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Stay Connected: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does help me stay connected? allows you to track your friends' boat's position on a map and track the boat's progress over time, whether they are gunk-holing in the San Juan islands or taking part in an ocean race. For instance, you can keep track of the members of a fleet during an ocean crossing, see where competitors are in a boat regatta, or follow your loved ones as they brave the unknown.

You create your network of sQuidders by inviting your friends to your Follow List, either through squiddio_on_facebook invites or email messages, or by adding other users you meet on the service.

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 Follow List?

Yes. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Enter your Spot Tracker glId in the Number and keys tab of your user profile. (Note: You can also find the User Profile button in your Dashboard ).
  2. If you have set a password on your shared SPOT page, make sure you enter that as well in your User Profile.
  3. Save the changes.
  4. Activate the Tracking mode in your SPOT device: your position updates will soon appear in your friends' Dashboards or OpenCPN charts

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 or OpenCPN.

Q. How do I obtain my SPOT Tracker GlId?

  1. Go to your SPOT page and log in with your SPOT credentials.
  2. Click on the Share link at the top and Create A Shared Page if you don't already have one.
  3. Ensure that the shared page is active and click the View Details button.
  4. Click the Share button, then select URL. You will be shown a url similar to: The glId is the last part of the link, so in this example 0pbfaSfr4gfc8BWSKfBBfYjWyhfXksJfo is your 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.

AIS updates do not propagate to sQuiddio instantaneously. Several minutes may elapse between the time your AIS transceiver sends a position update and when the update is reflected in or OpenCPN.

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.

IMPORTANT: as a result of partial AIS coverage, not all registered MMSIs are present in our database. We record a new MMSI in our database when we receive the first AIS report from that vessel. Therefore, you may not be able to add certain vessels to your follow list.

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 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 squiddio_on_facebook invites. To manage your Follow-list, log into, 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 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 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 profile. Simply tap on the send position button to post your position and your status message on If you logged into using your squiddio_on_facebook 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). 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 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 squiddio_on_facebook 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 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

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.

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