Use a smartphone like a SPOT Tracker?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Rottweiler, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

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    I think this is a fantastic idea as long as you have cell phone coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many times in less populated areas where coverage is bad. Heck, there are portions of Oregon I rode through where I had no cell coverage for several hours.

    I'd love to cram as many functions into my cell phone as possible. At $150/year for the coverage AND rea-time tracking, looks like SPOT is hard to beat.
    #41
  2. motosaint

    motosaint LTLYLTL!

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    I guess the SPOT devices have some hardware in them and not special software that allows them to communicate with these 'communications satellites' that SPOT talks about in their literature...

    #42
  3. gtackett

    gtackett Been here awhile

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    I also posted this in the "Laying Tracks" section, but thought I'd throw it out here as well.


    Does anyone know of an Android app that would operate similar to a Spot tracking device?

    I would like to simply hit a button on my phone to quickly send a txt message to my wife giving her my location and also letting her know I haven't crashed and fine.

    An email notice would be ok, but a txt would be best.

    Most apps. I've seen are based on tracking a cheating spouse or tracking sexual offenders in the area....

    Any ideas or suggestions?
    #43
  4. Tail Gunner

    Tail Gunner Life is Good !!!

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    One thing to consider is that you need cell phone service to send a email/text. I know a lot of my riding has no or very poor cell service. That is what makes SPOT good.
    #44
  5. oPAULo

    oPAULo jack of all terrain

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    Yup. That's where a cell comes up short. Besides, Ya gotta run fast and hard to crash that bad Tackett. I think you'll be fine....:lol3






















    :hide
    #45
  6. gtackett

    gtackett Been here awhile

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    I realize this, and understand the value of the Spot.

    I'm usually either in cell range or close. Some rides I don't know the direction I'm heading, just take off. This would be a easy quick way to let those at home know which direction I went.
    #46
  7. oPAULo

    oPAULo jack of all terrain

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    Join google maps latitude. It's pretty cool. Amy and I chase eachother around with it. Anyone in your latitude group can see where you are and what direction your going in real time. Yes you can turn it off for secret long lunch rides.
    #47
  8. gtackett

    gtackett Been here awhile

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    That may do it. Although I'd like some type of txting option, since the wife has "dumb" phone. I really doubt she cares where I am in real time anyway, but I'd like to think she would wonder where I was if was running late.

    I'll look into this. Thanks.
    #48
  9. gtackett

    gtackett Been here awhile

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    Ok. I think the Google Latitude will do it. I set it up on the phone and the PC. Accuracy appears very close, however, on the map it appears that I am sitting slightly to the East. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but slightly east of my office is a tavern....

    Anyway, thanks for the tip Paul. Looks like this will be the hot ticket, now once the weather breaks, just gotta find time to ride to .....somewhere.
    #49
  10. oPAULo

    oPAULo jack of all terrain

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    Whatever. We know you lunch with the bandanas biker crowd.:lol3

    Once you start moving it is able to track your position better. And outside is better too. I've been under the steel roof at work and it showed I was in Avoca. Step outside and it's fixed.
    #50
  11. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I use MotionX-GPS on my iPhone. It's a full-featured GPS app, and can also send your current position every 5 min/15 min/30 min/1 hr via facebook, twitter or email.

    I have 5 min updates sent to a gmail account setup just for this. I don't know where I'm going before I head out, and often change my mind when I do have a plan.

    At least this way, family/friends will have some idea what direction I was heading when I last had coverage. It tends to drop in and out in most of the areas I ride.
    #51
  12. GoGo Gadget

    GoGo Gadget Long timer

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    I gave it a try the other day and it was locking up my Blackberry. Might just be the operating system on my phone tho.
    #52
  13. stimmer6253472

    stimmer6253472 Been here awhile

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    #53
  14. Rottweiler

    Rottweiler I'm a Believer

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    #54
  15. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    anything new and improved in this area?
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  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    A few weeks back Bubbler GPS was released for Android. I haven't looked into it but it is smartphone interface to SpotWalla I believe.
    #56
  17. 74C5

    74C5 Long timer

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    And, Instamapper appears to be Tango Uniform.
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  18. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    And unfortunately for iOS users, Google has retired Google Latitude. Hopefully Bubbler will release an iphone app soon.

    At this time, as far as I know, there's no Spotwalla interface for iOS currently.

    Jamie
    #58
  19. Range Rover

    Range Rover Adventurer

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    Does anybody else realize how pw'd this sounds? Who the hell wants there wife to know where they are at? It's one of the reasons I bought a motorcycle. Just sayin'.....
    #59
  20. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I can understand your angst if you're talking about a one or two day ride where you just want some space, and you're still in cellphone range where ever you are riding around.

    But for guys like myself who do one, two, three week or longer rides around desolate areas with no cellphone reception for days... A Spot can be an extremely convenient way to keep anyone, including a caring wife... able to know if you're o.k. or not at any time. And you don't even have to have a conversation with her if you are at a point where you're focused on your riding, for whatever reason... crossing rivers, compression braking down rock garden trails.

    I could go on and on about it's benefits... with absolutely no PW'd concerns what so ever.

    Just an open minded opinion, nothing more...
    #60