Sunday, February 23, 2014

SEAiq 3.5 Update and AIS Sharing - Bazinga!

Application: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for Phone 5.
Function: Marine navigation, Charting, NMEA data, AIS, Weather
Rating: *****
Cost: $24.99

I have written several blog posts about SEAiq US over the years.  The app was introduced back in 2012 and allowed viewing of NOAA vector charts. The author Mark Hayden has worked continuously to add features and make improvements to the app.  He continues to do so with the addition of AIS to his SEAiq suite of apps.  Mark is not only a talented programmer but he is also a serious sailor and world cruiser.  His extensive cruising and sailing experience gives him a unique perspective on how a marine navigation app should look and feel and what features are important.

His latest version of SEAiq has added full iOS 7.0 functionality and an AIS feature. This is not your basic AIS function.  He describes it as AIS Sharing. 

This feature can be turned on in the Settings/NMEA page. Turn on AIS Sharing to start viewing AIS targets.

What sets SEAiq AIS apart from others is that it will not only display AIS targets from your onboard AIS receiver over WiFi but it will also display Internet based AIS data.

If you have an Internet connection over WiFi or a cell connection the Internet based AIS data will be displayed. The Internet based AIS data includes some 20,000 AIS targets from AIS Hub. AIS Hub collects AIS data from land based receiving stations and sea going ship from around the world.  AIS Hub requires that if you want access to the data you have to share your own ships AIS data with the site.

If you have an onboard AIS receiver that data will be preferred over the Internet AIS Hub data. 

In the zoomed out view of the charts you can see what areas of the world that have Internet based AIS monitoring systems. Many of the coastal region of the world are covered.

The SEAiq AIS Sharing function
will also send data from your onboard AIS hardware back to the Internet base AIS Hub network. You will need an internet connection for this to take place. There are no other apps or chart plotters on the market that have this feature.  Mark has truly created something unique with the AIS Sharing function.

As you zoom in on the chart the AIS targets start to appear. Targets are shown as triangles with flags. If you single tap an AIS target, additional data will be displayed in a pop up box on the screen. The instrument display on the right of the screen will also show the AIS target data including name, COG, SOG, bearing and distance.

Double tap the target pop up box to get additional information about the AIS target. Complete information about the target can be accessed by selecting Full Information from the bottom of the pop up or through the AIS menu selection at the bottom of the screen. This provides a complete status and listing of the vessels data along with diagnostics.

SEAiq has hit the ball out of the park with the addition of this AIS Sharing feature. The app provides the most comprehensive AIS solution of any iOS or Android charting app on the market. It provides both AIS data over NMEA WiFi and over the Internet if available.
 
If you are considering a full featured marine charting app with AIS for your iPad or iPhone, SEAiq has to be near the top of your list.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)
Mark

4 comments:

  1. Will this app work with em-trak R100 AIS receiver connected to PC lap top with hockey puck GPS, running CPN 3.2.2 on an onboard wifi hotspot? Alternatively, the on board iPad runs Navionics.
    Thanks, Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ben,

    SEAiq app will work stand alone. The apps AIS sharing will work if you have a cell or internet connection. SEAiq AIS will work if you can get the NMEA AIS data wirelessly to the your iPad through TCP/IP. I am not sure if Cap'n can forward NMEA data. I know some PC chart plotting programs have the ability to forward the data to the iPad. Optionally you could use NavmonPC to forward your AIS data wirelessly to your iPad. http://www.navmonpc.com

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  3. Boat Beacon already does all this plus real time collision avoidance alarms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for the comment! Welcome to the site.

      Yes, Boat Beacon uses Internet based AIS data and now supports onboard AIS NMEA data over WiFi. SEAiq uses both Internet base AIS data and actual AIS NMEA data from onboard AIS receivers. Both have similar features but SEAiq incorporates it into their full featured charting app while Boat Beacon is just an AIS app.

      I like that SEAiq has it integrated so I don't have to pay another $9.99 for just AIS.

      Mark

      Delete