Ship Finder 1.7, 50 freebies

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Nov 30, 2009
ShipFinder_1.7_top_cPanbo.jpg

I've enjoyed the Ship Finder AIS viewing app as it's gained features and available feeds, and particularly like how the latest 1.7 version draws targets with their reported heading (and course predictor lines if they're underway).  How nice then that developer PinkGrapefruit Designs is letting Panbo give redemption codes for free copies to the first fifty iPhone-owning readers who email iphone at panbo.com{12:30 pm EST:  Sorry, the codes are 'sold' out.}


Comments

Requests by email only, please, not via comments. Thanks.

Posted by: Ben at November 30, 2009 8:16 AM | Reply

Just received my code. Thanks to you and the developer for this.

Posted by: John at November 30, 2009 11:06 AM | Reply

Well, there's 50 new Ship Finder users out there, at least theoretically. I've gotten some "cool app" type feedback, but hope to see some more specific comments here.

One of my feature requests is that Ship Finder list targets alphabetically, or, better yet, limit the list to the screen the user zooms to.

Posted by: Ben at November 30, 2009 5:28 PM | Reply

I should have used some iPhone app to remind me to start checking Panbo this morning. So, I had to buy the program. Interestingly, I was warned that it might contain objectionable material and I had to say that I was older than 17.

There are now at least 51 new users...

Jon

Posted by: JonM at December 1, 2009 12:24 AM | Reply

The office for my day job (oh I count the days) is on Elliot Bay in Seattle, WA and I fired up the app and was able to ID all the freighters at anchor waiting for the grain elevator as well as the Ferrys criss crossing the sound. Pretty cool. If only the iPhone let apps run in the background you could switch between this app and the Navico's and get some pretty cool info. Another idea would be for one to buy the other. An iPhone App Merger !!

Posted by: Patrick at December 1, 2009 9:41 PM | Reply

Curious that New York Harbor is devoid of targets on Ship Finder, when I'm looking at a Raymarine E120 w/AIS500 and it's showing a screen full of targets. Where is Ship Finder getting its "Eastern Seaboard" data?

Posted by: AaronH at December 1, 2009 10:33 PM | Reply

I see that, too, Aaron. Normally NY Harbor is very well covered but I'd guess that one of the listening stations is down or off line tonight. Penobscot Bay has also been flaky recently.

My guess is that "Eastern Seaboard" is a bunch of individual listening stations that stream together somewhere. If you go to MarineTraffic.com and enable "stations" you can see some of the listeners and find out what equipment and software they're using. I'm pretty sure that many of these stations are also being fed to ShipFinder, though the two sets of feeds do not completely overlap.

Posted by: Ben at December 1, 2009 10:49 PM | Reply

I think it would be interesting to add feeds for inland waterway traffic, at least for the US.

Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee Rivers' etc.

I presume they would be using AIS as well?

Posted by: John at December 2, 2009 7:29 AM | Reply

I have two minor comments on Ship Finder. So far, I have not found how to enter the name of a vessel I would like to find. For example, I wanted to find out if the "Maltese Falcon" was listed on one of the AIS feeds, but there is no search box for this. Did I miss this feature? If not, then I would add it to suggestions for a future update. Without the ability to search for a specific vessel this is just a nice app allowing you to see who's around. Searching for a specific vessel allows the user to find long lost cruising friends or allows my wife to keep track of me. Second, Where is the software version number? If I see I have an older version I would make a point to sync the iPhone and update to the latest.

Posted by: Richard C at December 10, 2009 9:20 AM | Reply

I agree that the vessel list could be much improved. It would be better in alphabetical order, for instance, or if it was limited to the vessels showing on the screen you've zoomed in on. Search would good too. I'd also like to see Class B transponders identified.

Posted by: Ben at December 10, 2009 5:32 PM | Reply

Ship Finder has some serious competition, sort of. The pros at gCaptain have developed an app called gTrax that looks similar to Ship Finder but uses a commercial AIS receiver network instead of the mishmash of volunteer sites that feed Ship Finder.

I dare guess that the coverage of commercial ports is more thorough and reliable, but it will cost you. gTrax itself is only $4.99 but you just get daily target updates, and a real time subscription to a particular port costs an added $9.99 per month. More information here:

http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/announcing-gtrax-vessel-tracking/

Posted by: Ben at December 28, 2009 9:39 AM | Reply

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