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Contents Help: Tracking your boat

Understanding how tracking works

Your boat's journey is comprised of a number of position fixes along with the times they were taken. The fixes are combined to draw your journey on the map.

The sections below cover all the different ways in which you can add fixes for your boat:

Limiting the length of the journey shown on the map

By default, your journey will show all fixes ever recorded for your boat. In some cases this can get messy, especially if you plan to visit the same cruising area for a second year running.

To fix this, you should limit the fixes shown in the map by date as follows:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. change the "Show journey from" date" to a suitable date (perhaps the start of this sailing season?)

only fixes recorded after this date will be shown on the map.

Calculating how far you have sailed

From your boat details page, click on the Mileage calculator button, and enter a date range to estimate the distance you have sailed (the number shown is simply the sum of the distances between your boat position fixes for the date range you've selected).

Automatic tracking with AIS

If you transmit your position on AIS, and you have the Auto track (with AIS) option selected in your boat details, then a fix will be added every 24hrs if your boat has moved.

Manually entering a fix

Go to your boat details page by tapping the button on the menu bar. From there, press the Add fix  button and use the interactive map to enter the location and date of your boat position.

Checking into a place

From a place's details page, click on the Check in button on that place's details page. A fix for that location will be added to your journey.

Offshore tracking using Iridium GO!

By configuring your Iridium GO! to periodically send GPS position reports to NOFOREIGNLAND you can accurately and reliably update your position on our map from anywhere in the world.

Here's what you need to do to get it working:

1) On the NOFOREIGNLAND site:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. enter your Iridium phone number (usually starts with 88) where indicated and save your changes.

2) Then log in to the Iridium GO! app and:

  1. Select Settings -> Track
  2. In the section labelled TRACKING RECIPIENT enter the following address:

    go@noforeignland-cloud.appspotmail.com

  3. Set the Tracking Frequency to whatever value you prefer. We suggest an hourly update.
Android bug! October 2018: there is a bug in the current Android version of the Iridium GO! app which makes it impossible to set the TRACKING RECIPIENT field. The workaround is to connect to your GO! using its web configuration interface instead and set it there.

Your Iridium GO! will now periodically send position update messages to NOFOREIGNLAND. The incoming message's phone number will be used to identify your boat and a fix will be added to your journey if your boat's position has changed.

Checking your configuration. You can verify whether the messages are being received on your boat details page: check the "Position last reported at" field. It should show a recent time and "GO!". Remember that a fix will only be added if your boat has actually moved.

Note that Iridium charge for sending tracking data, the costs will depend on your price plan.

Offshore tracking using your Iridium satellite phone

If your Iridium satellite phone has the ability to send your location, then you can use this to update your position on the NOFOREIGNLAND map.

You will need to refer to your phone's user manual for your model's details. In the Iridium Extreme manual, for example, there is a section describing how to send an SMS message to an email address, and an illustration showing the Insert Location option:

If your phone has a similar menu to the one shown, then here's what you need to do to get it working with NOFOREIGNLAND:

1) On the NOFOREIGNLAND site:

Simply repeat the actions described in step 1 for the Iridium GO! (see above) to associate your Iridium phone number with your boat.

2) On your phone use Insert Location option to generate an SMS message and send it to the following email address:

go@noforeignland-cloud.appspotmail.com

You will need to repeat step 2 to send an SMS message every time you want your position updated on the map. For an extended offshore passage, this could be part of your daily routine along with downloading weather reports. We recommend that you create a NOFOREIGNLAND contact in your address book to store this email address.

Checking your configuration. You can verify whether the messages are being received on your boat details page: check the "Position last reported at" field. It should show a recent time and "GO!". Remember that a fix will only be added if your boat has actually moved.

Note that Iridium charge for sending SMS messages, the costs will depend on your price plan.

Offshore tracking using Garmin inReach

By linking your boat to your Garmin inReach, you can use it to track your position on our map.

Here's what you need to do to get it working:

1) Get a data feed URL for your Garmin inReach:

  1. log in to your inReach account at explore.garmin.com;
  2. click the Social tab;
  3. click on Feeds (if Feeds does not appear, click 'MapShare: Off' and refresh the page);
  4. copy the Raw KML Feed URL (you will paste this in your boat details in the next step).

2) Update your boat settings on NOFOREIGNLAND:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. paste the Raw KML Feed link (you just copied from the Garmin site) in to the field for the Garmin inReach URL;
  4. wait for the link to be validated (a green tick should appear below the URL field);
  5. ensure that the ON/OFF switch is in the ON position (you can turn it off if you want to suspend tracking, for example if going inland with your inReach device, to prevent your boat following you there).
Checking your configuration. When you paste the feed URL in to your boat settings, the link will be validated before it can be saved. There may be a delay of around an hour between your position being reported to Garmin, and it being reflected on NOFOREIGNLAND. Remember that unless your boat moves, the data from Garmin will be ignored by our servers.

For additional help finding your Garmin inReach feed URL visit this Garmin support page.

There are no additional fees from Garmin for using this service.

Offshore tracking using email

It is possible to update your boat's position by sending an email to NOFOREIGNLAND.

Here's what you need to do to get it working:

1) On the NOFOREIGNLAND site:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. enter the email address that you will be sending the email FROM in the "Tracking email" field.

By letting us know the email address you will be sending your location from, no one else can send emails that affect your boat's position.

When an email is received on our servers, the from address on it will be used to identify which boat the fix is for. It is important that you enter the correct address. If you are not sure, then send an email to yourself and check the from address before completing this step.

2) Send an email to NOFOREIGNLAND:

  1. Address the email to:

    tracking@noforeignland-cloud.appspotmail.com

  2. The body of the email should contain two lines, the first specifying the latitude of the fix , and the second the longitude.

    For example, the position of the Needles light house in the UK can be expressed as:

    LAT|50|39.732|N
    LON|1|35.514|W
    

    The above will translate to a fix at 50°39.732' N and 1°35.514' W.

  3. Note that the four tokens on each line must be separated by the bar | symbol and:

    1. the first token can be either LAT or LON
    2. the second token is the degrees expressed as a whole number between 0 and 180
    3. the third token is the minutes expressed as a decimal value in the range 0.0 to 59.999
    4. and lastly the fourth token must be either N, S, E or W
Checking your configuration. You can verify whether your emails are being received by our system on your boat details page: check the "Position last reported at" field. It should show a recent time and "email". Note that a fix will only be added if your boat has actually moved.

Combining tracking methods

Each of the methods described above simply add fixes for your boat, and can all be used in conjunction with one another.

Please note however, that we can only plot the fixes reported and cannot validate the data we are given. See the section on deleting fixes if you experince problems.

Deleting position fixes for your boat

You can see a summary of recent position fixes for a boat on the boat's details page. There is a link below this summary that will show you "all places visited by this boat". When viewing the full list of fixes for your boat, you may click on the icon at the end of a row to delete that fix.

The changes you make here will be visible the next time you view your journey. Note that deleted fixes cannot be recovered, and you will need to manually re-enter any that you accidentally remove.

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