Q. How does sQuidd.io help me discover new, exciting boating destinations?
Q. What type of Destinations do you show in a search?
A Destination is a place of interest for boaters. Marinas, boat harbors, anchorages, yacht clubs, public docks, ramps, fuel pumps etc. are the typical examples of boat cruising Destinations you will find on sQuidd.io. Each Destination has its own page. Destination pages are meant to provide boaters with a sense of how attractive and well served a particular Destination is (through pictures, member-assigned ratings and member-provided comments) as well as practical information, such as phone numbers or tips from other boaters.
Q. Do you show Destinations worldwide?
Most of the Destinations currently on sQuidd.io are in North and Central America, the Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean (at least the European side), part of the European Atlantic coast, Australia and new Zealand plus a sprinkling of islands here and there. Because sQuidd.io relies on user-provided information, we expect our coverage to grow rapidly in the near future, as more users start adding new interesting Destinations.
Q. Can I view sQuidd.io destinations directly in OpenCPN?
Q. The address, location or other data of a Destination is outdated or incorrect. Can I fix it?
Yes. If you are a registered user, you can click on the Edit link in he Destination page. This will allow you to add or update address, phone numbers, introductory message and other destination information, as well as reassign the Destination to the correct coordinates by simply pointing and clicking on the map. All the changes you make are reported in the Media Feed section of that destination. You can undo any changes you made by clicking the delete (x) button on the corresponding entry of the media feed.
Q. You are not showing my favorite marina, anchorage or other sailing place. Can I add it myself?
Yes. If you already have the coordinates for the new destination, just go to this URL and fill out the form. If you don't have the coordinates:
sQuidd.io will attempt to assign an address to the new Destination based on the geo coordinates. Please verify the address and if necessary correct it and add other contact information you may know.
Q. What are the criteria for submitting a new Destination?
For a submission to be accepted, the Destination needs to meet certain requirements. For instance, if you add a Marina, a Dock or a Ramp, the facility must be easily recognizable on a Google satellite map at the closest level of zoom available at the geo coordinates you have entered for the Destination. When creating a new Destination, be as accurate as you can be in clicking on the correct position on the map. If you are submitting an anchorage, the location should appear to be in a natural setting which is suitable for overnight mooring. The sQuidd.io Webmaster reserves the right to reject submissions that are not deemed to meet these basic criteria. Also remember that users will rate and comment on your submission, and comments that consistently indicate that your Destination is misplaced or invalid may lead to the removal of a user-submitted Destination.
Q. What is the number of unique visitors?
sQuidd.io tracks the number of boats that check into a destination and reports the total count for the last 12 months. Checkins are based on automated (AIS, SPOT, OpenCPN sQuiddio plugin) or manual position reports, This number gives you a feel for how "popular" (or crowded) a given Destination may be. If you are seeking peace and solitude, look at this number to decide where not to go!
Q. What is the Popularity Rating?
It is a ranking of the most popular destinations (5 being the highest ranking) based on the total of 1) the number of unique visitors, 2) the number of posts to the media feed and 3) the number of favorable ratings (i.e. more than 3 stars) for beauty, service and Wi-Fi. See the complete rank of sQuiddio's most popular destinations.
Q. Should I enter a Destination's latitude and longitude into my GPS as a waypoint?
☞ We strongly recommend you do not! None of the information you will find on sQuidd.io is intended for navigation purposes. Please continue to rely on official charts and publications to make navigation decisions.
Q. What do you mean by checking in or out of a marina, anchorage or other Destination?
Checking into a marina is a way to associate your current position with a sQuidd.io Destination in order to let other sQuidders know exactly where you are. Of course, you can simply post your latitude-longitude coordinates without checking in at a specific Destination, but those coordinates will be rather meaningless for most of your friends, whereas the name of the Destination may be known to them. By checking out of a Destination you inform your followers that you have left that Destination, and when exactly you did that. You can choose to be automatically checked in or out of Destinations by setting the relevant option in the preferences page.
Q. How do you check in or out of a Destination?
To check into a Destination manually, you must be located within 1 kilometer (.6 miles) of the Destination itself. When on site, simply go to the Destination's page and click on the
, which will allow you to check out when you are ready.
If you have an AIS transceiver, Spot Tracker device or are running the sQuiddio plugin on a GPS-enabled OpenCPN you can choose to automatically check-in upon reaching any of the sQuidd.io destinations. For AIS, simply enter your MMSI in your boat profile. For Spot Tracker, enter your GlID in your user profile. If your are running the plugin, your user id and API key in the plugin settings will do the job. Finally, do not forget to update your preferences to activate automatic checkins. See the Stay Connected section for more information.
Q. What is the Skipper's Dashboard?
Think of the Dashboard as your home page on sQuidd.io. This is where you will find the most commonly used functions:
Q. Why hashtag a destination?
Q. What happens when I hashtag a destination?
Q. How do I tag a destination on Instagram?
Q. How do I hashtag a destination on Twitter?
Q. What if I submit a tweet or Instagram post from a location that doesn't exist on sQuiddio?
Q. Can I hashtag any other type of point of interest?
What are the recognized destination type hashtags?
|When creating a:||use any of these:|
|Marina||marina, harbor, harbour, port, dockyard|
|Dock/Pier||dock, pier, wharf, quay, slip, berth, jetty, embarkment|
|Mooring||mooring, buoy, buoys, mooringbuoys|
|Fuel station||fuel, fuelstation, fuelpump|
|Dry dock||drydock, boatlift, boatyard, boatbasin|
|Launch Ramp||ramp, launchramp, landing|
|Hurricane Hole||hurricanehole, typhoonhole|
Q. How does sQuidd.io help me stay connected?
Q. How do I share my position with friends on the Follow List?
There a are multiple ways to do this:
Q. I own a SPOT Tracker device. Can I use it to share my position with the sQuidd.io Follow List?
Yes. Just follow these easy steps:
☞ Track updates do not propagate to sQuiddio instantaneously. Several minutes may elapse between the time your SPOT update is sent to the satellite network and when it shows up in sQuidd.io or OpenCPN.
Q. How do I obtain my SPOT Tracker GlId?
Q. I own an AIS transponder. How do I use it to share my position on sQuiddio?
If you own an AIS transponder (note: a simple AIS receiver will not do the job!), you can make your position available to other sQuiddio users, assuming the system is operating properly and provided you are in the coverage area, by entering your MMSI identifier in your boat profile.
Q. What is an AIS system?
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base stations. While originally intended for large cargo and passenger ships, low-cost AIS transponders are becoming more affordable and are increasingly popular among pleasure boaters.
Q. What is the Follow List?
It is the list of other sQuidd.io members who have agreed to share their logs with you, and whom you have allowed to view your logs. You can invite friends using email or, if you have sailing Facebook friends, send them invites. To manage your Follow-list, log into sQuidd.io, go to the Dashboard and click on the Update Follow List button in the You are following section.
Q. How often do you report a user's position?
As often as the user decides to report his/her position. As a default, each log post is manual so it is entirely up to the discretion of the user when to send your position updates. If you use our OpenCPN plugin you can set the reporting period from ten seconds to once a day.
Q. How do you post a position update using your iPhone, Android or other GPS-enabled phone?
Well, truth is....there is NOT an app for that! The sQuidd.io site renders in a mobile-friendly way automatically, using HTML5.
(You may want to save the URL to your phone's home page, for future use)
Simply point your mobile device's browser to
(there is a link in the Dashboard and at the bottom of the home page as well).
You will be asked for your sQuidd.io credentials to log in. Once logged-in, you will be prompted to share your location's latitude and longitude. If your browser is Html-5 capable and your GPS is enabled, your current coordinates will appear on the screen. You can add a brief message, which will also be displayed on your sQuidd.io profile. Simply tap on the send position button to post your position and your status message on sQuidd.io. If you logged into sQuidd.io using your account, you will also be given the option to post your position and status on your wall.
Q. What happens when you have no cell coverage?
If you are out of cell phone coverage but have access to a satellite phone, you can send a GeoSMS message to communicate your present position.
Q. What is a GeoSMS message?
It is an SMS message that includes your latitude and longitude in a machine recognizable format. Simply put, it is a message that contains the special keyword 'geo:' anywhere in the text, immediately followed by your coordinates. Coordinates must be specified in decimal format, separated by a comma (preceded by the - (minus) sign for latitudes west of Greewnwich and longitudes south of the equator). sQuidd.io simply scans the text of your message looking for the
and displays your position on your friends' maps at the next refresh. For example, the message:
currently at geo:17.345,-66.234, winds from the NE at 15 kts. All is well.
will place you at coordinates 17.345N, 66.234W, somewhere in the Caribbeans.
Q. How do you post a position update using your satellite phone?
Most satellite phones are capable of sending SMS messages. Simply add your satellite phone number to your user profile and send an SMS
message containing your GeoSMS-tagged coordinates, and any other textual information you want your friends to see. If you are a
user, you can choose to have your update automatically posted to your wall. Send the message to the number:
+1 650 458 0290
☞ IMPORTANT. This service is currently in beta, and is available free of charge to all sQuidd.io registered users with a limit of 90 SMS messages per month. Options for purchasing additional capacity may be made available at the end of the beta period.
Q. How do you post a position update using email?
Just send a GeoEmail to this address (or cc the address on an email to others):
(Never mind the strange email address: it's for historical reasons). What's a GeoEmail? Well, you guessed it: an email message with your coordinates either in the subject header or in the body of the message, preceded by the geo: tag, just like in the GeoSMS message explained above. For example:
Subject: Oh no! Another position update!
Body: Sailing in paradise! Currently at geo:39.22, 7.352
is a valid email message, and will place you at coordinates: 38.22N, 7.3524E
☞ IMPORTANT: the email message must be sent from the same email address you have used to sign up to sQuidd.io
Q. Can I show my position map on my blog or web page?
Yes. You can include an html iframe showing the same map you see in the "Your Log Posts" section of the Dashboard.
Q. Can I access sQuidd.io directly in my OpenCPN chart plotter?
Q. What are the requirements for using the plugin?
Q. What steps are required to use the plugin?
Q. How do I obtain the API key?
(Required only for Log-sharing) Log into your sQuiddio account and click on the Edit Profile link in your Dashboard. You will find the API key in the Numbers & Keys tab of your profile.
☞ To view a demo of the log-sharing feature before you create your Follow list, enter your squiddio id and the special key squiddio_demo_api in your plugin settings dialog box. See up to date log reports for randomly selected vessels (the names of boats and users are fictitious to protect user privacy, but the demo is based on actual log reports.)
Q. How do I view destinations for a specific region?
Once you have enabled the plugin, simply right click on any location on your chart and select Download local sQuidd.io Destinations from the contextual menu. If you have Internet access, and if there are destinations in the database for that area of the world, your destinations will appear as waypoints on the chart. Double-clicking on the waypoint will display the destination's dialog box, which includes address, ratings and other information, and a link to the destination's page on sQuidd.io.
Q. I don't see some of my favorite destinations on the chart. Why?
sQuidd.io's user-sourced repository of sailing destinations already includes close to 10,000 points of interest worldwide, and is growing rapidly thanks to our active user community. That said, it may well be that the destinations you are looking for have not yet been submitted for inclusion in the database, so be the first to do that!
Q. How do I add a destination that is missing?
Right click on the exact location on the map and select Report a Destination at This Location from the contextual menu. This will bring you to a page on sQuidd.io where you can enter information about the place and submit the destination for inclusion in the database. The sQuiddio webmaster will review and approve your submission, based on certain criteria. (Of course, you can also submit destinations on the sQuidd.io web site, as outlined here )
☞ (Note: Version 0.4 or greater of the plugin only)
Q. How does the Log-sharing feature work?
If you are sailing with a group of other boats, chartering with a flottilla, participating in a regatta or simply want to follow your friends as they brave the unknown from the comfort of your home, you can use sQuidd.io's Follow List feature to track the other boats' position, speed and heading on OpenCPM (as well as on the sQuiddio web site and,optionally, on ). The plug in will retrieve the latest log updates from your Follow List and send your own GPS position at regular intervals. The plug in provides a choice of various time intervals, from ten seconds to once a day
Q. Who can view my log updates, and whose log updates can I view on my charts?
Only sQuidd.io users you have chosen to invite to your Follow-list can share log updates with you
Q. How often should I retrieve and send log updates?
Your choice will depend on quality and cost of your Internet connection. While crossing an ocean and using an Internet-capable satellite phone or satellite-powered Wi-Fi hotspot, a couple of updates a day may suffice, whereas for a local regatta more frequent updates would be recommended. Please note that your log update will only be sent to sQuidd.io when Internet access is available. Should you temporarily lose data coverage all log updates in that period will be lost (in other words, the plug in doesn't manage a queue)
Q. Can I use the plugin with a satellite phone?
Yes, provided that your satellite phone is Internet capable (for instance an Iridium 9555 or Iridium 9575 Extreme ) or a Satellite-powered Wi-Fi hotspot (for instance the Iridium Go or the Globalstar Sat-Fi )
Q. Does the plugin require a lot of bandwidth?
No. Most low-bandwidth Satellite phones will do. The plugin is designed to minimize bandwidth requirements and data consumption. A single outbound position update uses less than 800 bytes, while retrieving a log-sharing report for 20-30 cruising friends will typically not exceed 30KB. If you are trying to keep your sat-phone bill in check, and you set your retrieval interval to, say, an hour, that would translate in less than half a megabyte a day. A typical download of regional destinations (which is done manually) will average 50-100 Kbytes.
Q. What if I do not have internet connectivity?
You will not be able to retrieve and visualize your friends log updates. However, you may still be able to share your position updates with your follow-list using SPOT Tracker, your AIS transponder, or sending a GeoSMS. Please understand that AIS position updates are only available on sQuidd.io on a BEST EFFORT BASIS. See additional important information on sQuiddio's support for AIS