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Australian program now has all the NSW public moorings and much more.

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Created by Herreshoff 5 months ago, 2 Apr 2018
Herreshoff
32 posts
2 Apr 2018 12:13PM
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The Australian program Zulu Waterways has come along way with lots of information in Australia, especially on the East coast. We have just added all the NSW public moorings, some in Tasmania and most of the Whitsundays moorings and anchorages. It's also now available as an iOS and Android app. Feel free to contribute to the information where you can.

Thoughts? Questions?

www.zuluwaterways.com

2bish
TAS, 190 posts
2 Apr 2018 4:02PM
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Hi Hereshoff, I had a look and it looks good so far. What's your mission with this, is it a free resource and will it remain free?

Herreshoff
32 posts
2 Apr 2018 2:15PM
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2bish said..
Hi Hereshoff, I had a look and it looks good so far. What's your mission with this, is it a free resource and will it remain free?


Yes, a free resource. It will always remain free to use. And no payments for 'extra functions' or any of that non sense.

Herreshoff
32 posts
2 Apr 2018 7:45PM
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2bish said..
Hi Hereshoff, I had a look and it looks good so far. What's your mission with this, is it a free resource and will it remain free?


To give some more details regarding this question.

We developed Zulu Waterways while sailing. It offers a combination of official and crowd sourced data focusing on information for cruising sailors, although the information is useful for a range of waterway users. The crowd sourced functions give full control to the sailor to add, edit and comment on information on the program. This is done by adding icons to the map, of which there are a couple dozen including anchorages, marinas, fuel docks, swimming spots and a whole lot more. We feel we have included a lot of useful functions to make this easy and hopefully even fun. You can also have a profile for your boating information, leave you location on the map and post to others on the site.

It is a community effort to build the information and therefor the user will never be charged to access the information. It would go against the whole concept of Zulu Waterways.

I hope you find it useful and that you will consider to contribute to this free information source.

Lazzz
NSW, 337 posts
3 Apr 2018 6:29AM
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Looks good on the PC & I downloaded the app so I just registered. I look forward to using it & contributing where I can.

2bish
TAS, 190 posts
3 Apr 2018 8:42AM
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What happens if someone comes along in a year or five and offers you a stack of cash for Zulu Waterways, would you sell it?

Herreshoff
32 posts
3 Apr 2018 9:29AM
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2bish said..
What happens if someone comes along in a year or five and offers you a stack of cash for Zulu Waterways, would you sell it?

Interesting question.

In my opinion a platform like this wouldn't really work being run by a big company. I feel that it's essential that it's run by sailors for sailors. With that aside, we don't want to sell Zulu anyway. It's our passion and we just want to see grow into something really useful for cruisers. I guess buckets of money is always tempting (not that anyone is offering), but if we sold it we wouldn't be a part of it anymore and that wouldn't suit me at all.

Herreshoff
32 posts
3 Apr 2018 10:01AM
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Lazzz said..
Looks good on the PC & I downloaded the app so I just registered. I look forward to using it & contributing where I can.


Great to hear Lazzz. I hope it can be helpful and I look forward to seeing what you add. Get in touch anytime if you have questions or thoughts.

2bish
TAS, 190 posts
7 Apr 2018 2:01PM
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Thanks for clarifying Herreshoff. I would be interested in contributing if I can be sure that it will remain open source and community driven, but not so much if it could go commercial in any form at a later date. I think that if you could explicitly state the open source nature and your intention to remain free of charges on the actual website/app, then I'd be interested in contributing. Good effort and good luck with it too!

Queequeg
NSW, 37 posts
9 Apr 2018 7:46AM
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Just downloaded onto Android, works a charm. This looks to be a winner for coastal cruiser types like I hope to become.

sirgallivant
NSW, 1186 posts
9 Apr 2018 8:23AM
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I like your site and l wish you the best.
However l am not so sure about it's future as far as it's independence is concerned. It is too good for its own good with full of potentials.

The world we live in,
corporate or political, there is not much difference.
Both systems are well built systems to worship Mammon. Besides, to keep the ever growing population under control.

When one becomes the part of it one becomes a prostitute of the system, one to be bought and sold.

In the corporate world where political niceties are being done away with, the whole shebang is purely profit orientated.
Greed is good, as one criminal stated openly.

I fear for your enterprise as an independent entity as it develops.
It is simply a matter of the number of zeros on the cheque offered when you are going to say, SOLD.
I used to be an idealist once.
After all, you are only human.

BlueMoon
511 posts
9 Apr 2018 7:02AM
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There is a difference with this one, its has been developed by cruisers for cruisers, by a young couple on the East Coast of Oz.....by a young family.....by good local people, if you like. The developers seem very approachable, and consider all ideas from the users of ZW, to make it better and easier.
I liked Active Captain, but it was a bit irrelevant being developed in the US, this one is far better than AC imo anyway, & has a better feel to it.
AC was sold (it would be interesting to know how much for) & has apparently lost its way in the US since, & I see ZW trying to step up to the plate & develop into the US more. Good luck to them, I don't think its easy developing something like this, if they do sell down the track (silly if they don't! if their offered mega$), I hope they can retire on it.

2bish
TAS, 190 posts
11 Apr 2018 3:07PM
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BlueMoon said..
There is a difference with this one, its has been developed by cruisers for cruisers, by a young couple on the East Coast of Oz.....by a young family.....by good local people, if you like. The developers seem very approachable, and consider all ideas from the users of ZW, to make it better and easier.
I liked Active Captain, but it was a bit irrelevant being developed in the US, this one is far better than AC imo anyway, & has a better feel to it.
AC was sold (it would be interesting to know how much for) & has apparently lost its way in the US since, & I see ZW trying to step up to the plate & develop into the US more. Good luck to them, I don't think its easy developing something like this, if they do sell down the track (silly if they don't! if their offered mega$), I hope they can retire on it.



Yes it's a really well thought out and well developed app. I want to support it just because it's so good and has so much potential. It overcomes some of the issues with printed cruising guides. They get out of date and are by their very nature, biased by the author/s. The ability to update and comment on entries is gold!

I realized when I went to sign up that I'd already done so quite a while back, but was distracted had forgotten about it.

I'm going to jump on board and contribute and promote it amongst my friends, and see where it goes. So thanks for this Herreshoff!

Herreshoff
32 posts
14 Apr 2018 11:20AM
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Hi again,

2Bish. Amazing work with the icons added in Tasmania. Not only are they numerous (50+) but the quality of information and the way you display it is excellent. You've single handedly created a useful source of sailing information for that region in Tasmania. Well done. We have plans for bringing in more information to that Tasmanian region shortly. I will keep everyone updated about that.

I can see that some are concerned about the future of ZW and I have make a statement as to the free nature of Zulu Waterways and our commitment to keep it that way at. You can find it at the bottom of this post.

As for the open nature of ZW, 'Open Sourced' is not the exact term I would use for what Zulu is. Technically it is not opened sourced because the source code of the software can not be copied or altered by the public. However, sharing of information from Zulu Waterways is permitted and even facilitated by the site, such as sharing icons via Facebook and coping icon links to share in email or elsewhere. Links to, and information from the site can be posted on peoples blogs, websites, social media pages and forums etc. We want the information shared in this way and have tried to facilitate this. What we can not allow is the information copied on mass and put on another platform such as a big company wanting to steal all the data. From fear of this we must protect the data in certain ways, but not in any way that affects individual sailors using the data.

I wanted to address some of the other worries expressed by some here as they are completely understandable. We see this sort of thing happen all the time all around us, the big fish eating up fresh new ideas and community fuelled projects, turning them into money making machines. Often destroying the services true value in the process. I think most of us who choose this life on the water detest this kind of world and in some small part at lease, sail to escape it. It is our hope that ZW can be an exception to this trend. Along side words and promises, I can only ask that people try to have faith in our intentions with ZW and trust that we will constant work towards keeping it clean, increasingly useful and free to use.

In saying that, it should be understood that ZW will need to have a revenue source in order to handle it's growth and to add new functions, such as an offline version which is in the making. The amount of work that goes into developing and maintaining a platform like ZW is huge. It's took a year of work to build the actual bones of the program and it takes a constant daily effort to maintain it, deal with the data input and respond to users etc. The costs and work involved will just increase as the service becomes more popular.

In a perfect world we would love to be able to copy the Wiki model of donation based income and see the users of ZW contributing towards the cause with donations, and then crowd fund for new functions and features (such as offline mode). Of course a platform like Wiki works with a much greater population and I fear we would never see enough donations to cover all the costs due to the relatively small amount of boaters. This is still a possible means of revenue. Unfortunately, while we see the beach bod bikini sailors make tens of thousands from youtube videos, a sophisticated service such as ZW which adds so many benefits to so many sailors might not get the same response. And given the current state of the web people expect everything for free often not realising that they are actually paying in full, just in other ways (personal data sold to the highest bidder). I would be interested in people thoughts on the matter.

There are other common methods used to fund services like ZW. In short the method is to charge the people who make money from the service. These are the businesses who gain extra exposure through users finding them on the site. On Zulu this would be marinas, slips way, chandleries etc. If we were to implement this method on Zulu we would have to charge the businesses who are displayed on Zulu to have their icons contain extra functions such as links to their website, photos and cost of fuel at their bowser etc. They would benefit from having an icon with better functions and easier methods for users to contact them. They would NOT have any control however over the content of the icon, nor the comments/experiences left by sailors. This is quite a clean method of funding and is so commonly used as it keeps the site free to use and only affects the people who are making money of you anyway. It's not as clean as the donations model though.

Another model would be to share the information from ZW with chart plotters and other marine apps/programs. This would give people access to ZW information on their plotter of choice while providing funds for the ZW project. Whether revenue could be sourced in this way is an unknown and much would have to be figured out in order to protect ZW's integrity.

We haven't made any decisions concerning how to move forward with the funding issue. Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks to everyone who is contributing and using the service.

If anyone is interested, we are looking for people to write 'location overviews' which is a new icon type designed to display a broader overview of a sailing destination. We have discovered the need for this as the amount of information has grown. The overview offers a means to filter through the information following the advise of a knowledgeable local sailor. Within the icon can be links to other icons in the area and advise on the sorts of vessels able to access it and the best anchorages etc. If anyone feels they know their local waterway well enough to write one get in touch with us or just add it as an icon type yourself. Here is an example of one I've started for the Clarence River.

Clarence River
zuluwaterways.com/map/icon/5ac02604c101f104c22f643d/location-overview-clarence-river-yamba~2Filuka-and-beyond.

Here is my statement of intent to keep Zulu Waterways forever free to use. The information on and the platform Zulu Waterways (both the crowd sourced and the official information added by us at Zulu), found at www.zuluwaterways.com and the associated iOS and Android apps will remain free to access, use and modify (in the way of editing and adding to the information, not modifying the programming) by the public. There will be no restrictions or costs for this service, not now nor in the future. - Nicholas Baillie Jackson and Lauren Durbridge, Zulu Waterways founders.

2bish
TAS, 190 posts
16 Apr 2018 11:22AM
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Cheers Herreshoff, I've had fun doing it and was a good exercise remembering the anchorages and their particular pro's and con's. I still have more to put up there + I'll populate the entries with some pics (are vids allowed?) down the track.

Yes I get that it's not open source per se, sorry wrong terminology on my part, but crowd sourced and free - love it!

I hope you can make some income from it while retaining it's independence (and your control over it). I can appreciate the huge effort in the background. In an ideal world I can imagine an api that allows all the electronic chart companies to buy access to the Zulu Waterways data and integrate that into their own charts. That would be a pretty powerful resource for users across all the platforms then. I know that on one hand they would probably hate the idea of sharing data with competing companies, but on the other hand if the quality of the data is so good, they may not be able to ignore getting on board.

Yes, charging businesses for entries could work, guess you'd have to build up your user base considerably before that might be attractive to a business though.

Are you going to integrate any weather info into Zulu? I regularly use an app developed in Hobart by a local windsurfer called 'Hobart Winds'. It pulls in all the BOM's AWS data from around the state and presents it in a very easy to use GUI. It would be nice having something like this as a layer that I could turn on and off, so I don't have to switch between apps. There's nothing like being able to access real time weather data from the AWS's. A Windy.tv layer could be nice too for planning, although if one drills into the info boxes on Hobart weather, there's a graph that illustrates the current and past wind direction and speed and then projects on the graph what's forcasted ahead as well. Pretty neat in all.

Our Tasmanian marine authority, Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) is pretty interesting and worth a look to see if you could find an angle to get to their data. They have a good deal of high quality information that's locked up on the site and not always easy to find and I've often thought that it needs to be integrated properly into a map style based app. In addition they release safety warnings on the site and via an mail list for things like missing markers and debris etc. Pulling in these kinds of safety messages into Zulu, in real time, would be pretty neat. Note that this authority is pretty unique in that all the money from rego fees etc, that they collect, is held within the authority and not scooped up by the state government in consolidated revenue. All that money is then used to bankroll various projects around the state like boat ramp, jetty upgrades etc. each year. They have annual rounds for this funding and individuals and local government are welcome to submit applications. There may be a very good opportunity for Zulu to hook into these funds if you can design a good project that would benefit water craft users in Tas. If that appeals, it could be a good test case to take to other states too.

Herreshoff
32 posts
16 Apr 2018 8:10PM
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I too can imagine an api arrangement for sharing the data in the way you described. It's a win win really, as the users get access to the info across a range of devices/platforms while keeping the information and the information input process pure and free of interference by business interests. Exactly as you said, if the information is quality enough then it will be undeniably useful to these companies, even if they have to share it and abide by the ZW rules of use. It could also be 'rented' on a yearly basis, giving the opportunity to pull out of any arrangement if it stops being in the interests of the community.

Yes, I want a weather overlay also. It won't be all that difficult to implement provided we are given permission to do so by the weather service. I'm yet to look into it in any great detail. Personally, I like MetEye and I have probably subconsciously modelled the look and functionality of ZW on it as I use it so much. I would want to implement both their wind and swell overlay. If they would allow us to use the raw data to display over the ZW map that would be ideal. Of course, windy.tv is also a great looking and functioning service as well. I will send out some requests and see what bounces back. Maybe I should get in touch with the Hobart wind guy and see what advice he has. Or if he wants to work together in some way. Can you post the URL here?

MAST is excellent and they were very positive about ZW. I contacted them to ask if we could add the cruising mooring locations they have on their site and they were very happy for us to do so. They said we could use any information from the MAST website but so far I've only found the moorings and boat ramps. I will have to have a closer look at the site. Perhaps, once more data is added in the region, I can suggest some kind of partnership/funding like you suggested. It would be great to keep ZW running on government grants and the like. It's a good idea 2bish. Surely a service like ZW would tick boxes when it comes to funding in order to promote boat safety and boat tourism etc. I suppose it would depend if there are any odd restrictions or requirements involved in working with a government type organisation. The information input for the Tasmanian region is going ahead as of today, so over the next few weeks you should see much information added there.

Also, from your time adding information. If you ever have suggestions for new icon types, or the tick box options within the icons, let me know. zuluwaterways@gmail.com

2bish
TAS, 190 posts
17 Apr 2018 8:40AM
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Contact him at p4g.biz. I see he has an Australia wide version, AusWinds app, available now.

Yes also on MAST is all the Tas boat ramp locations and information, Bridge transit info, Denison Canal transit info. Etc.

Herreshoff
32 posts
23 Apr 2018 8:08PM
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There is been a recent input of information onto Zulu Waterways in the Tasmanian and South Australian region. 2bish has added a great deal in Tasmania and now Jack and Jude Binder have contributed also. This region is starting to look good. We at ZW will go in and add all the marina, radio and facility information over the next week. Information from jack and Jude has also been added to South Australia region also and we will do the same there regarding base information. Next is the coral sea and WA. Enjoy and add to the information where you can.

scruzin
SA, 472 posts
24 Apr 2018 8:18AM
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Hi Hereshoff,

Great initiative!

I have loads of info on SA anchorages in my SA anchorage finder, including over 70 anchorages that I personally have visited., and a couple dozen more I've compiled information about.

www.arribasail.com/tools/sa_anchorage_finder.html

I also have photos of many of the anchorages.

Do you have an API or a bulk import facility that could ingest my data? I can give you JSON, XML or whatever is convenient.

Secondly, a feature request. Can you add marine park boundaries? It would be super useful.

Herreshoff
32 posts
24 Apr 2018 9:57AM
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I have loads of info on SA anchorages in my SA anchorage finder, including over 70 anchorages that I personally have visited., and a couple dozen more I've compiled information about.

www.arribasail.com/tools/sa_anchorage_finder.html

I also have photos of many of the anchorages.

Do you have an API or a bulk import facility that could ingest my data? I can give you JSON, XML or whatever is convenient.

Secondly, a feature request. Can you add marine park boundaries? It would be super useful.


I took a look at the finder. There is a wealth of information there. Well done on gathering and documenting all of this. South Australian Anchorages have been hard to find yet you have clearly done some extensive travel and documenting there. We sailed from Adelaide to Sydney a few years back but I wasn't very good at documenting my movements back then, nor did I visit the amount of anchorages you clearly have.

While we do not have a way to bulk add information at this stage we do have me with a endless jar of coffee. Bulk import is a function we will look to program into the program in the future, but it's not currently at the top of this list.

While we generally ask people to add the information themselves, in cases where the information is as detailed and vast as the information you have gather I offer my help in doing inputting for you. This is of course provided you wish to share this information with ZW community. It's a fairly straight forward procedure and I have gotten fairly quick at it with the only hold up being converting the Lon/Lats from DMM to DD (the search on Zulu is accurate using DD but not other formats). If you got me to do the data input I would do it through your ZW profile so that your profile is credited with adding the information. Done from your profile also means you will receive notifications if someone adds or comments in the markers so you have a way of staying in touch with the information being added in the region.

If this is something you are interested in let me know. Of course you are welcome to do it yourself if you prefer.

As for the Marine Park Boundaries. We are very interested to have this information provided on the map. We don't currently have an icon specifically for this, but one can be created in minutes. With in the icon can be posted a photo of a chart showing the boundaries. A Marine Park icon can be placed wherever it seems necessary. I will have a think about the icon image for this and get back to you.

Ok, let me know your thoughts.

Ramona
NSW, 4328 posts
24 Apr 2018 6:38PM
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The Fremantle Sailing club has a free book you can download, 600 pages of good info for cruisers and covers all of WA coast and around the Southern coast to Port Lincoln. It's first class!

Herreshoff
32 posts
24 Apr 2018 7:02PM
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Ramona said..
The Fremantle Sailing club has a free book you can download, 600 pages of good info for cruisers and covers all of WA coast and around the Southern coast to Port Lincoln. It's first class!


First class indeed! I sent a request to the freemantle sailing club's GM. Thanks.

scruzin
SA, 472 posts
25 Apr 2018 10:40AM
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Herreshoff said..



I have loads of info on SA anchorages in my SA anchorage finder, including over 70 anchorages that I personally have visited., and a couple dozen more I've compiled information about.

www.arribasail.com/tools/sa_anchorage_finder.html

I also have photos of many of the anchorages.

Do you have an API or a bulk import facility that could ingest my data? I can give you JSON, XML or whatever is convenient.

Secondly, a feature request. Can you add marine park boundaries? It would be super useful.




I took a look at the finder. There is a wealth of information there. Well done on gathering and documenting all of this. South Australian Anchorages have been hard to find yet you have clearly done some extensive travel and documenting there. We sailed from Adelaide to Sydney a few years back but I wasn't very good at documenting my movements back then, nor did I visit the amount of anchorages you clearly have.

While we do not have a way to bulk add information at this stage we do have me with a endless jar of coffee. Bulk import is a function we will look to program into the program in the future, but it's not currently at the top of this list.

While we generally ask people to add the information themselves, in cases where the information is as detailed and vast as the information you have gather I offer my help in doing inputting for you. This is of course provided you wish to share this information with ZW community. It's a fairly straight forward procedure and I have gotten fairly quick at it with the only hold up being converting the Lon/Lats from DMM to DD (the search on Zulu is accurate using DD but not other formats). If you got me to do the data input I would do it through your ZW profile so that your profile is credited with adding the information. Done from your profile also means you will receive notifications if someone adds or comments in the markers so you have a way of staying in touch with the information being added in the region.

If this is something you are interested in let me know. Of course you are welcome to do it yourself if you prefer.

As for the Marine Park Boundaries. We are very interested to have this information provided on the map. We don't currently have an icon specifically for this, but one can be created in minutes. With in the icon can be posted a photo of a chart showing the boundaries. A Marine Park icon can be placed wherever it seems necessary. I will have a think about the icon image for this and get back to you.

Ok, let me know your thoughts.



Hi Herreshoff,

I can email you a file with all the data for anchorages with my personal observations. I'll omit the ones where info is compiled from other sources. Please PM your email address.

Regarding the marine parks, it would be ideal if the polygons delimiting the marine park boundaries could be displayed, not just an icon.

Herreshoff
32 posts
25 Apr 2018 1:52PM
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scruzin said..

Herreshoff said..




I have loads of info on SA anchorages in my SA anchorage finder, including over 70 anchorages that I personally have visited., and a couple dozen more I've compiled information about.

www.arribasail.com/tools/sa_anchorage_finder.html

I also have photos of many of the anchorages.

Do you have an API or a bulk import facility that could ingest my data? I can give you JSON, XML or whatever is convenient.

Secondly, a feature request. Can you add marine park boundaries? It would be super useful.





I took a look at the finder. There is a wealth of information there. Well done on gathering and documenting all of this. South Australian Anchorages have been hard to find yet you have clearly done some extensive travel and documenting there. We sailed from Adelaide to Sydney a few years back but I wasn't very good at documenting my movements back then, nor did I visit the amount of anchorages you clearly have.

While we do not have a way to bulk add information at this stage we do have me with a endless jar of coffee. Bulk import is a function we will look to program into the program in the future, but it's not currently at the top of this list.

While we generally ask people to add the information themselves, in cases where the information is as detailed and vast as the information you have gather I offer my help in doing inputting for you. This is of course provided you wish to share this information with ZW community. It's a fairly straight forward procedure and I have gotten fairly quick at it with the only hold up being converting the Lon/Lats from DMM to DD (the search on Zulu is accurate using DD but not other formats). If you got me to do the data input I would do it through your ZW profile so that your profile is credited with adding the information. Done from your profile also means you will receive notifications if someone adds or comments in the markers so you have a way of staying in touch with the information being added in the region.

If this is something you are interested in let me know. Of course you are welcome to do it yourself if you prefer.

As for the Marine Park Boundaries. We are very interested to have this information provided on the map. We don't currently have an icon specifically for this, but one can be created in minutes. With in the icon can be posted a photo of a chart showing the boundaries. A Marine Park icon can be placed wherever it seems necessary. I will have a think about the icon image for this and get back to you.

Ok, let me know your thoughts.




Hi Herreshoff,

I can email you a file with all the data for anchorages with my personal observations. I'll omit the ones where info is compiled from other sources. Please PM your email address.

Regarding the marine parks, it would be ideal if the polygons delimiting the marine park boundaries could be displayed, not just an icon.


Pm sent.

That would be an overlay option. Similar how we did the NOAA charts in the US. It's doable for sure.

Herreshoff
32 posts
2 May 2018 6:50PM
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Did anyone see the article in Cruising Helmsman Magazine this month? Good article. We are happy with the way they wrote it for the most part.


2bish
TAS, 190 posts
2 May 2018 9:15PM
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Yes I spotted it, pretty good write up!

Herreshoff
32 posts
1 Jun 2018 2:22PM
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Ramona said..
The Fremantle Sailing club has a free book you can download, 600 pages of good info for cruisers and covers all of WA coast and around the Southern coast to Port Lincoln. It's first class!


Hi Ramona.

Thanks for for letting me know about the fsc guide. The cruising section of the Fremantle sailing club has allowed us to transfer this great wealth of information to make available on Zulu Waterways. What an incredibly generous gift their guide is. It is very detailed and transferring the data is an epic task in itself. We are only part way through but it's looks great so far. So Thanks Ramona.



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"Australian program now has all the NSW public moorings and much more." started by Herreshoff