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Old 18-02-2018, 08:13   #16
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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If you choose to write a review, suggest a change to a marker or offer a nav alert, then it asks for your email address and other details, but that is so one of the editors can confirm things. Unlike a pure crowd sourced service, WWG uses real humans to confirm information before it is posted.
Mike I will start using Waterway Guide, hereafter WWG, and will also try to help Zulu get more North American input by duplicating entries, when possible or "as time and duty permits".

Thanks for the background information on WWG, that is beneficial to know.
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Old 18-02-2018, 10:09   #17
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Mike I will start using Waterway Guide, hereafter WWG, and will also try to help Zulu get more North American input by duplicating entries, when possible or "as time and duty permits".

Thanks for the background information on WWG, that is beneficial to know.
Glad to help.

And good luck Herreshoff. It looks like a good service. I do hope you find a way to start compensating your freelance workers.
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Old 18-02-2018, 21:57   #18
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

The link to Google Play does not work. Perhaps the address is off?
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Old 19-02-2018, 01:45   #19
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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AC benefitted from being the first crowd-sourced platform and it also had decent functionality. As a result, it got to critical mass where there was enough useful information to make it a viable, usable resource.

Being a new entry I think you're going to have to market it fairly aggressively and also recruit some "editors" to help "seed" information. If you can find a few cruisers who are ranging up and down the east coast and through the Caribbean, for example, and compensate them on some level, that would probably be money well spent.

i find the most useful information on AC to be 1) Local knowledge for navigation, including up-to-date hazard/shoaling information 2) anchorage information, and 3) shopping/provisioning information.
I agree with this post.

CRITICAL MASS: This is what really set them apart (not sure if the change in ownership will impact that).

I don't want to mess around with 6 different sites to find info.

Doing some kind of seeding I think is critical. If I go to your site 3-4 times and you have no info on the area I'm interested in...I'm not going back to the site and it will be hard to get me to go back if you have the info a year from now.
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Old 19-02-2018, 08:02   #20
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Active Captain
Thank you ...

I would have racked my brain trying to figure it out ... I tried googling it and came up with a lot of things ... but not ActiveCaptain
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Old 19-02-2018, 10:24   #21
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

It seems every area where sailing / boating is high, and technology available, there is a peer review database that can be used to collect anchorage, marina and local knowledge information. Another one, getting some traction, at least in France is Navily - Your mobile and social cruising guide

So, it seems depending on your sailing area, you may want to pick the "local" one.
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Old 19-02-2018, 17:11   #22
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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AC benefitted from being the first crowd-sourced platform and it also had decent functionality. As a result, it got to critical mass where there was enough useful information to make it a viable, usable resource.

Being a new entry I think you're going to have to market it fairly aggressively and also recruit some "editors" to help "seed" information. If you can find a few cruisers who are ranging up and down the east coast and through the Caribbean, for example, and compensate them on some level, that would probably be money well spent.

i find the most useful information on AC to be 1) Local knowledge for navigation, including up-to-date hazard/shoaling information 2) anchorage information, and 3) shopping/provisioning information.

Yes, I tend to agree with this also. We are very new and therefor there are not a large number of users in your area. I suppose time will tell which way sailors from the American region will lean, although it looks like AC and WWG have a lot of detailed information so will likely remain the go-to place for boaters of that region. Provided the information is constantly updated of course. This is very important in Australia (where Zulu was launched) as there are many bar entries which shift often and many new facilities opening up in new regions. For Australia, Zulu is very useful for relaying this information, amongst other things.

Also, I’ve noticed that the other platforms are detailed almost to the point of charts. Zulu is not looking to replace your chart plotter (although the information contained would be a useful addition to charts like open CPN). This is part of the reason for not including depth chart overlay as we don’t want people to use it in this way. It’s designed as a tool for making decisions on where to drop the pick, anything you need to know about getting there (nav advice) and then what to do once there. With a heavy focus on the cruising sailor, and similar to the other two programs we focus on anchorages, but also add information like icons for tap and bin locations, good swimming spots, walking track locations and also lean more heavily on the personal experience of the sailor. Sailors can add their location to the map and leave a little blog about what they are doing which all gets saved to their profile . They can have other sailors they follow and who follow them, post questions and articles and add to a detailed profile section for recording travels. So, in this way there are some differences.

The idea of seeding is indeed a good one, however so far we have people doing it for the love of sharing information with others on the site. I think sailors are pretty generous souls (especially after a few sundowners!) and are happy to leave information to help their fellow sailor without the need of monetary compensation. I can see however that this would be different when looking at the amount of detailed 'chart like' data expressed in the WWG maps for example. Everything you can see on our platform has been added organically over just the past 7 months or so. We also want to avoid having sponsored marinas and that kind of thing as we feel it goes against the grain of the idea of our service.


Thanks for the insights by everyone on this thread. I’ve learnt a lot and appreciate the PM’s and expressions of interest for the region.
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Old 19-02-2018, 17:31   #23
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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The link to Google Play does not work. Perhaps the address is off?
hmmm ok. try this one https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...aterways&hl=en

Apologies for the late reply. We were sailing
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Old 19-02-2018, 20:45   #24
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Mike I will start using Waterway Guide, hereafter WWG, and will also try to help Zulu get more North American input by duplicating entries, when possible or "as time and duty permits".

Thanks for the background information on WWG, that is beneficial to know.
Thanks for the support Bacchus. I appreciate it greatly!
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Old 20-02-2018, 03:30   #25
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Also, Iíve noticed that the other platforms are detailed almost to the point of charts. Zulu is not looking to replace your chart plotter (although the information contained would be a useful addition to charts like open CPN). This is part of the reason for not including depth chart overlay as we donít want people to use it in this way. Itís designed as a tool for making decisions on where to drop the pick,

Then including a chart overlay is then a critical item to include. I want to know depth and bottom info if I'm looking for an anchorage. In the USA, the charts are free so it's just integrating them.

The idea of seeding is indeed a good one, however so far we have people doing it for the love of sharing information with others on the site. I think sailors are pretty generous souls (especially after a few sundowners!) and are happy to leave information to help their fellow sailor without the need of monetary compensation.
I don't think you got the point with seeding. Yes, cruisers will generally share but if they aren't using your site, they won't be sharing.
This is where the critical mass and seeding come in. As you are not first to market, you are in a chicken & egg situation. People won't use the site if there isn't enough useful info and if they aren't using the site, they won't ad info.


We also want to avoid having sponsored marinas and that kind of thing as we feel it goes against the grain of the idea of our service.

I do like this as it does make me question the results for the "sponsored" marinas.

The only question is how is your system funded? If I'm supplying the product (actual reviews and cruiser data is what you are really selling), I'm less likely to want to pay for it like a traditional guide book.


Thanks for the insights by everyone on this thread. Iíve learnt a lot and appreciate the PMís and expressions of interest for the region.
Good Luck.
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Old 20-02-2018, 05:47   #26
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

Thanks for the feedback Valhalla. Iíve added some responses to your feedback below.

Also, Iíve noticed that the other platforms are detailed almost to the point of charts. Zulu is not looking to replace your chart plotter (although the information contained would be a useful addition to charts like open CPN). This is part of the reason for not including*depthchart overlay as we donít want people to use it in this way. Itís designed as a tool for making decisions on where to drop the pick,



Then including a chart overlay is then a critical item to include. I want to know depth and bottom info if I'm looking for an anchorage. In the USA, the charts are free so it's just integrating them.*


Valid point. I can see my phrasing was contradictory. What I was trying to convey is that I intended this tool to be used in conjunction with your plotter/chart of choice. Not as the sole means of making these decisions. More like, ĎHey, hereís a great anchorage this sailor has added, letís check out the approach on the plotteríÖkind of thing. I can see that having the overlay would be useful as a reference, provided it was understood by the user that itís just a reference.
Of course, depth and bottom info is a field we encourage users to add to the information in an anchorage icon (of which there are three types, one specifically for shallow draft) so this information is usually provided. Although not to the extent of a plotter.

Out of interest. Do some boaters use AC or WWG as the sole means of depth information when anchoring in a new place? Perhaps the US charts are so accurate that there is little risk in suggesting to the users that the depth data can be trusted. If so, adding that data would be a good idea for our service in the US and will be something I will implement. I am less willing to do so in other regions such as the pacific islands, SE Asia and some of the shallow channels.bar entries here in the Southern Hemisphere.
Apologies for my contradiction in the initial phrasing. 



The idea of seeding is indeed a good one, however so far we have people doing it for the love of sharing information with others on the site. I think sailors are pretty generous souls (especially after a few sundowners!) and are happy to leave information to help their fellow sailor without the need of monetary compensation.*


I don't think you got the point with seeding. Yes, cruisers will generally share but if they aren't using your site, they won't be sharing.
This is where the critical mass and seeding come in. As you are not first to market, you are in a chicken & egg situation. People won't use the site if there isn't enough useful info and if they aren't using the site, they won't ad info.


Yes, it is a chicken and egg situation. In Australia and surrounding regions we had enough sailors initially interested in the concept to take that step and add information to regions where there wasnít any already. This made it useful enough for others to decide to add what they knew etc etc. I am certainly interested in a method of seeding (itís part of the reason for this thread) and am interested in exploring different ways to go about this. In my post I was attempting to respond to the idea of paid contributors and elaborating on why I hope to avoid this. Your point is spot on of course and this is one of the major challenges Zulu will face in the US.




We also want to avoid having sponsored*marinas*and that kind of thing as we feel it goes against the grain of the idea of our service.



I do like this as it does make me question the results for the "sponsored" marinas.

The only question is how is your system funded? If I'm supplying the product (actual*reviewsand cruiser data is what you are really selling), I'm less likely to want to pay for it like a traditional guide book.


Our win win goal is to source the money to keep the program running by sharing some of the icon information with other marine services. Such as tablet plotters, local waterway websites and other marine sites like ours. We feel this is the safest way to keep the site clean and 100% free to use while increasing its usefulness by making the information available on different platforms. This method allows us to control the information from our end, to ensure the information is not sponsorised(?) and to allow the free app and web service to continue to run while still producing a source of funds. Other methods for generating income for marine platforms like this are less than desirable (I wonít go into all those right now) and generally come at the expense of the user. To have the site shared to mobile plotters would also solve the depth overlay issue.

We would never charge the user to access the information as they are the ones sharing the information in the first place. This is something we will not compromise on, just like sponsoring deals. I would be interested on hearing your thoughts on the above means of funding.


Thanks for the insights by everyone on this thread. Iíve learnt a lot and appreciate the PMís and expressions of interest for the region.


I truly appreciate the feedback Valhalla. I hope my answers donít sound defensive, Iím just doing my best to make my reasoning clearer. Iím sure there are many aspects which could be improved upon as we move forward. Still early days. I would enjoy to continue the discussion.

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Old 20-02-2018, 07:06   #27
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Out of interest. Do some boaters use AC or WWG as the sole means of depth information when anchoring in a new place? Perhaps the US charts are so accurate that there is little risk in suggesting to the users that the depth data can be trusted. If so, adding that data would be a good idea for our service in the US and will be something I will implement. I am less willing to do so in other regions such as the pacific islands, SE Asia and some of the shallow channels.bar entries here in the Southern Hemisphere.

This may be the critical question. How, exactly, is the data going to be USED?

Destination reviews are of necessity location-based. From my starting point, I'd guesstimate a day's sail (or steam, in my case) away, and see what's near there.

I could do this by looking at a chart, picking out some landmarks that look promising, then going to a book, list or web site and see if any of the names match.

But I won't. I'll go to a source which shows the anchorages or marinas right on the chart. That allows me to iterate through the different options. Here's a great anchorage. But it's a little farther away. Is there anything closer? That one looks promising but it's a long steam up a side channel. Another looks exposed to the east, and that's what's forecast tomorrow. That one over there isn't as highly-rated, but it seems to be in a perfect spot for tonight. What's the exact distance? Any hazards along the route? ...

Tying all the data from charts AND reviews together is what gives the real value.
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Old 20-02-2018, 11:48   #28
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

I know AC never allowed developers on Open-CPN to write a plugin for it. I cannot remember the logic behind this.

Would Zulu Waterway can provide some plugin for Open-CPN and off line operation?
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Old 21-02-2018, 10:52   #29
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Tying all the data from charts AND reviews together is what gives the real value.
X2

The world is moving towards a GIS based environment. Having the data displayed on a chart is critical to that in my mind. If I'm looking for an anchorage, I want to know the depth and bottom conditions right then and there. If I'm in planning mode, I don't want to have to go back and forth between a chart plotter and your website. I want to see it all on one image.

Now once I actually on the water, I'll switch to the dedicated chart plotter but by then, I've got a good idea of where I'm headed already.
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Old 22-02-2018, 03:29   #30
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Re: Are there North American sailors out there willing to contribute to Zulu Waterway

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Tying all the data from charts AND reviews together is what gives the real value.
Well the people have spoken and it makes sense to me. I'm working on coding in the NOAA charts as we speak. I should have it up and running soon (a few days)
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