Finding your way on the water

Waternet and TamTam have launched the first app with a navigation system for Amsterdam’s waterways. It is packed with practical information for having a good time on the increasingly crowded canals. 

Honking sightseeing boats, rented party boats and quiet electric boats are joined by thousands of privately-owned boats in all shapes and sizes as soon as the sun shines. With this ever-increasing traffic, water management agency Waternet has plenty to tell Amsterdam’s boaters, including about boating rules, obstructions, locks, bridges and ‘traffic jams’. Because the better the boating traffic is spread out, the nicer it is on the canals.

Waternet approached TamTam for an app that could provide the city’s 15,000 boat owners plus an additional few thousand renters per year with practical information. “We started by investigating the needs of the user,” says creative director Danijel Bonacic. “The biggest challenge was to make an app that people actually wanted to download.” A navigation system, a digital speedometer and the local weather forecast proved to be the most-wanted features. The location of jetties, petrol stations and nice cafés came in second place.

The practical was combined with the enjoyable – from realtime traffic information, to a culinary sailing route with restaurants where you can moor your boat. It also included a navigation system – the first for Amsterdam’s waterways. The end result is a free app that is useful for both Waternet and for users. Waternet can now see where there is a need for regulating traffic, cleaning or operating bridges. And the 40,000 downloads prove that their clients are very interested as well. Bonacic expects there will be more: “We’re looking at additional functionality we can add to the app. For example, if your boat is in danger of sinking during the winter, you could receive a push notification to warn you. That would work much better than the letter that is now stuck to your boat.” |