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Location tracking application recommendations

Old 06-14-12, 07:49 PM
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Location tracking application recommendations

Doing my first tour at the end of the month (riding around Lake Ontario) and was wondering if anyone has used and can recommend a location (GPS) tracking app so friends and family can watch your ride (e.g., Map Track).
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Old 06-14-12, 09:20 PM
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Just use facebook, google plus, or twitter check-in. Without additional power your phone won't have enough power to run the GPS all day. So the occasional check-ins may make more sense. I personally just send a text message home stating where I'm sleeping. No need for the whole world to know where I'm sleeping ... at least until I get up and leave the next morning.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:47 PM
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If you have an iPhone then check out TrackMyTour. I wrote this app not as a real-time tracker, so you don't have to worry about battery consumption. Instead, you add points to a map whenever you want to highlight a location. Points can be annotated with text and a photo, and sharing with twitter and facebook is built right in. Here's a sample map from a tour I did a few weeks ago:

https://trackmytour.com/FQTZL

Have a good ride!
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Old 06-15-12, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisch
Hey chrisch, the website looks nice on a computer but is horrible on a mobile (android) browser. Maybe something you want to look into.
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Old 06-15-12, 09:04 AM
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On iOS I've used MotionX GPS to capture route and then share the map later. It also has the option, I think, of broadcasting your route at set intervals/distances via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. I haven't tried that option, though. Also I think there's a way to share data with other MotionX users, which might be useful if you didn't want to broadcast your location to the world and if your family also had MotionX. Of course, you need to have data coverage for any of that to work.
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Old 06-15-12, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions (more are certainly welcome).

I have a Motorola Razr Maxx so I'm looking for a droid based app but a lot of the iOS apps have corresponding droid apps as well. My intent / desire is not to broadcast my route to the world but rather to use a SMS or email option (like the app Rob_E mentioned) to ping my wife and a couple friends at set intervals (probably every 20 miles as I will be riding 80-100 daily). I'm not too concerned about battery life as the Razr Maxx is supposed to give 20 hrs of battery life such that even if their "marketing friendly" estimate is significantly off I should be able to get an entire day of use before recharging at night. I'd prefer the convenience of an automated system as I know I'd forget to stop or check-in when I'm on the road...
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Old 06-15-12, 12:45 PM
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I posted a pretty detailed write-up of what i use here. I have an Android and use an app called Tasker. Basically, in case of an emergency my wife can send my phone a pre-defined txt message (i.e. "where are you?") and my phone will automatically search for my gps location then reply to my wife with my location (in a url formatted to open in google maps), the accuracy of the coordinates(i.e. +/- 10 meters) and amount of charge my phone has remaining.

i can also use this to find my phone if i lose it somewhere.

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Old 06-15-12, 12:46 PM
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I did a 4 day tour recently, and simply used the gps coordinates embeded in pictures when my phone took photos. Then periodically I would take photos and upload them to picasa so my wife and son could view them on a map withing picasa. I uploaded a couple during the day, but most when I reached somewhere with wifi.

It seemed to work pretty well.

I like the look of the trackmytour app, shame I don't have an iphone.
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Old 06-15-12, 01:33 PM
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I'm leaving on a tour on Sunday, and I'm going to try out Tweeted Trips. Apparently, all you have to do es tweet every now and then and they make a map out of it for you.

Last edited by Ekdog; 06-15-12 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 06-15-12, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cbike
Hey chrisch, the website looks nice on a computer but is horrible on a mobile (android) browser. Maybe something you want to look into.
The maps don't look good in mobile browsers, but look great in the native app. We're still working on an Android app for the site and hope to have that released in the next few months.
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Old 06-15-12, 03:40 PM
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This is the locator system I plan on getting (when the budget allows) to keep in touch when I start doing trail running/training for endurance trail events as well as for our touring days when we start them. :

https://findmespot.com/en/
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Old 06-15-12, 07:35 PM
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I have a SPOT GPS tracker that I've used off an on for about 2 years.
initially I started using it when I made an attempt at the Tour Divide:
here's the leader board: https://tourdivide.org/leaderboard
it shows the rider's current location.

it truly is a GPS transponder, and it has an SOS function. I believe that its accurate to about 6ft.
so if for any reason you happen to activate SOS, EMS will find you!
or at least they'll find your SPOT GPS tracker. it works around the globe, not dependent on cell phone network.

for the most part, when I use SPOT, I carry it on my person.
if I have the choice I like to do backcountry touring.
typically I wear some sort of hydration pack, Wing Nut Gear, etc...
so I place SPOT on my pack. this way, lest say I need to climb down into a gully for some water, and if something happens to go wrong while I leave the bike, at least I have SPOT on my person, so I can activate it. a lot of good it does if its attached to your bike and you're stuck in a ravine with a broken leg.

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Old 06-16-12, 03:33 PM
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Like Asanacycles, I do a lot of riding where there are no cell phone towers, so I also use a Spot to let folks know where I am. It's been great for the peace of mind of my family/friends when I am riding. I have the cheapie version that doesn't interact with a phone to allow me to send texts, but I can send up to three pre-programmed messages, which covers my needs.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:06 AM
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I'll have to investigate Spot. I downloaded Strava and MapMyRide - one of them seemed to suggest you got real time mapping but I had my wife log into both accounts and as best she could tell the route mapping was not accessible until I stopped recording...
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Old 07-04-12, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo GoGo
Doing my first tour at the end of the month (riding around Lake Ontario) and was wondering if anyone has used and can recommend a location (GPS) tracking app so friends and family can watch your ride (e.g., Map Track).


I am using MapTrack for letting my friends know where I am or to keep my family updated with my current location in real time.
One of the most attractive features of this app the possibility to use a usual browser for people who follow you, so they don't need to register on websites or servers, special services. MapTrack uses Google Docs to save your data, so you manage you tracks from there and have full sharing control.
To start recording your location you would need internet connection to create a track, but then if you are not online your data is cached and updated as soon as internet connection is restored. You have an option to manually update your position or to select time interval for automatic position update.
Besides GPS you can also use cell network to determine you location. This option saves battery significantly compare to GPS. Network + right time interval for location updates make it possible to use MapTack all day!

Give it a try, even though it's not free. Btw, It's on SALE today in the US ($0.99).
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