their information directly to your site.
  • If this Java tool could also read GPS track data and depth it would be a good way for you to collect data that is at least as accurate as the GPS reading without user errors. (If you pay me I'll write it for you... )
  • If you made an email responder where you could retrieve text only information via email (most world sailors' only form of regular internet access) to get information like noonsite.com does this would allow people in remote places to use your service. (and this be inclined to contribute). Take a look at all the information you can get from noonsite via email by sending a message to text-help@noonsite.com
  • Your message "Zoom in further to see markers" is misleading. I can go to the middle of the ocean and still get that message and zoom in and there is nothing there. A simple solution would be to bound the Lat/Lon box of the screen, query the database and say Zoom in Further to see the XXX available markers (and maybe provide a text list of markers with your "Go" links if there are less than 10). This would be a low server load feature that you could probably cache easily because probably 90% of the planet has no markers.
  • I think you need to add a features page to your site to describe what, why and how your products work -- include the things you've mentioned throughout this thread. If I had not read this thread I would have not spent much time looking at your site at all because the benefits are not obvious to the uninitiated. I certainly wouldn't have bothered to become a member for the vague bonus ability to "view item details".
  • There is also no developer information that I can find or information about using your API...?
On the plus side:
  • Good job getting NOAA charts and Google's imagery integrated into flash. Kudos.
  • Smart move getting other apps via an API to share your data. (Why not OpenCPN too?) Is it a paid service? (Again, not much info on your site that I could find)
  • You are serving your local market well, which seem to be mostly East coast and PNW. That's probably 99% of your user base so you can probably ignore what I'm suggesting and be perfectly fine for decades.
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Old 17-01-2012, 21:01   #111
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

RTFM! Classic
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Old 18-01-2012, 07:36   #112
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

Well, I can see that was a waste of my time.
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Old 21-01-2012, 07:10   #113
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

Odd, Jeff's RTFM reply to my ideas vanished...
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Old 21-01-2012, 08:10   #114
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
Many thanks. I've input the information. It was an easy process once I knew where to go.
Following Jackdale's guidance, I input the uncharted rock location with NOAA. A couple of days later I received the following reply:

"OCS response: Sir/Madam,
Thank you for forwarding this information to us. It will be used to update all applicable nautical products.
Best regards,
Allison"

It seems that NOAA is willing to hear crowdsourced feedback. I wonder what their validation process is. (I suppose I could input "Here there be monsters." and see if I got the same response.)

Next question -- The relevant chart was last updated 9/2010. Does anyone know the NOAA publication cycle?
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Old 21-01-2012, 08:18   #115
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

David, The charts will show "Reported 2012" until there is an actual survey done for the area. I don't believe there is any cycle for updating the charts. Main commercial areas and harbors get priority. Depends on the budgeting process more than anything else. Chuck
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Old 21-01-2012, 08:40   #116
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

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David, The charts will show "Reported 2012" until there is an actual survey done for the area. I don't believe there is any cycle for updating the charts. Main commercial areas and harbors get priority. Depends on the budgeting process more than anything else. Chuck
Thanks, Chuck.
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Old 27-01-2012, 12:54   #117
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

I too would love to see the Active Captain databases available in OpenCPN. Hopefully something like this could be made available.
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Old 31-01-2012, 17:16   #118
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

I like the paperback books and I like the e-readers. I have printed cruising guides and I enjoy internet resources. I gert my weather on the internet, but I also listen to the TV weather and the VHF NOAA broadcasts. If fact, I take advantages of all the resources except Astrology and Madam Ruby!
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:36   #119
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

Hello everyone.

I realize I am entering this conversation very late (long reason for that, but I dont want to start by digressing), yet I would like to mention some of the issues that we solved on the BlooSee maps, and that have been discussed extensively on this thread:

Displaying groups of markers at all zoom levels:
We have "clusters" of infopoints, that show clearly on the map. Even a view of the whole world on BlooSee allows to see the areas where we have information. No need to zoom in to see if one area has information. The density is displayed visually by the size of the clusters. As you zoom in, though, the blue circles (clusters) become individual points.

Ability to move on the map by name, or coordinates: by clicking on "Go to" it is possible to specify a city or region, but also enter precise coordinates in 3 different formats. It is possible to "Go to my location", which centers the map around the current position. Also, a search by name feature integrated on the system.

Complete taxonomy of markers, including basic families (that can be turned on and off) and many subtypes for each, giving high precision to the type of information posted. This includes shore-based services, but also a layer for nautical history and traditions, or another one for ocean conservation, for instance.

Ability to upload photos and videos to any of those infopoints (markers).

Lists of markers organized by country/region, and then by type.

NOOA (and Brazil and New Zealand) charts integrated seamlessly on our map. More to come.

Wind forecast (data provided by NOOA) integrated on the map as well.

Ability to create routes.

Maps can be easily embedded on third party websites (blogs, etc.) by simply copying a short HTML code snippet (which can be obtained directly on the map view).

Capability to view all of the markers on Google Earth. (Looking into OpenCPN now).

Finally, I'd like to mention that we have our own iPhone/iPad app with all of the above. The app is free.

And, of course, we want to keep improving!
I would like to invite everyone on this thread to give it a try on our website (I can't post a direct link in compliance of Cruisers Forum's rules, but our site is easy to find as it is like our name: BlooSee).

We're listening for feedback and suggestions. Please send them our way!

- Pedro
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:29   #120
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Re: Do You Still Use Cruising Guides ?

pedro, I just tried to register on your site and get
504 Gateway Time-out


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