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Sharing FAQ

Page history last edited by David-Taylor 9 years, 7 months ago

Sharing FAQ



Just fill this with questions you think your visitors might have, as well as the answers


I just downloaded ShipPlotter - why can't I use Internet sharing?

Due to the costs associated with the sharing server, you must register the software first before the Internet sharing is enabled.


I am registered. How can I share my data with others?

You need to be connected to the Internet. Provided that you have not changed the defaults in the setup dialog, just click on the sharing button and your data will be visible to others and their data will appear on your chart if it covers the area.


What is my sharing ID?

Use the Help, About menu.  It will say something like:


  ShipPlotter version 12.3.1 - Registered {1234}p0


The last two characters (p0 in the example above) are your sharing ID.  Once you find your ID, be sure to enter it in the database at the Ship Plotter Yahoo group:



I am sharing but nobody sees my data. Why not?

If you have set up the sharing correctly, you will see messages in the status bar (lower left) indicating "uploading" and "downloading". If this is working but your data is not seen by others, then almost certainly your PC clock is wrong. The sharing server ignores data if the time tag is more than a minute or two before or after the true current time. Make sure that the displayed time is correct and that the time zone and daylight saving settings correspond to your local conditions.


How do I keep my PC's time correct?

For completely automatic time setting and maintenance (within a few hundred milliseconds or better), just install NTP:


As opposed to other programs (which simply set the time every so often from a single server), NTP uses multiple servers and selects the best, it compensates for the delay inherent in your Internet connection and, perhaps best of all, it alters the rate of your clock as well the initial offset so that your PC's clock always keeps good time.  Click here for How to setup NTP.

How can I check my status on the sharing server?

There is a special URL you can use like:


where you replace the serial number 123 with the serial number for your own system.  You would have used this number when registering Ship Plotter, and it will also be on the e-mail you received with your licence key.  This will tell you the number of ships you have uploaded and downloaded, and the time error of your PC.  As mentioned above, if that time error is too great, your data will not be seen by other downloaders.


I want to share my data with a few friends but to keep it private from everybody else. How do I do that?

If you just want data to flow one way to up to four other users, use the UDP/IP peer to peer sharing facility in the I/O settings dialog. You just need to put in the IP address of their machines and to agree a port address that they will configure for UDP/IP input in the same dialog.


If you want to share in both directions, you can make each instance of ShipPlotter a mini server by checking the HTTP Output server option in the Options I/O settings dialog (which allows them to access your data) and then set up the Options Sharing Setup dialog to retrieve data from their SP servers.


If you want a more elaborate private network, you need to set up a free standing HTTP server and to run a script based on the example that is supplied with ShipPlotter and make each instance of ShipPlotter access that server to exchange data.


Why doesn't ShipPlotter output AIS messages in NMEA format for ships received from the sharing server?

The information sent to, and received from, the sharing server is a digest/compilation of the AIS messages received over the last minute. The updating is done once per minute (or as specified) and not once per original message. Also some of the low level protocol elements of the original AIS messages are discarded. For these two reasons, it is not possible to reconstruct the original AIS messages using the data from the server. It might be possible to synthesize messages but the NMEA format of AIS messages does not contain a useable time tag - essentially it takes the time of arrival of the message. A synthetic NMEA format message would come at the wrong time for the given position and any use of that data would be potentially dangerous.


Google Map URL setup

As the answer fits on more than one page, please see Google Map URL setup



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