See more of the best (and worst!) locations for such items as visibility, coral quality, and marine sightings etc.
|Cape Town / False Ba...
|in South Africa
|in Canada (east)
|Queen Charlotte Stra...
|in Canada (west)
|South Male Atoll
|*Based on your reviews.
|More best (and worsts!)...
|Today, we have introduced a full feature dive calendar. You can search by region, species, and time of the year to quickly identify where the special diving event you've always wanted to see is taking place. It is also integrated into the destinations pages and location detail pages. Even better, you can add any events you know we should also include.
|When we introduced the Google Maps into the Geo Search tool, we lost the overall listing of all locations in Big Blue Planet. Instead we have now replaced it with a more sophisticated drill down hierarchy which is accessible from the Navigation bar on any page, just look for the "Destinations" menu item.
As well as including integrated summary maps, and descriptions for the regions and countries (when they get written!), you also get a summary of useful information for each country, such as currency convertors, phone dialing codes, electricity, languages and religions etc.
|We've just launched an integrated on-line forum system into Big Blue Planet. The forums are open to browse and search but you must be a My Blue Planet user to edit and post topics. The forums are also integrated into the global free search tool on the site, now if you search for a free text word using the search box at the top of any page, the search routine will also look through forum postings for any that may be relevant.
|Today, we have just started the process of overhauling our interactive maps and providing a bucket load of new functionality and interactivity.
Over the coming weeks we will be extending this new functionality into the add a new location page, and the water temperature and wreck search pages.
|Happy New Year!
We've just added a load more enhancements to the way photos are displayed and ranked on Big Blue Planet.
Now you have the option of filtering the lists by the photographer and more easily getting access to photos that have not yet been voted on. We also found a few isolated cases where inappropriate voting practices were taking place to try and influence the standing of particular photographers photos. We've implemented some sophisticated ranking improvements to weed out these obvious cases and have also provided more info on how many kinds of votes a particular photo has received (just hover your mouse over the word Rank against any photo). So if you have not yet voted on the photos shared by others why not give it a go - just click on the stars! Or if you would like to join in, register as a My Blue Planet user, get your free 5Mb photo gallery and start sharing your own masterpieces!
As well as the photos, the top diver award now has it's own dedicated page showcasing the whole list with details on where everyone has dived. All you have to do to get on this list is register as a My Blue Planet user and then leave at least 2 reviews about two distinct locations you have dived.
|Today we have added a new feature to every location page on the site - a carbon calculator!
Now, you can answer some simple questions and easily see what impact your last (or next) holiday could have on carbon emissions. It takes into account flights, air fills, and boat trips to give an overall carbon emission per holiday.
From using it, it quickly becomes obvious that the biggest impacts come from long haul flights to those far flung destinations. As a sport (air fills and boat trips), scuba diving does not have a huge impact on our day to day carbon emissions!
We've also included a link to Climate Care, one of the best Carbon offsetting services we have seen. By investing in their carbon reducing projects we can repair the damage we have done by going on scuba holidays and hopefully make sure that the coral reefs stay around for a little bit longer! On a personal note, we have just come back from a recent trip to the Maldives, so have just used their service to offset 5 tonnes of CO2!
|Based on an excellent suggestion from Pat (the one and only Sushi!) we have just integrated a site wide deep search tool into Big Blue Planet.
This has turned out to be an awesome addition to the site as you can now do free text searching across all the reviews, names, descriptions, and other content that is being added every day by other divers. If you put in "Manta" or Dolphin you will be amazed at what comes back. One tip is that you can't use quotes to create a phrase but you can force all the words to be there by putting a + sign in front. You can also exclude words by putting a - sign in front so:
+manta +rays +maldives
should bring back articles and reviews about diving with manta rays in the Maldives. Unfortunately the words have to be over 4 characters long (which is bit of a problem if you are searching for places like Yap!) but it does make it massively easier to track specific things down in the site.
|My Blue Planet goes live today!
My Blue Planet is a very exciting set of new personal content areas that are designed just for you. You can use it to store and share your holiday photos, track how global a diver you are, keep a wish list of future diving holiday locations, or even find a buddy for your next dive. For more info on the new functionality you can access click here.
Just like Big Blue Planet, the access to My Blue Planet is free and will remain so. We need you to register as we need to remember who you are from visit to visit but you do not need to provide any personal info except for your email name and chosen user name (nick name). We also guarantee that your email name will not be given or sold to anyone else and we will definately not SPAM you. Please note that we assume you do NOT want to belong to the My Blue Planet Newsletter unless you specifically ask to join - so please look out for that option in your profile if you would like to receive our Newsletter.
We plan to issue a newsletter every 3 months to start with as we'd like them to be high quality with lot's of useful information about holidays and the locations you can visit. The first one should be coming out around the end of July. If you can think of any subjects you would like us to include then please get in touch.
|My Blue Planet is nearing completion, another month and we will be adding in two new content areas where you can get a free 5Mb photo gallery, and use our Buddy Finder to locate buddies around the globe - if you want to go diving in a new location and need a buddy. In the meantime we have also done a complete redesign of the site and built a completely new homepage to showcase some of the depths of the data that Big Blue Planet now contains. We hope you like it.
My Blue Planet will be launched in just over a month, however, if you want to know the moment it is available you can ask us to tell you.
|It's been some time since the last update mainly due to a couple of reasons: The first is that we got a little side tracked by the Dive Show in October and had to put on our Dive-Logs hats to be able to concentrate on making that a success. That's all done now and it was another great year as we got to meet our customers face to face!
The second reason is that the Wreck Database has taken us ages to complete. We have spent weeks researching all the different wrecks because we wanted to make it really stand out. So far there are 200 wrecks in there and it covers most dive locations. We know that we have missed some out (sometimes due to lack of information) so if you think we should add one, please get in touch and tell us all about it so we can add it in.
The wreck search page is now up and running and here you can use the interactive map and search options to narrow down the list of wrecks. We have also integrated the data into each location page with a new wrecks section just below the review sections.
You'll also find you can leave a quick mini review about the wrecks you have dived on, so if you can spare the time, please leave some. All the reviews will go towards creating the Wrecks "Best Of" rankings!
Finally, just as an update, the visitor numbers are now up to 43,000 visitors to the site and the numbers are increasing every month!
Next for us is a whole new section called My Blue Planet...
|We've just added a whole new listing section to the location information set: Resorts / Hotels. Now any hotel or diving resort that wants to be listed on Big Blue Planet just needs to add their details.
If you are a dive centre that also happens to have accomodation on site that you own then it probably still makes sense to be listed in the Dive Centre section only (but make sure you indicate that you can arrange accomodation). However, if you have a nearby resort or hotel that you partner with, make sure they know they can now add themselves to this new section.
As well we've also included two new rankings into the review section. Child Friendliness and Disability Friendliness of both Dive Centres and Hotels/Resorts. We recommend that rankings are only done by divers with families, or divers with disabilities, and that most of us should stick to "No Opinion". This should make the data more meaningful and helpful to the divers who actually need that information.
|A new search tool has just been added that is the first of its kind in the world. Click on the Global Water Temp Search at the top of the page to access it.
Big Blue Planet contains literally tens of thousands of water temperature data points for all the world's oceans. We know the temperature in 1 kilometer grid squares anywhere in the world. We know the temperature at the surface and at depth and have it broken down by each month. All the data came from the National Ocean Data Centre and is used to create the graphs on each location detail page.
This new search tool allows you to access this data geographically on an interactive map system. Now you can easily zoom in and out to different areas of the world and see how the temperature changes through the year. All the locations in Big Blue Planet are listed in descending warmth below the map. We hope you like it.
Updates from the weblogs show that since the start we have now had 14,000 visitors to the website and loads of people are leaving reviews and adding locations (now up past 400!). Please keep them coming!
Lots of people have asked what a location needs to be added to the database. The most important thing is the ability of a diver to turn up, hire gear and be guided round the dives. Basically this means there must be a dive centre based there. Big Blue Planet is all about diving when on holiday so local dive club sites that are only really used by the dive club should not really be added.
In the next few weeks we'll be adding some extra optional questions to the review process (based on some feedback from Deirdre) that will capture how child friendly a location is and how well equiped the dive centre was for disabled access. We'll also be creating a new streamlined way for you to contact the dive centres directly to ask about bookings and general information. Then we'll focus on installing a wreck database...
|We've just added a set of licensed images to enhance the marine life sightings section. Now as you roll your mouse over a fish name, a box will pop up with a picture of that species if we have one on record. This is in addition to being able to click on a name for more detailed information about that species!
All the marine pictures are coming from our friends at Seven Seas Explorer (for more info click here), and we are having to add them slowly, so don't be surprised if the pictures are sparse to begin with! We'll be trying to increase the range as quickly as we can!
A quick update on the numbers as well, since we started just over a month ago, over 120 (!) new dive locations have been added by dive centres and divers. This means Big Blue Planet is almost 50% bigger after just one month. We also have thousands of reviews in the system that are making the visibility and marine sighting charts really excellant. Dive Site lists are being developed as people identify which were their favourite. The web logs show that we have had over 6000 unique visitors who have taken a look around with a lot of them helping to make Big Blue Planet better by contributing their experience.
We want to say thank you for all your comments and support emails! But more importantly we appreciate all the time you are taking to browse around, add information to help other divers, and letting others know about this new resource.
We are going to be spending the next few weeks working on a new interactive search tool based around the ocean water temperatures...
|Well, the Scuba show was amazing, we managed to meet up with a lot of our customers as well as spread the word about Big Blue Planet.
And Big Blue Planet is looking great! Over the last week we've had an extra 70 dive locations added as well as loads of reviews and lots of dive centres registering. The visibility and marine information charts and graphs are really starting to look good.
Tomorrow we are going to get in touch with our opt-in customers from Dive-Logs and ask for their help...
|Today we (Dive-Logs) are getting ready to exhibit at the California Scuba Show this weekend. For every brochure we hand out we will be also including a small postcard on Big Blue Planet. This is the first big exposure we are able to arrange and we are all really excited at getting some direct feedback, plus hopefully getting some more information into the system.
Since we launched just over a week ago we have already had a couple of new locations added to the database as well as some reviews and dive centres registered.
|Today we launched Big Blue Planet!
We preloaded 257 dive locations that are the most common, with all the temperature data and precise geographical locations. We've loaded in 60 main common marine species for encounters and have the geographical and advanced search tools working. It is also possible to edit location descriptions, add reviews, register a dive centre, register a travel agent, and add website links.
We now just need dive centres and divers to add reviews and content.