Q. How does sQuidd.io help me stay connected?
Q. Do I need any boat tracking equipment, navigation software or subscription service to send my position to sQuidd.io?
sQuidd.io does not require dedicated vessel tracker equipment, such as an AIS system, or navigation software. If you plan on sailing close to shore, where cellular coverage is available, all you need is a device you probably already have on your boat: a smart phone with a data plan. If you plan to be offshore for a while, you may want to consider renting or purchasing a satellite phone, if you don't already have one. This will enable you to send log entries (which include position updates) from virtually anywhere around the globe by sending a simple SMS message with your coordinates. And because sQuidd.io relies on the SMS system, which is included in most basic sat phone plans, you do not need to sign up for a so-called short burst data service plan.
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. IMPORTANT: sQuiddio relies on AIS position updates available on the Internet and provided by a network of private and independently operated AIS Base stations around the world. Coverage is therefore limited to certain areas, mostly within a 20-50 mile radius of heavily populated areas. THIS SERVICE IS THEREFORE PROVIDED ON A BEST EFFORT BASIS and should not be relied upon when sharing your position with others at all times is critical. Check our AIS service provider's coverage map to find out what areas are currently served.
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 a coverage area, by entering your MMSI identifier in your boat profile.
Q. What is the follow list?
It is the list of other sQuidd.io members who have agreed to share their positions with you, and whom have allowed to track your position. You can invite friends using email or, if you have sailing Facebook friends, send them invites.
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 entry is manual so it is entirely up to the discretion of the user when to send your position updates.
Q. How do you post a position update using your iPhone, Android or other GPS-enabled phone?
Simply point your mobile device's browser to http://squidd.io/positions/new (there is a link 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 GeoSMS-tag 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 inform your sQuidd.io followers that you are somewhere in the Atlantic ocean, or precisely at latitude 17.345 north and longitude 66.234 west of Greenwich.
Q. How do you post a position update using your satellite phone?
Most satellite phones are capable of sending SMS messages. Simply 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: Maximum of 60 log entry a month included in the free membership. This feature only works if the sender's number is a universally recognized sat phone number, i.e. it has a virtual country code equal to +881 or +870). Iridium, Globalstar and Inmarsat plans use either of these virtual country code, so they are supported.