Mapping – more than a pretty picture
Pins vs boats – the benefits
When we started developing Harbour Assist, we took a long look at other systems on the market, and we spoke to lots of different operators – harbours, small marinas and multi-site groups.
We found that people like maps, and they like boats on the maps, but they also wanted to know more about the boat – like how long they were staying, if there was money owing, or even if they’d been checked-in without an accompanying order.
Operators told us that they wanted to know more about their sites and equipment and see these displayed on the map – boats, berths, mooring buoys, cranes, dry storage, washrooms, and more.
Boats or assets?
We decided to overturn the convention that maps had to show representations of boats and instead provide the kind of detailed information to make the map a central element in marina operations. So we switched the focus of the map from boats to assets.
Focusing the map on assets means that information about maintenance inspections and fault reports is visible alongside occupancy and boat information.
Boats or pins?
Marina staff aren’t daft – they know an 11m boat is longer than a 9m boat, so once they have that information, why clutter the map with generic boat shapes? We use the familiar Google Maps-style pin markers overlaid with easy-to-read icons and a colour code system to illustrate occupancy, licensing, inspections and faults in switchable screen views.
Swapping to pins makes the map easier to view and enables enriched layers of information without cluttering the display. Extra detail like boat names and berth numbers can be shown or hidden in one click. Drill down to view just electricity pedestals or berth availability during a date range, or search asset name, customer or boat.
Mapping is just one of the ways that users navigate Harbour Assist. Some clients use it all the time, others rarely – we give users a choice.
Using the same map, you can flick between views to highlight information of value to different team members:
1. Occupancy view
In busy visitor/transient marinas, it’s vital to quickly identify who is due to depart, overstayers and available berths. Any user with a tablet can depart a boat, add nights to the invoice, allocate berths and more right from the map.
A simple search ensures allocation of the right berth – searching by length, draft, beam and mooring space type.
2. Licensing view
Suppose your marina offers annual or monthly licenses/contracts. In that case, it’s handy to see which berths remain unlicensed as you approach the renewal date – what is available to sell and who needs a reminder to sign.
3. Inspection view
Move your maintenance to Harbour Assist, and you can identify overdue and upcoming inspections on the map.
Equip your maintenance team with a tablet, and they can check and complete tasks right from the map view.
4. Faults view
Like the inspections view, faults are easily identified and resolved right from the map. Colour coded for high, medium and low severity, and the maintenance team can prioritise as they walk the site.
You decide how your map or marina plan looks – it can be the same full-colour plan you use on your website or brochure or a line drawing; you’re in control. We can even use Google Maps on large sites like harbours or rivers, with the bonus of flicking between map and satellite views.
If berth numbers and asset names are in a map overlay, the user can switch them on and off, providing a clearer or more detailed view as required.
Making map changes
We don’t charge extra for uploading a new map. So if you alter the layout of your pontoons, move a line of mooring buoys or install a new launch ramp, it isn’t going to cost you.
Because Harbour Assist is a modern platform, the maps aren’t hardcoded – adaptability is built-in. We want our users to make the most of the system, not be constrained by budgets.
How can we help your business?
If you’d like to talk about how Harbour Assist can help your business to work more effectively in occupancy and maintenance, drop us an email.