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Our work with Stanford University and GaiaGPS on the Shark Net app is complete – for version 1.0 at least! We’re proud to have been part of this important project showcasing the science involved in observing and conserving the rich biodiversity in the west coast oceans otherwise known as the Blue Serengeti or the Great White Highway. The release gained quite a bit of attention in both the consumer and scientific plublication communities and we’re seeing a fairly steady stream of downloads and really positive reviews.


Image Credit: davidpstephens / Shutterstock

A nice mention of  the EarthNC Marine Charts app as one of several apps that can be used for kayaking. Great stuff!

Kayak cruising, is there an app for that?

Jun 18, 2012

Chewonki_kayak_tour_at_Isle_au_Haut_cPanbo.jpg

While there are many wonderful non-profits helping to preserve the Maine coast and to enable public access, one of my favorites is the Maine Island Trail Association. MITA has established a network of island campgrounds that can be visited by small boat. The Trail is used primarily by kayakers but I’ve visited many MITA-monitoried islands in larger boats, sail and power, and can attest to the fact that the organization has established a leave-no-trace ethic that really works. I use both the printed and online MITA Guide and appreciate other membership benefits but largely support the organization because I so like the idea of more people….

follow this link to read the entire article. 

EarthNC’s Marine Chart’s apps support creating, saving and editing waypoints quite well. But there’s a few steps involved…and while we’re working on making it easier to do so, here are some basics steps.

1) First, from the map view, make sure you’ve enabled “My Waypoints” in the Layers menu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Once done, return to the main Map window and select the Flag button and select “Drop Pin” or “Drop Pin Near Me” (which uses your current GPS position).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Give the waypoint a name for easy recall and note that it provides your lat / long. You can also move the point around with your finger in this view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Click “Save” and you should see your waypoint on the Map view Note, you cannot edit it here (this is one thing we’re working on).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) At any point in time, you can go to your “Saved” menu, select the Flag button (waypoints) and see a list of your saved waypoints. Note, in this screen you can easily delete a waypoint by sliding a finger to the right on any waypoint listing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) Select the Action button on the top right of the screen and select whatever activity you want to perform (Export, Show on Map, Guide Me, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try that out. Remember, you really can’t break the app, so tinker around with the functions to get your bearings straight.

Best,

The EarthNC Team

Right now we don’t we a simple ruler tool in the app. But what you can do is drop a waypoint by touching the Flag button and select either “Drop a Waypoint” or “Drop a Waypoint near Me”.  Then when done, select “Save & Guide” and when you do, the bottom panel will display the heading and distance.You can also, select “Create Route” and then lightly press your finger on the screen to create your waypoints and the distance between the two will show up on the bottom panel.

 

We get asked this question quite a bit and its a tough question to answer by “area” because the size of the area you can download at any one time is determined by the zoom level of the charts. The more detail, the more information, the more storage it takes, therefore the less area you can manageably download and any given time.

Bottom line though, is you can now download an immense amount of chart data at one time (100,000 tiles) and you can download as many areas as you like.

Our recommendation is to download a large, medium level zoom of the entire region of the area you’re boating, and then download as many high-detail regions (typically close to shore, or inlets) as you need / like. You can mix and match as much you like as again, there are not any limitations to how often or how many regions you download (save the storage space on your iPad) – just how much you can download at any one time.
One other idea is to create a Route, and then going back to that Route (once its saved) and select “Download Maps for the Track”. Yes, we know, the language doesn’t make too much sense, but what this does is download all of the charts for your specific route at a fairly close zoom level. This is super easy to do once you get the initial hang of it.
We hope this helps…

As some of you know, our friends at Survice and Cruisernet have been working with a growing fleet of volunteer boaters to collect soundings data from their depth finders. Now, there’s enough data now to show the real promise of crowd sourcing using low-cost hardware and software leveraging on-board depth finders. Below are two screen shoots showing color-coded soundings data in an an inlet at two different zoom levels. One of the first applications that come to mind is the establishment of “bread-crumb” trails in various shallow and narrow waterways. In general, we think this could be a really useful way to compliment conventional, certified soundings data from the USCG as well as User Generated Content navigational data.

Enjoy (and send us your thoughts!),

-The EarthNC Team

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2012

Salty Southeast Cruisers Net, SURVICE Engineering and EarthNC Form Partnership to Bring Crowd-Sourced Sounding Data to the Cruising Community.

Delray Beach, FL – The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net (SSECN), SURVICE Engineering, and EarthNC, Inc. announced today an exciting new partnership that will provide SSECN users with the benefit of 25 million soundings acquired and processed with the ARGUS (Autonomous Remote Global Underwater Surveillance) system. The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net (http://www.CruisersNet.net) is the FIRST web site to offer easy access to ARGUS data.

Effective immediately, users of the SSECN’s “Chart View” pages can click a simple checkbox, thereby opening a new ARGUS layer, set over up-to-date images of the NOAA nautical charts. Once selected, the ARGUS layer will display color coded markers which depict the tide corrected solution of soundings gathered by ARGUS cooperative research vessels. This new SSECN tool will be continuously updated as new ARGUS data is received. It will provide the Southeastern USA cruising community with yet another valuable resource to help make mariner’s time on the water a safer and more enjoyable experience.

SSECN has worked closely with ARGUS and EarthNC to integrate ARGUS data into the SSECN’s EarthNC powered “Chart View” pages. Plans are also underway to include ARGUS’s sounding data as a layer in EarthNC’s Marine Charts & Weather iPhone app in a future update.

Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net co-founder and Editorial Director, Claiborne S. Young, comments:
“We could not have brought this new, exciting resource to the cruising community without the tireless work and cooperation of EarthNC and SURVICE Engineering. The sole impetus for all three of our companies was to make the valuable data gathered by the ARGUS project available to the cruising community in a simple, easy to use and understand format. Working together, we believe that goal has been achieved!”

John Hersey, ARGUS Project Manager, adds: “SSECN readers are the ideal audience for ARGUS solutions, and we’re very excited about this opportunity to provide added value for under-surveyed waterways such as the ICW to those who can most benefit from it. The partnership’s combined expertise will add to the continued development of outputs that will endlessly improve the benefit for recreational boaters. We also look forward to input from SSECN readers in the form of soundings, feedback, and local knowledge to make the solutions even better.”

EarthNC’s Zetterlind adds: “The ARGUS soundings data, supported by SSECN, is an important and innovative approach to crowd-sourced surveying data that compliments traditional navigational data sources. It has huge potential for our customers and is a natural fit for both our web-based and mobile offerings.”

 

We had some isolated issues with our latest version for some of you. We’re sorry about that! The fix is available now in the Appstore so please upgrade as soon as you can.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marine-charts/id386584429?mt=8

Kind Regards,

The EarthNC Team

Well, after a few months of intense coding, its finally done. v1.0 that is…but we’re really jazzed to see this app get out in the wild (pun intended). The full release, which really describes the project best follows below. You can get the app by clicking here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          April 4, 2012

New iPad, iPhone app helps mariners avoid endangered right whales

Mariners along the U.S. east coast will now have a new iPad and iPhone application that warns them when they enter areas of high risk of collision with critically endangered right whales. The free Whale Alert provides one source for information about right whale management measures and the latest data about right whale detections.

“Whale Alert represents an innovative collaboration to protect this critically endangered species,” said David Wiley, Stellwagen Bank sanctuary research coordinator and project lead. “Whale conservation is greater than any one organization and this project shows how many disparate organizations can unite for a good cause.”

A key feature of Whale Alert is a display linking near real-time acoustic buoys that listen for right whale calls to an iPad on a ship’s bridge showing the whale’s presence to captains transiting the shipping lanes in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. “The idea that right whales are directly contributing to conservation through their own calls is pretty exciting,” said Christopher Clark, whose team at the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helped develop the acoustic detection and warning system.

North Atlantic right whales, which live along North America’s east coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, are one of the world’s rarest large animals and a species on the brink of extinction. Recent estimates put the population of North Atlantic right whales at approximately 350 to 550 animals. Collision with ships is a leading cause of right whale death.

“In addition to increasing the chances of right whale survival, Whale Alert also decreases the risk of mariners being fined for violating regulations,” said Deborah Hadden, deputy port director for the Massachusetts Port Authority. “The shipping industry does not want to strike whales. Whale Alert is the combination of science and technology that we have been looking for to help resolve this issue.”

The link to the listening network is only part of what Whale Alert does. The app uses GPS, Automatic Identification System, Internet and digital nautical chart technologies to alert mariners to NOAA’s right whale conservation measures that are active in their immediate vicinity. NOAA is the U.S. agency with responsibility for protecting and recovering this endangered species.

“Why do right whales need their own app? There needs to be dramatic progress in conservation if the species is to survive. Whale Alert is a giant step in the right direction,” said Patrick Ramage, global whale director for the International Fund for Animals Welfare and one of the collaborators on Whale Alert. “Given the fragility of the right whale population, the loss of even one whale reduces its chances of long-term survival.”

“The app also moves whale conservation into the 21st century,” said Brad Winney, Co-Founder of EarthNC, Inc., developer of the WhaleAlert mobile application. “Whale Alert highlights the powerful role today’s web and mobile based technologies can have in the preservation efforts of endangered species worldwide.”

Whale Alert has been developed by a collaboration of government agencies, academic institutions, non-profit conservation groups and private sector industries, led by scientists at NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Collaborating organizations include Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire, EarthNC, Excelerate Energy, EOM Offshore, Gaia GPS, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Massachusetts Port Authority, NOAA Fisheries Service, NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, National Park Service, Cape Cod National Seashore, United States Coast Guard and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Whale Alert can be downloaded free of charge from the App store. More information on Whale Alert and the groups responsible for its development can be found at http://stellwagen.noaa.gov/protect/whalealert.html.

Partner media contacts:
NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary: Anne Smrcina, 781-545-8026 x204, anne.smrcina@noaa.gov
NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries: Vernon Smith, 301-713-7248, vernon.smith@noaa.gov
International Fund for Animal Welfare: Patrick Ramage, 508-776-0027, pramage@ifaw.org
Bioacoustic Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Christopher Clark, Tish Klein, 607-254-6260 brp@cornell.edu
Massachusetts Port Authority: Deborah Hadden, DHadden@massport.com
EarthNC: Brad Winney, bwinney@earthnc.com

On the Web:
Whale Alert: http://stellwagen.noaa.gov/protect/whalealert.html
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary: http://stellwagen.noaa.gov
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov
NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov, Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels
Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab or Ornithology: www.listenforwhales.org
EarthNC: http://earthnc.com
International Fund for Animal Welfare: http://www.ifaw.org
Massachusetts Port Authority: http://www.massport.com
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: http://www.whoi.edu

Many boaters want to download waypoints created on their mobile devices to their laptops to view in Google Earth or to import into their PC chartplotting applications. It is a fairly easy process to do so:

In the Marine Charts App:

1. Go to Saved -> Waypoints
2. Click on the export button in the top right
3. Select ‘Export All Waypoints’
4. Email them to an address you check on your laptop (they will be in GPX
format which is used by Google Earth and other programs)

You can do the same for your tracks. We’ll be adding more advanced track
management in the very near future.

Hope this helps!

-The EarthNC Team

For our Android users, we just posted an update to our Marine Charts for Android (U.S. only). As most of you know, there were some incompatibility issues with ICS and we hope we’ve resolved them. Please update your app as soon as you can and let us know if we’ve missed anything. Otherwise, enjoy the sandwich!

Have a good weekend all,

– The EarthNC Team

The story behind the cool robot gliders...

The story behind the cool robot gliders...

Solar powered gliders developed by Liquid Robotics play a crucial role in helping track and monitor Great White movements. Learn more about this important new technology by clicking here.
Shark Net app featured on Shark Week
Watch Discovery Channel's Shark Week on Thursday evening (August 16th) at 9:00 p.m. (EST) to learn more about the amazing work by TOPP researchers to help preserve Great Whites and the app that supports them.
TOPP, the story behind Shark Research
The Shark Net app showcases years of research by the Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station and the TOPP Institute. Learn more about this hugely important project and the team of researchers behind them by clicking here.