Contemporary Development With Functional Programming

OCaml iOS App for Marine Navigation

April 19, 2012

Another cutting-edge software house has released an iOS app written in OCaml! The app is called SEAiq USA, from an outfit called Sakhalin. It’s a navigation app for the waters of the USA. In essence, it’s a mapping app for traveling over the water.

SEAiq USA globe icon

Although I’m not a sailor, I do live by the water. I used the app to investigate the part of my neighborhood I don’t get to see: the watery part. The charts show all kinds of features (underwater dangers, beacons, cable crossings) that I never knew about.

The charts scale extremely well, from a planetary view down to the little beach a few blocks from my house. This is because (I’m told) the app uses vector graphics, with charts downloaded directly from NOAA. I’m going to take a ferry ride with my kids tomorrow; I’ll take SEAiq along so we can follow our travels on the chart.

If you’re any kind of sailor in the US, I’d say SEAiq USA would be extremely cool to have, especially if you have an iPad with True GPS. (See the Sakhalin site for details on iPad GPS capabilities).

It makes me really happy to see another outfit use OCamlXSim and OCamlXARM to produce a high quality app. I honestly believe that using OCaml lets you do better work with fewer resources. Also, Sakhalin was kind enough to give me some development scripts for using the iOS Simulator more effectively.

This is an unsolicited testimonial. And I’m glad to see a small step toward a worldwide OCaml-on-iOS craze.

Posted by: Jeffrey


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