Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-04-2013, 20:36   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

HI All,

My wife and I finished our first cruise of the pacific last year and while she went straight back to work (her old job) I unfortunately had to resign before we left and haven't found work since. So being an unemployed web developer I thought I would help out Gulf harbor radio here in nz and build a yacht tracking system primarily for their weather service they do, but that also does remote position based blogging, diving locations, snorkeling locations and walking tracks.

Just gone live -> Welcome to Yachts in Transit | Yachts in Transit

Its completely free and is built for cruisers to check in to the weather net (everything is via email) with their position and weather. This allows the gulf harbor radio to have a list of boats, their weather and positions and groupings of those positions to come to them. It also allows people to upload their favorite diving, snorkeling and walking locations so others know where they are and can enjoy. Like Bird Island on Wallace!

Give it a try, get diving and snorkeling sites within 50 miles of vavau tonga. Send an email to get@yit.co.nz with no subject and the following body.

[position]18 39.362S 173 58.892W
[diving]50
[snorkeling]50

or get some weather for tonga and / or the high seas.

get@yit.co.nz
no subject
[weather]
:tonga
:subtropic

to register all you need to do is
register@yit.co.nz
BOATNAME as subject
[register]
assword YOURPASSWORD
This is the description of my yacht, its a ketch, blue and is 12m long. .....

then to put a position in all you need is to send an email like this.

send@yit.co.nz
BOATNAME
[password] YOURPASSWORD
[position]18 39.362S 173 58.892W
[status] Arrived in vavau, tonga. Its very nice here. The people are friendly and welcoming.

This will appear on your yacht page. Any blogs or dive locations etc that are submitted will appear on the website and be available for other cruisers to pull down via email. Blogs within X number of miles are useful as well.

You can view all the commands from the help email or the help page on the website. An email with no subject or body to help@yit.co.nz pulls back the complete system guide.

The weather command has the added feature that you can request weather reports from other yachts within X number of miles from your position in the last 24hrs.

It would be nice to get feedback and feature requests. I've already had one for anchorages and so forth. My wife and I have only been cruising for one season and hopefully will get away again in a couple of years. This time we'll be able to easily blog our way round.

TODO list that is still being worked on located here: TODO List | Yachts in Transit
Facebook posting is a big one, so updates get pushed to your facebook and comments can come back to you via email if you wish.

cheers
Mike & Dani,
SV Mirabilis
__________________

__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2013, 06:42   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
sinbad7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ubatuba,SP,Brazil (Ex Norway)
Boat: (Ex) Alu. 60' yacht-"Eight Bells"
Posts: 2,717
Images: 57
Send a message via Skype™ to sinbad7
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Hi Mike..

Very interesting,good luck with further developments...

A friend of mine,presently located in the US Great Lakes,is developing a similar
position reporting program for Windows as well as Android applications.

He is sailing back to his native Australia in May via the Panama Canal and the Pacific.
Have a look at the present stage of his development:

BLUEWATERSAILINGDATA.COM

You must register your boat to see the full facilities...

Regds

Tore
__________________

__________________
"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
sinbad7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2013, 14:08   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Hi Tore,

Thanks for taking a look. I took a look at your friends one and it seems geared more for people following boats rather than for cruisers pulling down information about diving, walking or weather reports.
YIT only has email for communication at this stage but I am building an android app as well for those coastal cruising. Email is the easiest for sending blogs and retrieving them for your location.

I'll be doing more changes soon so will post them up as I progress.
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2013, 14:57   #4
Registered User
 
Katiusha's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 800
Sail-fish, the concept is nice and presentation is very pleasing and intuitive. Not in your part of the world, but I'm bookmarking for the future!
__________________
Katiusha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 02:08   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Hi Katiusha,

Thanks for the feedback. YIT works all over the world which is the good thing about it. It was only zoomed in on NZ as thats where the data is currently. I've updated the map with the proper icons and added much much better information popups on the diving, walking and snorkeling locations since you saw it.

If you zoom the map in around fiji and tonga you will see the few we have put a few locations in and around there. We were in tonga for three months and have lots of sites still to load in. There is nothing stopping anyone from adding locations for their area. Then when a passing yacht is traveling through they can experience your neck of the woods

We should have the whole of NZ populated for when the cruisers come down from the islands next November. Its a bit of work for us to populate that data by ourselves but so many cruisers we've talked to come to NZ and stay in the Bay of Islands and miss the best of what NZ has to offer, hopefully adding all the cool stuff we know will change that and spur others to as well
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 06:38   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 9
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Very nice concept. I develop business web apps with database back ends. Not so much web sites for public consumption. One insurance company I did work for did some geographic analysis using a web service. How far away from a fault line is this building they want to insure... that kind of thing.

I thought it was very interesting and would have liked to done more of it. The contract ended and I moved on, but enjoyed doing it. I did the whole Google Earth files with circle around hazards and started working on a way to map out a path for my motorcycle rides that I could upload to the a GPS.

I applaud your site and talent. When I get my boat and start cruising, I will definitely upload diving, snorkeling and hiking locations. I'd have to think long and hard about entering my current boat location, though. I live in the US and too much of my private information is already at risk. I'm not sure I want people to know my location all the time. But love the sharing of points of interest.

How about Marina locations and ratings? Cost/Facilities/Freindliness?

Thanks.

Will
__________________
wilnjan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 07:45   #7
Registered User
 
tbodine88's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Austin TX
Boat: West Wight Potter 19
Posts: 720
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

I like the email interface, keep up the good work. Hope that any future employment doesn't interfere
__________________
tbodine88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 14:51   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Thanks for the feedback guys.

The system was built with the email interface first. So we could publish anything from the boat and retrieve it again. The mapping stuff on the website is really just for research and friends and family (my dad loves google maps etc and was painstakingly trying to follow us and would often tell us where we weren't grrr

The mapping stuff is quite fun, but I do prefer the email stuff as your not relying on any third party API's or anything. So as long as my server is running data is being populated and returned to users sitting off a remote island somewhere. That being said google is pretty good.

I just noticed I had a few bugs with Reboot signing up, so I have fixed those. This is the first yacht to sign up outside of NZ so its quite good to get some testing in from the community especially while I have time to fix and enhance and that dreaded employment doesn't come knocking
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 15:28   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

As a software guy the only thing I'd recommend adding in would be an api so people can do web service calls and get back information that some other site (similar to yours) might want. As a user of some given site where I'd be keeping my info updated, I'd appreciate seeing nearby vessel reports that aren't necessarily from the same app.

Also makes it a bit more likely that someone else (like me) that wants to build some random functionality will use your service as the root application, if that makes sense.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2013, 21:21   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

I would imagine I'll add the web services on when I build the android app for it so that should allow other apps or devices to get and send the info that is currently accessible by email. That should hopefully be this year easily.

I 'll have a look into marinas, that could be quite useful, especially if you sent in a [marinas]100 command that returns all marinas within 100 miles and their ratings if they have been rated etc

Any other stuff that is relevant to cruisers that could be potentially useful for retrieval?
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2013, 14:22   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Couple of changes:

1) Added in anchorages, so you can add in anchorages that are either a must visit or think require a mention. Its still recommended you use a guidebook for entry into these anchorages though. You can request them with the tag [anchorages] 100 which brings back all anchorages within 100 miles of your location and their description.

2) Added in a whole lot of locations around tonga, walking, diving, snorkeling including the Ha'apis and Wallace as well.

3) Fixed a few issues with text wrapping on the listings, joined sentences and strange capitalisation from the import conversion to display process.
4) Fixed an image size issue in chrome on the listings. Should be much nicer to view now.

Still quite a bit in progress so there will be more updates as they happen.
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2013, 20:48   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Couple more updates:

1) Added in historic updates so you can add a date to a blog or a status update which allows you to add in the trip that you've done so far or even one from last year or ten years ago. This adds in missing pieces of your trip so to speak and puts it all on the map for friends/family to map your progress all from one email if you wish.

eg one email.

Code:
[status]
:date 21/03/2011
:position 24 34.456S 175 34.887E
Arrived Savu Savu Fiji, waiting for customs to come clear us in. 

[status]
:date 22/03/2011
:position 23 34.456S 176 34.887E
Cleared in and got our local cruising permit and moved on to namena island for some diving.
.
.
.
.

Added the date to blogs so you can backdate your blogs and with positions youll get a nice history of your trip as well.

2) Fixed a few bugs that have been found. Main one was android and mobile device emails being encrypted by default.
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-12-2014, 18:53   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Bit of an update.

I've built the app for this site now. Only works on google chrome for pc/mac at this stage but will try and port it to ipad and android tablets next year sometime. The app allows for full position reporting for updates, sites of interest and blogs with multiple photos as well (scaled down to transmit). The app will get weather direct from sites straight into the app. This lets the server go off and get the weather page, strip the crud out of it and transmit to you just the straight text. I've built in the webservices so those are available as well.

Family and friends are subscribing to yachts now via a subscriptions page. I also added boat to boat messaging so you can actually contact a boat that you met earlier in the season but forgot to get their details.

The Gulf Harbour Radio guys pushing the weather out to pacific to NZ yachts are a big hit with currently around ~500 yachts listening in and 180 active yachts registering with them through YIT. Remember the GHR weather service and the YIT site are totally free and provide a tremendous "run by cruisers" service to the south pacific cruising area. (YIT can handle yachts anywhere)

If you are after a system to record your sailing and let your family follow along, then YIT is getting to be a pretty good option. Oh and it's totally free, just donate if you like it and want to see it evolve over the years, or not it's totally your choice

To download the app visit The YIT Google Chrome App | Yachts in Transit and you can register via the app as well. Always welcome to feedback, suggestions and testing.
__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2016, 16:57   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Boat: Finot 45 - steel
Posts: 27
Re: Yachts in transit - new system for weather, blogging, diving, walking tracking

Thought it might be time to update this post since there have been quite a few updates on the site, and quite a few new yachts (400 total now)

So I've been busy in my spare time building more functionality into this cruisers tool.

1) New Chrome, Android and IOS Apps now available to work across most devices, except microsoft phones (hopefully chrome apps will run on those soon). These apps allow use from ipads and such and talk directly to the site thus not loading any html or css or js and the only communication is the stuff necessary to get your update on the site. Great for poor 3g connections etc. I wanted to take this a step further and have it talk to Irridium GO directly but stone walled there in getting access to their api's.

2) But, Iridium GO is now supported, not like predict wind which has it's own integration (and most likely a team of developers to achieve this) but you can just send an email to the YIT server and your positions are automatically plotted on the map. I did email Irridium asking if I could use their interface to connect directly with the YIT app but they didnt even answer my inquiry. I guess hobby software doesn't feature anywhere in their corporate priority list.

3) Satellite images can be downloaded directly into the app. Say you are cruising around the Asawas and a reef pops up in front of you that isnt on the chart (which is so friggen scary!) how do you know which way to go? Easy you just pull in a satellite image from your position (or position where you want to see) and boom you can see the reef in all its glory.



3) Internet radio streaming of GHR in the mornings. Due to the SSB skip from Gulf harbour to Opua, cruisers awaiting weather windows to the islands could not hear GHR weather report in the mornings. One cruiser emailed in asking if we could stream it to the website. So I set it up so there is a live stream from the GHR radio room (booming weather out to the pacific over SSB) which now has listeners in San Fran and OZ. I try to record the weather portion of the broadcast so that is saved and people can listen to it at a later stage. This streaming is only available to logged in users (Which are yachts) as the server won't handle to many people on due to there being a chat room as well for questions and feedback from those on the streaming and not on the SSB.

4) Comments on yacht status updates. I reluctantly put this on due to potential spam issues, but it seems to be a big hit with friends and family. If boats set their main YIT email address to their boat email address then they get the comments on passage in email form. Hence you can see why I was worried about spam. I had to make sure it was easy to post comments but no spam could get through. So far so good (touch wood).

As you can see from the site (www.yit.nz) it is starting to get messy due to the numbers of boats now using it, so I've had to start a complete rebuild of the front end (there goes all my spare time again) so it can accommodate the big lists of yachts.

One of the biggest decisions I had to make was whether to build the IOS app. The chrome and android was a no brainier, not costs involved except my time to build them. The IOS on the other hand requires money to build. $150/year every year from now to the end of time and if you don't pay the app is removed from the store. Apple takes 30% of that, then tax etc. So every year 20+ new boats have to buy the app just to pay Apple. I took the gamble and released it. This year we have cleared the 20, but next year or the year after who knows how long it will last. Google is great, one small fee - 1/7th of one year for Apple and it's for life.

Anyway the site has turned into a labour of love and by the time my wife and I go cruising again hopefully the system is bug free (tested by the current cruisers), looks awesome and generally perfect (yeah right). I welcome all thoughts and suggestions as there have been a few from here that I've put into the site and that have worked out well.
__________________

__________________
sail-fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diving, weather

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.