Originally Posted by psneeld
So if that spot got put in AC...I certainly could see it getting flak from many but strongly supported by others.
Jeffrey...any possibility of ever including or linking to a chartlet of a problem area that someone could have made notes on?...sure it sounds like a huge data storage problem...but if someone took ownership in a review, could they post a link to some online photo storage?
If the spot is along the NJICW, I have a feeling there's already a hazard marker on it - do you have an approximate lat/lon, mile marker, or something descriptive about it's location? They say, never ask a question you don't know the answer to - but if the spot is bad, I have faith that we have it documented already.
ActiveCaptain's data is licensed to 40 companies and governments today. Companies use it in their own product to often display that data over nautical charts - even the AC website does that. What's coming next are the chartplotter product lines that are adding ActiveCaptain inside as well. Most will have options for quickly turning on and off data - you might want to run underway with hazards on and marinas off for example. Chartplotter integration is happening in a big way.
One of our goals is that the core set of ActiveCaptain data is designed to reside offline on the laptop, phone, tablet, or chartplotter especially when there is no internet access available. When you need to know "right now" what that hazard says, you don't want to hope there's a good cellular connection. We have hazards throughout the world where there aren't cell towers too - there are many hazards in French Polynesia, along the Alaskan coastline, and even some data in the Antarctic (boats need anchorages there too!). Having it all offline makes the access instantaneous and available so it can be relied upon.
So that offline requirement forces the data to be tight and compressible. It limits the amount of data and so we don't allow photos and video inside. But that's changing too - eBoatCards is designed to handle all media. It's all online and live and the linkages between AC and eBC are being added to allow you to find, let's say, an anchorage in AC and then see the 30 pictures recently added from boaters who were there. eBC likes media like blogs and video and it'll link those into the data as well. But eBC is all online in order to serve the much larger data in a reasonable way while still keeping the core AC data offline.
We've also written how eBC is being extended so that the categories of data to be crowd-sourced can be crowd-sourced. If someone wants to starts a database of ice cream parlors along the waterway, we have a way for them to do that. Others can then add to it and that data can be overlaid by all the licensees on their nautical charts or viewed on the eBC website. The databases can optionally have reviews too so a database about Canvas Repair might list every facility that does canvas repair and allow reviews to be collected. Most times, the quality of the work done is more important than whether they have a business license at a particular location.
So yeah, we listen to the thousands of comments and suggestions we get every month. We see clear trends, talk to our licensees, and then play "what if" games to figure out how to satisfy the need in an efficient way that will work to collect the information. We're still at the beginning of all of these capabilities.