Newsletter #55 - March 30, 2011
Show us your routes
>>> Show us your routes >>>
April 1st is a terrible day to release new software. No one thinks you're serious. So we finished up a little ahead of schedule and made everything live last night. The new Interactive Cruising Guidebook is now live with routes and sponsor capabilities.
You can tell you've got the new version by going to the Help Card tab on the left side and noticing v1.6 at the upper right.
The new capabilities released today have been in development for 10 months. There is a tremendous amount of new software in the guidebook. We've tested it extensively but, well, it's software running on multiple platforms under multiple browsers. Please contact us if you find something wrong.
So now it's up to you. Show us your routes. Go into My Card and notice the new Routes section. Click the 'More' link in the heading and select 'Import GPX file.' That will allow you to upload the GPX files you've been collecting.
Once routes are in your list, click the checkbox to display them in the map/chart area. Click the 'More' link for the route item to select other commands to apply to that route.
To create a new route, press-and-hold the mouse button on the background of the map/chart and select 'New route' in the popup menu. Press-and-hold to add new waypoints to the route. You can insert waypoints along a segment of the route by clicking on the line segment and selecting 'Insert waypoint.' Click in a waypoint and select 'Delete waypoint' to remove the waypoint. Existing waypoints can be dragged to reposition them. Waypoints and line segments can be clicked on when the mouse cursor changes from an arrow to a finger.
You can also measure a path - press-and-hold on the background and select 'Measure a path.' Now press-and-hold to add new points just like you were creating a route. You can turn a measured path into a route by clicking the 'To Route' button at the bottom.
To edit an existing route, display it. Then click on the route in the map/chart area and select 'Edit.' You know you're over the route for clicking when the mouse cursor changes from an arrow to a finger.
All of this is easier to just experiment with than it is to describe. So experiment and have fun with it. Routes are the gateway to the next set of capabilities coming in ActiveCaptain.
Note that all routes created or uploaded will be available for sharing in May when the new Route Sharing card comes out. For now, upload your existing routes, edit the details to provide a category and other information, and explore all of the new capabilities.
>>> Sponsors make it possible >>>
The new release also includes activation of the Sponsor badges. As you explore on the ActiveCaptain website you will notice that some of the markers will look different - some will be larger with a star, some will display '1st', and some will have 'Co-Op'. Each larger marker you see indicates a marina or business that is helping to make ActiveCaptain possible.
Most of the 3rd party navigation applications will also now display these new sponsor badges. It has all been coordinated with an April 1st release of the capabilities.
When we have spoken at rendezvous and boating events and chatted with boaters on the docks, there are two questions that always come up: how can you do all of this for free? How can we help? Good questions. Many of you have offered donations to keep the site running. We thank you for the offers, they are the ultimate confirmation that you value this resource. But we don't want nor have we ever accepted donations.
Doing a project of this magnitude requires a substantial investment of time and money. From the start we believed it was the right thing to do and also knew that its success rested on it being freely available to the boating community.
Now with the ActiveCaptain Sponsor program there is a way you can help. Whenever you see one of the special Sponsor markers, check them out. These are marinas and businesses that understand the value of what ActiveCaptain does. They are committed to keeping this a free resource for all boaters. They read your reviews and work to improve their facilities. They want your business.
Any marina with that attitude deserves your business.
So the next time you see a Sponsor badge like the one at Lambs Yacht Center:
Or a Pro-Op message from Clearwater Municipal Marina:
Or a Co-Op being offered by Galley Stores and Marina, also a 1st Choice marina:
Or St. Augustine Municipal Marina, a 1st Choice marina now with 4 new mooring fields:
Stop in, give them your business, show them your ActiveCaptain hat, and thank them for making ActiveCaptain possible. They truly are making this work out financially.
We'll be highlighting other Sponsors in the future. Watch for them in newsletters, on the website, and in the 3rd party navigation partner software products.
We've been working on the new version for the last 10 months. It's been 7 days-a-week for the last 4 months. But now we're taking a break, enjoying Charleston, and watching Spring come to the waterways. Watch for the ActiveCaptain logo on the boat, stop by and say hello, and don't forget to give Dyna and Dylan a pat. You can follow the crew's adventures on our blog:
Karen and Jeffrey Siegel
The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
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