Posts Tagged ‘activecaptain’

From: Boat US News:

It’s over 70 years old, a thin magenta-colored line appearing on over 50 different navigational charts covering the Atlantic Coast and Gulf, snaking along the route of the Intracoastal Waterway. Now, thanks to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and a public-private partnership with Active Captain, an interactive cruising guidebook, NOAA will be updating the “magenta line” on all of its newly-issued navigational charts to help keep boaters in safe waters. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) submitted comments on the proposal to NOAA, who had initially proposed removing the line entirely. However, responding to BoatUS’ and other boaters’ comments, NOAA will tap into users of Active Captain to update the route in an on-going effort that will benefit the boating community.


The thin magenta colored line marking the Intracoastal Waterway is like a yellow brick road for boaters transiting the East and Gulf Coasts. Credit: Boat US

“Some boaters had assumed the magenta line, which was last updated in 1935, was a precise route through safe waters,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Senior Program Coordinator David Kennedy. “However, over time the forces of nature made the line inaccurate as shoals shifted and underwater topography changed, leading some boats into shallows, over dangerous obstructions, or even into land. We thank NOAA for a change of course in keeping the magenta line, listening to boaters and coming up with a creative public-private partnership that recognizes the value of this important guide to navigation.”
The magenta line appears in charts covering all Intracoastal waters, and is essentially two distinct routes along the eastern US and Gulf Coasts totaling about 3,000 miles in length. Said Captain Shep Smith, chief of NOAA’s Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division, “Today’s decision to reinstate the magenta line is not a quick fix. It will take at least three years to fix problems that were 70 years in the making.”

Boaters may contribute to the updating effort by joining Active Captain at www.activecaptain.com.

Jeffrey Siegel, owner of ActiveCaptain said in his recent newsletter, “In September 2013, US/NOAA began asking boaters for feedback on the “magenta line” – the magenta colored overlay on US charts showing the recommended route of travel for the various US intracoastal waterways: New Jersey, Atlantic, Dismal Swamp, Florida West Coast, Gulf West, Gulf East, Okeechobee Lake, and Okeechobee Rim. The line first appeared in 1912, saw a major update in 1935, with only rare updates since then. This has caused many tense moments as the real channel has shifted away from the marked channel leaving boaters confused about the correct path. ActiveCaptain hazard markers have helped with those, “what do I do here?” moments.

The feedback from boaters was heard loud and clear by NOAA. They claim that 99.9% requested that NOAA maintain the magenta line rather than remove it.

How will they go about fixing the magenta line?

That was part 2 of the NOAA Coast Survey announcement. They have added ActiveCaptain to their “cartographic toolkit in the chart evaluation system.” Last year NOAA licensed the ActiveCaptain data for internal use. We wrote some custom software to make it easier for the cartographers to use the hazard data you provide to help update charts and fix the magenta line. The first part of the software has been delivered to NOAA for their use.

NOAA approached us because they were already using the hazard data to locate problems but had to manually search on areas of interest to see what needed attention. Now hazard changes are automatically presented to them so they can quickly go through the changes and determine whether additional surveys or chart changes are needed.”



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ActiveCaptain, the world’s first interactive, user-supported, cruising guide, has announced a new partnership with Garmin International.

In a press release dated February 15, 2012, Jeffrey Siegel, Owner/Co-Founder of ActiveCaptain, announced that Garmin has become the first officially -licensed company to integrate ActiveCaptain into their BlueChart Mobile app for iPad and iPhone.

Siegel wrote, “As the first major marine electronics manufacturer to publicly license ActiveCaptain, the stage is set for another doubling of AC users to over 200,000 members.”

Engelhard (Al) Sundoro, Garmin’s Senior Director, Marine Sales and Marketing said, “We’re proud to partner with ActiveCaptain to make the boating experience even more pleasurable. The content provided by the ActiveCaptain community is a great complement to Garmin’s BlueChart Mobile application – now, not only will mariners have the latest charts and service data from Garmin, but they’ll also have access to a wealth of information directly from other captains.”

Garmin’s new app isn’t available yet, but will be after the formal announcement at the Miami International Boat Show, this weekend – Feb. 16-20. It will debut at the Garmin booth (#1689) and ActiveCaptain support will be demonstrated with live data.

BlueChart will be free of charge through the iTunes App Store, but users will pay to download various charts regions as needed. It provides integration for route planning and totally integrates with the real-time, synchronized data from the ActiveCaptain servers. It does not require Garmin chartplotters but has extra capabilities if you also have other Garmin hardware.

Up-To-Date Cruising Information… In the palm of your hand

Most cruisers would agree that having a member-updated cruising guide is the best way to get the most accurate, useful information about anchorages, ports and even hazards.

“Bringing more boaters to the ActiveCaptain community is a huge win for the entire boating community, especially outside the U.S., where Garmin’s support for international chart data will merge perfectly with our international content.”

Currently the scope of the data is focused primarily on the U.S., but that will surely change quickly as more international users come onboard. As more boaters share their local knowledge and cruising experiences with others in the boating community, everyone benefits. One of my favorite aspects of ActiveCaptain is the ratings system where cruisers can share their knowledge of any particular anchorage by assessing aspects like holding, wind protection, wake protection, shopping and access to shore – all important to those visiting for the first time. Printed cruising guides tend to become inaccurate as soon as they hit the stores, so interactive guides like ActiveCaptain are more useful whether one is out for a daysail or cruising the world.

Anyone can become a member of the ActiveCaptain community. It’s free to join and begin posting information. There’s also incentives to contribute. Members earn points for entering information on marinas and fuel pricing and then exchange those points for logo-wear, products and occasional special promotions by marinas.

ActiveCaptain is also available as an overlay on another charting app for the iPhone/iPad, namely Charts&Tides by Navimatics.

ActiveCaptain’s press release:

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