Google Nautical Charts

Yesterday we took the boat to the Marina for a checkup after the winter and on the way in I opened Gowalla on my phone.
I was impressed by the great detail and accurancy of the GPS and Google Maps on my phone, that nicely blipped along while we cruised between the islands on our way to the final destination so I could check in and earn another stamp.


But also very dangerous and it reminded me of an accident last year.

When coming home one Friday evening we found some stranded strangers on the bridge enjoying the wonderfull sunset. However they did not choose the bridge for the wonderfull view, but got stranded there when they bumped into the underwater wall just outside our little village. As always, the first reaction was how can one be so silly as to go out on the water without proper sea maps or real nautical maps on the GPS.
The walls are clearly marked on all sea charts (both paper and electronic) but they were navigating on their iPhone.

Silly, navigating on your iPhone … or not ?

I can understand now when looking at this wonderfull piece of technology, that one would be tempted to use it as a navigational tool when out and about on a quick tour in the archipelago.

But one word of advice. Don’t.

Google maps does not provide any sea markings, and the Stockholm Archipelago is full of underwater objects both natural and man made that can seriously harm you and your boat when out and about in the Archipelago.

Google maps is not a nautical chart … yet.

So, Google, pretty please include a nautical version off your maps for those who trust on you.

Spring is in the air …

Spring is in the air, the snow has gone, the archipelago is winking to be explored again.

I cannot wait to get the boat up and running again (after the ice experiment this winter) and have been looking to use foursquare or gowalla to create some exploration lists in the archipelago and do some geo-caching on distant islands.

Not sure if there is already a “game” running in the archipelago ?

Anyway, we maybe able to connect during this summer outthere on the water, by boat or by bike, and change our φ.λ into venues or spots.