GMDSS or how I stopped worrying about and started to love/miss the Radio Officer

John Konrad
Total Views: 4
May 15, 2007

Ship's Radio RoomIt think even those of us who are experts in technology are blow away by some of the capabilities today. Going to a Maritime Academy in the 90’s gave me an opportunity to see a uber-condensed time line of maritime communications history. During my freshman year I remember the nerves after being handed a TELEX by the Radio Officer. By the time of my senior cruise technology had seemingly doubled in scope as we were struggling to learn a new system: GMDSS.

Well we are in a new age now and the GMDSS system is almost ready for its spot in the Smithsonian. Now we have internet via satellite, inexpensive phone calls via skype and a better tie to our home life via Web 2.0.

Just last year I was in the South China sea when I got an instant message from my friend Daniel asking, “are you attending the Tech Conference tomorrow”…not unless you are sending a harrier jet. We all got a good laugh at his expense when returned home but it wasn’t his fault. Did he know I was overseas? Yes. His problem was adjusting his though process to the new reality of global communications and social media.

Without giving a sales pitch, we at gCaptain are here to help you (and Daniel) by:

  1. Giving you the powerful Web 2.0 tools to manage ships.
  2. Helping you wrap your head around new these new concepts
  3. Make it as simple as possible <—our largest challenge.

google-cse.gifSo where is this going? On monday after the “Empress of the North” ran aground near Juneau Alaska I entered the ship’s name in our new Maritime Industry Focused Search Engine. This engine is powered by google but is edited by pro-mariners. I can hear your thoughts: “Do Search Engines have Editors?” …they do now. For the search engine we put in hundreds of man hours polling Masters and Mates asking them what maritime sites they use and which one’s they avoid. By identifying, ranking and filtering these sites we are able to combine professional knowledge with the billion dollar power of Google.

Want to see a test? Go to Google and type in the word “security“. Now go to our Maritime Focused Search and type “security“. See the difference! Here’s the inner dialogue again “hey but I’m interested only in a job as a ISPS coordinater?” Ok, click “Refine results for security: jobs” Now we are talking!

nowpublic logoSo this brings us to the excitement. Using this search engine I entered the vessels name then refined the results using the “SOLAS” tag. The results? I found that the ship had run aground last year, blogged about my discovery and within the hour got a call from NowPublic, a site working with the Associated Press.

For anyone who is still confused, take heart in knowing so are the internet media professionals. Here is the story they wrote about us: Alaska ship grounding reported from Gulf of Mexico – another NowPublic head-turner

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