MAIA (MAritime Information Application) is a Raspberry Pi maritime information and utility suite to be installed on board as a supplement to plotters or mobile navigation devices in order to optimize overview of yacht data from instruments and GPS but also for providing additional information and features. The system consists of a server that picks up and transmits data and a display client that can run on as many units as desired on board.
The client software is designed for small touch screens and all menus provide an intuitive user interface which enables quick and easy access to information during sailing through a simple layout that is clearly visible even on the smallest screens. So for those carrying older instruments on board and use tablets for navigation, the MAIA system might add the extra overview and flexibility that new and expensive systems have.
In order to use the system on Raspberry Pi touch displays like PiTFT 3.5″ or the official RPi 7″ and to ensure smooth operation in rough seas, the amount of items in menus are kept to a minimum comprising 6 choices in a 3×2 matrix. All information displayed is primarily one value at a time, but some options are also provided for condensed views if readable on the current display configuration. When data is displayed the screen works as a full size button and touching the screen will revert to the last menu.
Instrument data are acquired and submitted from the MAIA server or any other device capable of broadcasting standard NMEA-sentences via UDP. For full data feed the MAIAserver with weather sensors is required and for this a non-standard NMEA header “WEA” is used for transmitting data from sensors (temperature, humidity and pressure). The data can picked up by clients from a standard LAN of your choice in order to service as many display configurations as desired on board.
The MAIA application can be tested by running MAIAsimulator.py on a separate RPi connected to same LAN. This will take you on a virtual but realistic trip around the Danish island Anholt in a fairly stable westerly breeze. If a trip is started in MAIA at the same time as launching the simulator you can after some time fetch a date/time stamped CSV-file which can be uploaded directly to Google maps for testing the log data that was recorded.