The ShipWatcher Blog

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Cruiseline added: Costa

I've added Costa Cruises to ShipWatcher. Their ships have bridge and stern (front and back) webcams. So if you select Costa ships, you'll see two cams for each ship - one for the bow and one for the stern.

The feed from the Costa website is slower than the other sites. I'm sorry about this but there's nothing I can do about it. I have no direct link to raw data from the webcams like for Princess and P&O, which means all data from Costa webcams needs to be handled twice - once by our server and once by your browser. If you don't like the delays for the Costa pictures, just don't tick the Costa box on the company filter at the top right of the page. But it's worth the delay - I love the view of the ships wake from the aft cruiisecams.

I've also added an approximate location to all ships, so that you can get an idea of the ships location as at the time of its most recent location report. If you hold your mouse over the blue "i" icon, you can see the new "Approximate Location" entry for the ship. It reports on the closest official port to the ship. If you want to know the mathematics behind this, please let me know :)

Oh - one more thing, there are now 50 cruisecams online. To reduce the amount of time it takes to load the page, Costa is turned off by default. If you want to see Costa ships you need to tick the box on the top right of the screen. After you do this the first time, ShipWatcher will remember your preferences next time you visit.

If you have any advice on how I can improve ShipWatcher, please let me know.

Best wishes

Neil

P.S. You might be interested to know there are over 8,000 official ports in the ShipWatcher database. Initially, I had over 2.6 million towns and localities. I intended to tell you how far the ship was from the nearest town. The problem was that with so many cities, it took ages (over a minute) to compare the latitude / longitude of each city with that of the ship. It's much quicker (less than a second) to do a scan on all 8,000 ports instead.

Besides, cruise ships will never visit places like Alice Springs, Ulan Bator, Vienna, Salt Lake City, Asuncion, or Moscow because they're miles from the sea. :)

"The Alice Springs Cruise Terminal" - now that rings a bell...

1 comment:

Neilius said...

UPDATE: 1-Oct-07. I've sped up the image processing from Costa. It's still slower than the P&O / Princess images, but it's twice as fast as it used to be :)