sharing experiences

inter tidal zone

2: sharing experiences

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Welcome everyone, to my second article, and please remember that I'm not a professional writer, although I have been 'published' before and have had my photos published on the BBC (weather) 😉 I'm just a Lancashire lad, more in to having a fireside chat than writing a column or knowing it all!

near Potters HeighamThis time the Inter-tidal topic is all about sharing your experiences with others, adding photos to routes or maps on-line, of the places you have visited. Reviewing statistics on travel distances and Cities and Towns visited. In other words, opening up your water based world to others! Which includes folks asking you questions, e.g. does so and so allow dogs? Suddenly everyone is wiser in the same way as when you chat with strangers and fellow boaters on the tow-path, but this time all on-line, via your phone, tablet or laptop.

free tools on google

The vehicle for achieving all this good will and interest is Google, yes, the Google that people know as a place to search for information or look at maps. (I have no affiliation) They simply have some of the best FREE tools in the world that you may, as I did, find to be fascinating and easy to use to log your activities on and off the waterways.

By way of illustration, some notes and statistics from my own personal report from Google in January 2019.

  • I published 8 photos and answered 7 questions on-line, both up on the previous month.
  • For 5 days of the month, I contributed to Google Maps.
  • In January my photos were viewed 337 times.
  • In total, people have seen my photos on Google Maps 300,000 times.

potters heighamBy way of real world examples from the statistics above, it included Sankey Valley Park (near Sankey Canal), Three Sisters nature reserve (near to Leigh Branch of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal) and Potter Heigham, a town on the Norfolk Broads.

Just think, as you are reading this, you are somewhere, and have maybe found somewhere that we would all love to see or visit! Or, you are on Google Maps wondering if a place like Potter Heigham might be a place for you to visit, then you see my photo (or yours in the future) and voila, you or someone is convinced – it truly is a boater's paradise 😉

Types of questions include; Is there parking? Is it dog friendly? Is it wheelchair friendly? So simple and so useful to us all, and you can be part of it.

" my maps "

Sankey Canal yachts and cruisersPlus: “My Maps” or in this case yours – a lovely Google Maps facility is a tool that allows you to have one or more 'personal' maps. Where you can drop pins and comments that are of value to you, or whoever you want to share with. One of mine, for example, show all the places that I have paddled my canoe in the UK. For this particular old fella, a welcome reminder of places sometimes forgotten in old age. Others could identify your favourite canal side Pub or stunning pounds or even favourite moorings etc.,

ALERT: This tracking of movements and sharing of locations and giving advise is not for everyone. There is a lot of talk about 'big brother' and corporations and governments knowing too much about an individual, you must be aware that you are opting in to let Google track your location and interpret where you are and what is around you and where you have been. Some folks find it distressing when Google emails you and asks you to review Potter Heigham or post a photo of it to Google Maps, almost before you have tied up for a brew! I immerse myself in it and share my open book lifestyle and I'm hardly ever where I shouldn't be!

Basically you create an account with Google, many already have one, which then gives you access to the tools I've mentioned. The tracking is done via internet usage, mobile phone and GPS too, I think. There are even 'apps' in the various smartphone and tablet stores to make it easier on-the-go as it were. The links below will help you read up and decide if you want to become part of this sharing and interesting world.

Create a Google Account
How to use My Maps
How to become a Local Guide

to LISTEN to my article, simply follow this link

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About Bob Sanders

Bob Sanders retired IT Consultant uses Canals, Rivers, Lakes and Sea to relax, exercise and reconnect with nature. Bob is a 'paddler' not a 'boater', licensed and inured through Canoe England who follow best practice for all users of the waterways.