SPOT share pages, in beta


The SPOT satellite messenger is about to get more attractive to many boaters. Originally it wasn’t all that easy to share your tracking with friends and family; in fact, to do so you had to share your entire Spot account user name and password. But now Spot is beta testing a pretty sophisticated feature that enables Web sharing of both tracks and messages. Above, and bigger here, is a zoom of a shared page I recorded over the weekend; every 10 minute tracking isn’t perfect for driving, but #14 is the exact parking spot I occupied at Rankin’s, my favorite hardware store.

Today should be more interesting, as I’ll be driving, flying, and busing from here to Newport for a few days of magazine edit/sales meetings, and I’ve setup a shared page here. Meanwhile, Milt Baker is also trying the new Spot feature, and that so-and-so was last Spotted (Friday) on his way to St. Tropez (which is singable). Try the “Click here” Spot link on Bluewater’s Locate page, though I’m getting a “No Data found” error message this morning. It may be that shared pages run out quickly, or it may be a Beta anomaly. We’ll learn soon, I guess! Below, and bigger here, is the setup page.

PS 4/29: Well, yesterday’s tracking was, ahem, spotty, but note that the unit was off during the flight to Logan, and at best got a view through a bus window en route to Newport. In other words, it rarely got the sky view it’s really meant to have. I’ve also learned that during the beta test shared pages will only show tracks and messages for 24 hours; it wil be extended to at least 7 days later. I’ll keep fooling with it here in Newport, especially when we go out in 12 meters on Thursday morning.

PS 5/2: The 12 Meter trip was fantastic, but Spot didn’t track very well because I left it clipped to my belt and then spent a fair amount of time squatted down in the cockpit. Spot really, really needs a decent sky view. Meanwhile, Capt. Rodriguez out in Anacortes has also taken up Spot track sharing. Remember, though, that until Spot expands the service none of these share pages will show tracks older than 24 hours.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

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