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Mobile Mariner is a mobile application that provides real time marine forecasts for users on land or in coastal waters within the range of cell phone tower. The marine data is received from Web Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The information displayed on the mobile device also includes tides (both predicted and observed), wind speed and direction (observed), water and air temperatures (observed), barometric pressure (observed) and weather forecasts.
The application is developed for recreational boaters (sailors, power boaters, fishermen, kayakers, etc.), commercial fisherman, other commercial water services and various other users such as surfers, wind surfers, kite surfers, divers, etc.
For Mobile Mariner application we developed a system that consists of several software modules. The Collecting Service module collects the data. Periodically it sends requests to NOAA Web and updates its own database. The observed data is received every 6 minutes. Sometimes NOAA Web Servise respons too slowly or is in the out-of-service state which increments gaps in the collected data. We developed the Mobile Mariner application in such a way that it perfectly compensates the delays and failures of NOAA Web Service.
The forecasted data is stored in the files of NOAA Web Site special folder structure. In order to get the required data, Collecting Service has to analyze folder structure to determine zone and parse content of the files. This operation is done annually and takes a considerable amount of time. Collecting Service takes into account duration of the operations and uses temporary tables to avoid the data block.
The Mobile Mariner application can be downloaded from the http://www.mobilemariner.com/ website. User can also register and manage own account as well as subscribe to the service in order to use it or experience the trial version. API for the mobile application is provided via SOAP. Using this API, the mobile application may track various parameters (both forecasted and observed) as textual information or graphs. This data is received for the selected station or could be determined automatically as the nearest station to the current location. GPS or cellular stations may be used for this operation.
In order to reduce expenses for internet traffic, the mobile application actively uses data caching. Step by step monthly data accumulation allow user to save money and improve the application response.
Currently, 2 mobile platforms are supported. They are BlackBerry and iPhone. Those 2 versions have equal functionality and few differences due to the standards of the each platform
Technologies used Server side: ASP.Net, Web Services, Windows Services, MS SQL 2005 iPhone: iPhone SDK 3.1.2, Core Plot, SQLite BlackBerry: J2ME, BlackBerry API (4.5/4.6/4.7)
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