Friday, March 22, 2013

David vs. Goliath – Connor Mihel

Rating: ***

                Technically, the rules of the river state that motorized vessels must give right of way to human powered craft. The only problem with that is that large, motorized boats have very little manoeuvrability. So although the rules might state that the big boat has to alter course to avoid the little flimsy boat, the more reasonable solution is for the little boat to paddle like heck and get out of the way of the big boat.

                This article is about an app that could potentially avoid deadly situations like that. The app collects information about nearby large vessels, and displays the ship’s location in real-time on Google Maps. The app also displays information about the boat such as its dimensions, speed, and course. This app can help paddlers know if there is a large boat coming around the next corner, or when the next ferry will be crossing their path. 

                The article is undoubtedly interesting, as it solves a dangerous problem for boaters. The article explains where the app collects its information, as well as clearly and concisely defining what this app can be used for. The article also discusses the one major flaw with this bit of technology: what paddler would have their iPhone or iPad out with them in the middle of a river or harbour, and be using it to check for oncoming vessels. Not only is there the risk of dropping it, but the possibility that they could get into more danger by not paying attention to their surroundings. Nonetheless, the article brings to light an app that is a major improvement over guessing, hoping, and luck when it comes to avoiding larger ships in a small kayak.

Mihel, Connor. “David vs. Goliath.” Adventure Kayak Summer/Fall 2012: 19.

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