"The sharing economy" is what we see with public participation in Uber, Airbnb, Kickstarter, ActiveCaptain, and apps like Waze for traffic flow or others for finding parking spaces, grocery deliveries or lawn-cutting. The wireless SailTimer Wind Instrument™ can have an internet connection, and wired anemometers can now connect to mobile apps and go online with the SailTimer Mini-Server™. So no matter what type of masthead anemometer you have, you can now share or "crowdsource" your wind data. Whether you have an anemometer or not, you can now view wind conditions and tacking routes live or in replays.
Over the past year we have been developing the infrastructure for viewing wind and race maps (live and replays) in any web browser at SailTimerMaps.com. This overlay is also now available at no cost in the SailTimer™ app on iOS (and in the free Charts Edition of the app - referred to interchangeably here). The new version (5.7.8) of the app is shown in the screenshot above. We are also in the process of making the overlay available to other apps through the free SailTimer API (app toolkit) on iOS and Android.
Live Overlay: When you turn on the Overlay in the SailTimer chartplotter app, boats sharing data will appear on the map with a blue icon as in the screenshot below. For full details, a new page on how to use the crowdsourcing has been added to SailTimerApp.com. A login was added to the SailTimer app so that you could view and/or share data on the live wind & race maps. You only need to log in the first time, and your login is retained for when sailing offline. If you want to register on a larger computer screen instead of a mobile device, you can also do the registration at SailTimerMaps.com. Anyone can register there and use the various wind maps and graphs for free. (More about the features at SailTimerMaps.com in an upcoming newsletter.)
Note the wind barbs on the boats in these app screenshots indicating the live wind conditions at that location. The arrow on the wind barb shows the wind direction. Each short line indicates 5 knots of wind speed, and each long line indicates 10 knots.
Replays: Under Events in the SailTimer app, you can enter the name of a replay. It may be your own route, a replay being shared by someone else, or one from a race committee. The example in the screenshot of the race above is catamarans in the lead-up to the 2013 America's Cup. Try it; it's fun to replay, and you can fast-forward up to 30x. You can replay your own races in the SailTimer app the same way.
You can tap the 4 blue icons in the lower right corner of the app (see top screenshot) for play/pause, fast forward, stop and adjusting the length of the GPS tracks. As you can see, there is a wind barb on most of the boats in the replay. You can also tap on any boat icon during the replay to open the pop-up panel showing additional details for boat speed and heading, wind speed and wind direction.
We have more features in the works, but the SailTimer app now gives you a number of new capabilities...
● You can plan your next tack knowing the wind conditions on boats up ahead.
● In you have a cellular connection, share your position so that someone at home can check on you and know if you'll be home for dinner.
● If you are a marina or yacht club, you can now display live wind conditions at your location to other app users and at SailTimerMaps.com.
● Coaches at a sailing school can talk about tacking decisions with a replay of the dinghy sailor's GPS tracks and wind conditions just like in the America's Cup.
● Or you can check live wind conditions at your boat or out on the water while you are still at home or office. That was never possible, before crowdsourcing.