Send position updates with GeoSMS messages Beta


December 2014


Background

There are a number of ways to share your current position in an automated fashion with people on your Follow List: Spot Tracker, your AIS Transponder (if you have one) and, for OpenCPN users with a GPS feed, the recently introduced sQuidd.io plugin. If you have none of the above, and still want to occasionally update your friends and family through your sQuiddio Dashboard, or an iframe on your blog , if you have a SMS-capable Satellite phone (and most of them are) and if you are willing to spend a few seconds to type an SMS, you can avail yourself of sQuidd.io's support for GeoSMS messages to send a manual position update.

The emphasis here is on the words occasionally and manual: the process can get pretty tedious for anything more frequent than a single daily update. Nevertheless, in absence of anything else, this is still a viable solution for keeping your friends and family up to date on your whereabouts where all you have is satellite connectivity.

Sending a GeoSMS message

Sending a GeoSMS to sQuidd.io is pretty straight-forward:

  1. Set up your sQuidd.io account to receive position updates via GeoCoded SMSs by entering your satellite phone number in your sQuidd.io profile (log into sQuiddio, then go Dashboard->Edit Profile->Numbers & Keys).

    The virtual country code of the satellite phone must be equal to +881 or +870. Iridium, Globalstar and Inmarsat plans use either of these virtual country codes, so they are supported.
  2. Send a GeoSMS to:

    +1 650 458 0180

    with your current coordinates and a sentence or two, but make sure you follow the GeoSMS format! Your position will be posted to the Dashboard page of everyone in your Follow List.

BTW - nothing stops you from sending a GeoSMS from your mobile phone (no need for a smartphone here, as long as the phone can do SMSs, you are set). It's just that, most likely, if you have cellular coverage, you probably also have data coverage, which means it may be easier to just use the sQuidd.io mobile app. But in the cases where the cellular signal is weak and you have weak/no data connection, this may do the trick. Just remember to enter your mobile phone number in your user profile.

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.