Pocket Mariner’s real time AIS data and photo API service has been selected by Transas , a global leader in marine navigation systems, to use with their iSailor iPhone and iPad app. The latest version 1.7.0 of their app now provides a real time map view of ships around you with instant details including name, range and bearing together with a photo of the ship to help you recognise it.
You can get the latest version of iSailor from the app store now
Mikhail Andrianov, Product Manager at Transas says “We are really excited to provide our Transas iSailor users with live AIS data on their charts via the Internet. Pocket Mariner’s live AIS API, SDK and sample code made integration with our product easy and fast. This option makes it possible to show on charts the next AIS target types: AIS Class A, AIS Class B, AtoN (Aids-To-Navigation, virtual or real), Shore Base Stations. This functionality will be useful for users of different kinds: from sailors, boaters or water tourists, – who have no AIS Class B or receivers on board to ship owners, dockers and marine logistics personnel, who need to monitor vessel traffic in a given area. To use this functionality, you will have to have WiFi, 3G or 4G/LTE internet access on your Apple device.” Steve Bennett, Pocket Mariner’s CEO commented: “This is another great endorsement of Pocket Mariner’s “real time” AIS data service and API’s that we use to power our own Marine Navigation Apps and we look forward to providing additional AIS data services enabling Transas’ iSailor users to share their boat’s position and course in real time using our internet AIS transmit and track api’s”.
real time AIS data service, FleetWatch
, has been selected by the Pilots at Portsmouth International Port
to use with their Portable Pilot Units (PPUs) running SevenCs ORCA Pilot G2 solution
. The Pilots use Pocket Mariner’s
real time AIS data feed to display live ship positions and courses on and around their client’s ship as they travel out to pilot it. Ben McInnes, Deputy Harbour Master and Portsmouth Pilot said: “The real time internet AIS feed allows us to “virtually board” the ship and assess the situation before we even get there.” Portsmouth have also selected Pocket Mariner’s AIS Replay service to review and playback incidents and for training purposes.
Steve Bennett, Pocket Mariner’s CEO commented: “This is a great endorsement of Pocket Mariner’s “real time” AIS data service that we use to power our own Marine Navigation Apps and we look forward to them using our additional AIS data services including geo-fence event triggering and instant history replay capabilities “.
Here is a screenshot of live ship traffic around Portsmouth using the Pocket Mariner AIS service and SeaNav
Boat Beacon now allows you to use AIS and GPS NMEA data directly from an AIS receiver and GPS on-board your boat via WiFi (over UDP or TCP) or Serial(USB). Boat Beacon seamlessly combines this with the AIS information it receives over the internet. If you travel outside mobile internet coverage or in an area where we don’t have good coverage from a local shore station, Boat Beacon can now continue to work displaying live ship data, calculating Closest Point of Approach (CPA) with alarms etc. from your VHF AIS receiver or AIS enabled VHF radio. On Android you can connect the NMEA serial or usb output from an AIS receiver or connect via WiFi. On iPhone you need to use WiFi. Here are some of the AIS receivers we have tested with Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, Digital Yacht, Comar NMEA-w2-Wifi, Weatherdock EasyAIS, Chetco Digital SeaSmart , dAISy AIS, Navico GoFree, Quark AIS (dual channel and usb stick) etc. More information on how to hook all this up is given below.
iPhone and Android AIS and GPS over WiFi.
If you already have AIS data available over Wifi on board then just enter the UDP port number (or ip address and port number for TCP) for the source and Boat Beacon will start using the data. With Navico GoFree and iPhone/iPad this is even more simple as there is a “GoFree” connect button in settings – just press and go. If you only have a usb or nmea output available you will also need a serial or usb to internet or Wifi adaptor. They range in price from $50 to $200. This is one example we have tested with at the $70 level – USR-TCP232-400 that we hook into our on-board WiFi hub.
Here are some specific instructions for connecting Boat Beacon on Android to GoFree – http://pocketmariner.com/?p=1538
Android AIS NMEA 0183 and GPS over USB or serial
Boat Beacon will automatically launch and use local AIS data (and GPS if available) when a USB cable is plugged in between the AIS receiver and your Android device. You can set the USB mode on or off in settings in Boat Beacon.
For an Android NMEA 0183 connection you will need the following:-
1. An Android device that supports USB host mode (typically OS3 or later)
2. If your receiver doesn’t have a USB output you can simply convert the NMEA 0183 2 wire output to USB for a few dollars more using an RS232 to USB cable. Typically $7 or so. The most common USB to RS232 cables use the Prolific 2303 driver which we support. The cable we tested with is this one :-
We also support many other serial usb drivers (see below).
3. You will also need an Android OTG micro usb adaptor which only cost a couple of dollars. Here are a couple of links to the type of OTG micro usb adapter you will need:-
and this one allows you to charge your device at the same time:-
You can get Boat Beacon from the iTunes or Android stores – Boat Beacon
If you have a problem connecting with Android over usb you can run this free simple serial usb tester program on your Android device once you have an OTG adaptor
to report and test what driver is required and let us know :-
Augmented Reality View
Our unique AR view mode allows you to view buoys, lights, ships, waypoints and track overlaid on your iPhone or iPad live camera view. With “AR LockOn” you can select a target on the chart and then be guided to it in the AR camera view.
Find that ship on the horizon and instantly see its name, range and bearing.
Spot the next marker buoy.
- See your route and next waypoint
Tap the “eye” icon at the top left to switch AR mode on, then tilt your device up to see a live camera of the scene and boats around you. As you turn round and view buoys and ships, their name, range and bearing will popup when they are in the center of the view. You can also tap on them to get more information. Tilt back down to see the map view. Tapping the “eye” icon again turns AR mode off. You can pinch to zoom the map or camera views.
In AR mode our unique “AR Lock On” feature lets you select a ship or buoy on the map view and then easily locate it in the Camera view using a grey arrow to tell you which way to turn to spot it when its not directly in view. Your course (yellow line) and route to next waypoint (blue line) will also be visible overlayed on the camera view.
Ships are color coded based on their type e.g. Sailing boats are white, Pleasure Craft magenta, etc. See the Map Legend for full details. A vector points forward showing where each boat will be in 2 minutes time based on its current Speed and Course. Ships move in real time across the map and in the AR view. Tap on a ship or buoy to get more information and tap on the right arrow to get even more including speed, course, distance, bearing, picture etc. The horizon is set by the zoom scale of the chart view – e.g. zoom out on the chart view to see further out in the Augmented reality view.
AR photo from the Isle of Wight ferry.
We had some great feedback from one of our users, Ken, in Southern California:-
I have now been using Boat Beacon in the southern California waters for the past few months and really enjoy the visibility it provides me. Just this past weekend, my Yacht Club had a large cruise over the 4th in Catalina and in my trip over, I had a cargo ship that, based on Boat Beacon CPA data, going to get really close. I called the ship, by name, on VHF Channel 16 and based on the conversation, he changed course, which again we had a conversation with him telling me what he had planned to do etc.
It is exactly that type of data that made my trip along with a lot of others.
My question is; I have an assigned MMSI and Transmitting from the iPad, I “see” the ships, do they “see” me on their shipboard system? I know I can be seen on ship finder, Marine Traffic, but not sure if they see me in real time on their system.
BTW; a number of my club members who were in transit had heard my call and discussion and came away impressed with what Boat Beacon can do. A number of them have already downloaded it onto their apple IOS and Android devices.
In answer to Ken’s question, if you are only transmitting your position using Boat Beacon then the ships will not be able to see you on their VHF AIS Systems. However many of the Coast Guard stations and Harbour/Port Authorities around the US, UK and Australia do now combine internet AIS feeds with their local VHF AIS data, so there is a good chance you will be showing up on their screens.