New Method to register for access to the charts
The existing methodology to acquire the charts has involved a significant amount of manual activity by all parties, including me, Colman, and the proposed end user. Over the holiday period Colman decided to take a look at the process with the view to automating as much as possible and to ease the process for the end user. I am delighted to say this new process has been implemented (many thanks Colman).
The original involved the requesting user sending me an email, me copying and recording the request and forwarding to Colman, Colman then sending a testers document to the requester, who then signed the document, scanned it and sent it back to Colman. Colman then checked access qualification, and sent a link to the requester with access to the charts. The requester then downloaded his choice of chart, whether it was for a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop.
The new method is much more direct and simple. A requester for the charts simply logs onto the CSIG website, https://chartssig.iwai.ie , and registers using the registration link under member login. Or one can go directly by using https://chartssig.iwai.ie/membership-join/membership-registration/
The registration process now captures the same data as the old testers document did, and to complete the registration the requester must tick a box to say they have read and understood the disclaimer which is on the registration page. This will then generate an automatic email to Colman who can then check the membership status, and if paid up can approve the registration. Until that step is complete the requester cannot access the beta charts page. Colman hopes to automate this check stage at a later date.
Colman has also modified the integration from WordPress to the OneDrive, which will make it easier for users to access and download the charts.
There is one minor issue which has occurred during the upgrade. Since effectively this was quite a major change some existing users may find they no longer have access to the charts. Be assured they are not deleted, their access is alive and active, but they will have to go through the lost password process with the previously registered email to regain access. Apologies for this to our current users, but the new process is so much easier I believe it is a small price to pay.
There is one final step needed to complete the automation, and that is the automatic deactivation of a member should they fail to renew their IWAI membership. This will be completed shortly.
All in all, this is a huge step forward for the CSIG, and many thanks should go to our webmaster, surveyor and mapper Colman Byrne who we profiled in the last IWN. Thanks Colman.
New version of Cartograph V2
The CSIG charts run on quite a few platforms, smartphones, tablets and laptops. There are a number of Apps available to choose from depending on which platform the user has available. These are as follows.
IOS Smartphones and Tablets
Galileo Pro, Cartograph, MemoryMap
Android Smartphones and Tablets
Locus Pro, Cartograph, MemoryMap
Although Cartograph effectively can run on all platforms, up to now there were some issues, which made the map not visually nice, such as large triangles on the four sides of the screen and poor location iconery. The owners of Cartograph have just released a Version 2, and amongst loads of new features they have addressed the issues. There was a problem in the first release of V2, where older devices (such as my iPhone SE), would not load the charts. I advised the owner via their help path and was amazed to see the issue fixed within days. There is still at the time of writing another small issue where the map scaling function has no sub 1.0 capability, but that is in train for fixing. I used a scaling factor of 0.7 in version 1 which I liked and was disappointed to see it removed, but glad to know it will be fixed shortly.
So, your choice of apps to run our charts has just got better. For me, I will be sticking to MemoryMap on Windows since it gives me loads more function which I like, and I still think Locus on Android machines is the best app there. Enjoy checking them out and make your choices.
Tranquillity Special Interest Group (TSIG)
In the last IWN, you may have noticed that there is now a new SIG, the Tranquillity Special Interest Group (TSIG). The CSIG is delighted to be involved in assisting to get this new TSIG up and running. We have brought Waterways Ireland (WI) personnel out on our boats to potential Tranquillity sites and WI have already purchased equipment to locate in these places. They are going through the planning process and we should see activity in this area shortly. We will integrate the location of these Tranquillity sites into the CSIG charts.
We will continue to assist them in any way possible and hope they develop in a similar fashion to the CSIG.
When one looks at the CSIG group, it is really quite amazing that such a wide variety of skills are embodied within it. The friendship and cross branch nature of the group has been a lesson for all, and I believe we should all be very proud of it. Scores of new members have joined the IWAI simply to get access to the charts and then of course they find out that there is so much more to the IWAI than the charts. We will strive to keep this development going.
If you would like a presentation to your branch on the CSIG charts please contact me, Les Saunders at email@example.com and we can arrange a suitable time.
Meet Les Saunders
Many of you will know Beth O’Loughlin who has the beautiful barge Aqualegia. What you probably don’t know is that Beth maintains all of the content for our website. When we met over the Christmas period Beth suggested to me that it might be good if she did a bio on me, so here it is.
Les is a multi-faceted individual and at times over the past few years, his dedication to the work of the CSIG has kept us all together. It has taken vast amounts of work and vast amounts of diplomacy at times, to keep a group “with such a wide variety of skills” and backgrounds working together.
Les left Wesley College in the mid-1960s, studied Electrical Engineering at UCD and later Computer Science at Trinity. He funded his early degree by driving ambulances (hence has never taken alcohol) and completed his TCD degree while working full time for IBM. He spent his entire career at IBM, over 40 years and retired 10 years ago. When I asked him how he was able to stay interested in the same company for that length of time, he stated, “I was dealing with leading edge technology, there was always something new to learn”.
Aged twenty-one, he went flying in a glider with a friend, and started a ten-year love affair with flying. He spent almost every weekend at an airfield, driving the tow car, flying his own shared-glider, instructing newbies and flying the tow plane. He has a Silver C for gliding and a PPL for powered aircraft.
The arrival of his son Davey put some brakes on this activity, since an airfield is no place for a family. Having hired a boat on the Shannon for a week, “he got the bug”. He built his first boat, a 23ft Glen Marine frame kit, in his back garden. After using this for four years, he purchased a James Silver motor sailor, and used this for a further four years. When stuck in Terryglass Harbour, during a wet and miserable nine-day holiday, Les became convinced that a barge was the real answer to boating. The search was on and after some months, he was the proud owner of 41M. Over the years, Les has continued to enhance and repair 41M, a well-known heritage boat, and has instilled his enthusiasm for barges in many others. Davey and Lynda now own 47M Palo Alto, are parents to two children, making Les a proud granddad.
A few years after purchasing 41M, Les met his current wife Yvonne when boating on Lough Derg; they have a son Robert, now at college, who is also into barges. Yvonne’s parents (Tom and Maureen Duffy) are well known in boating circles having been involved in the Lough Derg Branch and Rally for many years.
Badminton is another interest, which he played regularly until recently. He plays guitar and with PJ, his pal and barge owner of 40M, have entertained participants of the Derg Rally for many years. They call their new band the ‘One Dementia’!
When Noel Griffin and Dave McCabe produced their charts for the first time, it piqued Les’s interest, and when the CSIG was formed, he jumped at the role of PRO. When asked why, Les stated “the Inland Waterways have given me and my extended family so much fun over the years that I feel it is only right to give back”. Les is an elected Council Member of the IWAI and represents the CSIG on the IWAI Executive. He is also the current Commodore of Gortmore Boat Club in Terryglass and an active member of the Heritage Boat Association.
[40M, 41M and 47M are featured in Cool Metal – Clear Water, Second Edition 2017. Now available from the IWAI Shop]