Bringing boating & sailing to life with relaunched OnCourse app

IT and Communications, Sailing, Sports, Weather, Yachting — By on July 3, 2017 at 5:33 PM

Recreational boaters can now share their trip details with friends and family in real-time using MarineTraffic relaunched OnCourse app.  The upgraded app OnCourse also allows users to plan and review routes and see and learn about vessels and landmarks around them using an augmented reality feature. The app has been developed by MarineTraffic, the world‘s most trusted global ship tracking intelligence provider.

OnCourse is powered by the user’s smartphone and allows amateur sailors and boaters to report their position so that it is visible on www.MarineTraffic.com.

For the month of July 2017, MarineTraffic is offering a free trial of the latest augmented reality feature, which is usually part of the OnCourse Plus subscription.

New features for the free version of the app include:

  • Ability to add customisable stand-alone waypoints to the map
  • Collision detection & avoidance while sailing, showing Closest Point of Approach (CPA) and time to CPA
  • Export your voyage to GPX file or Route Planner for editing
  • Support of different units for distance, speed, temperature and latitude/longitude
  • View time/dates as UTC, Local and more
  • New over land/water function

New features that have been added to OnCourse plus are:

  • Enhanced Route Planner, follows the vessel’s track while sailing and guides the user to the next waypoint
  • Additional information during sailing (time to next waypoint, next ETA, final ETA, distance & bearing to waypoint, XTK)
  • Voyage planner feature: Enter starting point and destination and the app will calculate the optimal route
  • Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality feature can be used in combination with VR glasses for an enhanced experience
  • View stand-alone and Route Planner waypoints in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Demitris Memos, Managing Director of MarineTraffic said: “Our app development team have added some exciting new features to the app that can be used by any sailor or boat owner with an iOS or Android device and mobile internet to help navigate and monitor their own position and those of other vessels. We hope OnCourse will make sailing and boating more accessible and fun for thousands of users.”

OnCourse is a self-reporting tool that simulates data transmitted by AIS transponders. The app uses the internet to transmit data and not actual AIS radio-frequencies. As such, vessel positions reported via OnCourse are visible only on the app and MarineTraffic.com. They will not be visible to the AIS receivers of other vessels.

Users of OnCourse input their vessel’s MMSI call sign number, or if their vessel has no MMSI, can generate a unique vessel ID using the app. They also configure other vessel details such as a vessel’s name, call-sign, dimensions, destination and ETA. Once a vessel’s ID and details have been established its position can be calculated by the app using the host device’s own Global Positioning System (GPS) sensor.

OnCourse consumes minimal bandwidth – an important feature for an app designed to operate using mobile internet only. Even if the app is set-up to send position reports at the highest frequency, it will use around 150 bytes per minute or 210KB during one day of continuous use.

For

Access OnCourse on Google Play

Access OnCourse on App Store

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The user can plan their journey by setting their track on the map using Route Planner. The app will guide them to each waypoint giving them information about distance, ETA, bearing, declination from his course (XTK) and more. Meanwhile the user can see the positions of other vessels nearby, get information about them and receive proximity alerts.

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Each journey is saved to the device. The user can then check it later, see it animated, share it, export it or use the track as guide for a future journey.

The app detects when the app is set and switches to night mode for a more pleasant experience.

The user can plan their journey by setting their track on the map using Route Planner. The app will guide them to each waypoint giving them information about distance, ETA, bearing, declination from his course (XTK) and more. Meanwhile the user can see the positions of other vessels nearby, get information about them and receive proximity alerts using nautical maps.

​While traveling the user can set custom waypoints to measure distances or get other useful info.

Marine Traffic

MarineTraffic is the leading and most popular global AIS facility with over 940,000 registered users and 520 million vessel positions registered each day. It is an open, community-based platform providing free real-time information to the public about ship movements and ports across the coastlines of the world, as well as premium information and mid-ocean coverage to subscribers. The system is based on the Automatic Identification System (AIS). MarineTraffic operates over 3,000 AIS receiving stations located in more than 165 countries across the world and delivers the most comprehensive AIS coastal tracking facility available today.

Through a partnership with Orbcomm (NASDAQ: ORBC), MarineTraffic also offers a satellite tracking facility for those vessels on ocean passages and out of range of coastal AIS stations. This allows vessels to be monitored in open ocean.

MarineTraffic attracts more than 6 million unique visitors and almost 20 million visits to its website each month. More than 500,000 users access MarineTraffic from mobile apps.

www.marinetraffic.com

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