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Thread: Cool Blackberry/iPhone Ap for storing GPS Tracks

  1. #1
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Cool Blackberry/iPhone Ap for storing GPS Tracks

    http://www.instamapper.com

    This FREE app takes GPS readings at a user-set intervals and stores them online in several formats including raw data, various file forms (gpx and kml included) and graphically using Google maps. Like SPOT, you can also enable "Sharing" and allow others to track your movements online.

    The way it works is the app uses the device's GPS to take a reading at a user-definable schedule (mine is set to every 180-seconds) and it then uploads it using the phone's data connection. The phone will buffer 100 readings (they are promising more in upcoming updates) if you are out of data coverage then upload en masse when data coverage is re-established.

    The real value of the site (aside from it being free) is the tools for selecting and downloading the tracks. The site stores over 100,000 points so you can keep months of rides, and the ability to select and store segments makes it easy to keep rides and trips in order.

    I've been using it for a few weeks now and have become a big fan, I did have to increase the reading interval to 3-minutes (stores 5 hours of "out of range" riding) as I initially lost some big track chunks from being out of coverage areas when it was set to every 5 seconds (only 10 minutes or so of "out of coverage" riding.)

    The downloaded tracks come right up in Google Maps, Google Earth, and even Garmin's proprietary mapping program, and not having to stop and make a note of neat road discoveries is a real benefit.

    Best of all it is free - just make sure you have an unlimited data plan! One side note, if you have a Blackberry make sure to "switch applications" for it to run in the background, if you simply exit out or hit the return to main screen button the program will shut down. iPhone users will have to keep it open until the upcoming iPhone OS release finally ushers in multi-tasking.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  2. #2
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    Yeah,,,, but i was riding through the oklahoma panhandle and my wife busted me going 85 mph... glad she didn't see me when i was going a hundred and twenty...

    Works pretty good, must have cell service.

    Peter in Okc, OK.

  3. #3
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    ... I initially lost some big track chunks from being out of coverage areas when it was set to every 5 seconds (only 10 minutes or so of "out of coverage" riding.)
    that is SO you... need to tell momma where you are every five seconds.

    gonna give it a try... thanks for the pointer.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  4. #4
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
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    Ted-

    Thanks- Cathy would have appreciated this app for my trip home from HMIII. I did the 890 miles in 14-1/2 hours. Was in northern NH by 7pm

    BTW, nice to finally meet you.

    John
    John & Cathy
    '92 K100RS (gone- '04 R1100S Boxer Cup)
    '12 Suzuki DRZ400
    ("kid's" bikes) '02 Kaw ZX6R- Jen's '07 Duc 800ss- Johnnie's

  5. #5
    Registered User froggy's Avatar
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    What a great thread...Thanks And free to boot,I might have to finally upgrade my phone.Anyone looking to buy a Palm Treo cheap
    We drove all this way for a DEAD END ! My son!!!

    02 Silver RT1150 My 1st BMW Bike
    Craig

  6. #6
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    need to tell momma where you are every five seconds
    Hah - every three minutes ;-) You forget, this was the Woman who not too many years ago said, "No motorcycles, ever again."

    It was great to finally meet you as well John, now I know why you left so early in the morning
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  7. #7
    rocketman
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    while its not free, (i I think its like $2.99 or something) Motion-X makes a very nice GPS app for the iphone. It has the "send cords at set interval" thing as well as being able to down load maps from its site for storage so when you are out of cell range you can still have maps available. High res maps do take quite a bit of memory, but you can limit the number of "map cells" you down load by either radius or by mapping a route and then using the route to download the map cells so it just includes data along the route. You can also send waypoint data and linked pics to email or other networks and then retrieve them and it will generate a google map of the waypoint with data you included such as pics taken there. Does a lot of other kool stuff and doesn't need cell access to log waypoints or tracks. I've been using it to send myself waypoints of places where I've taken pictures or for the ADV hunt to locate all VA historical Markers, that way I don't have to write anything down, makes it go lots faster, click, save and send.

    RM
    here's an example link it sends out also includes files to load into other GPS software and includes any comments you add the waypoint.

    http://maps.google.com/?t=p&z=15&ll=...3-8e8d76947348

  8. #8
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this with us, Ted!

    I tried it out yesterday and set the interval to 120 seconds. Not quite as many data points as I'd like in order to see the roads taken in an urban area. Of course, most urban areas have strong cell service so the interval could be made much shorter without buffer worries.

    I did try to export the file as a GPX format for Garmin Road Trip (Mac). It was unable to read the file. I understand that it is a GPX v1.0 format in order to contain speed and elevation data. Were you able to import it?

    I was easily able to import it into Google Earth as a KML file. But what I am looking for is the ability to bring it into some mapping program that "snaps" the segments to the actual roads rather than showing an "as the crow files" segment between data points.

    I guess I'll search the InstaMapper forum...
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  9. #9
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    that is SO you... need to tell momma where you are every five seconds.

    gonna give it a try... thanks for the pointer.

    ian

    Along with adding your unique riding habits to a giant Google database.

    I can see it now... You hit by a left turning cager but because there is a record of you going 5 over suddenly it's all your fault.

    No thanks.

    Trust no one.

  10. #10
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Along with adding your unique riding habits to a giant Google database.

    I can see it now... You hit by a left turning cager but because there is a record of you going 5 over suddenly it's all your fault.

    No thanks.

    Trust no one.
    Well luckily really big databases collect a lot of data, sometimes so much so that it becomes nigh impossible to find anything in it! (i.e. recent stories about the intelligence snafus !) Ha Ha!

    but then I don't "do" faceplant for the very reasons stated in that article... or maybe I'm just anti-social (networking)...

    RM

  11. #11
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I can see it now... You hit by a left turning cager but because there is a record of you going 5 over suddenly it's all your fault.
    Let's be fair Rob - the site itself stores the information (not Google) and it is securely stored behind a password and login that allows you to give limited (none, or full, your choice) access to specific people via unique URL, or not give access to anyone. The information served on top of the GoogleMap is done through the GoogleAPI, which is an "on the fly" service done at the browser level. This is really no different than the SPOT.

    Let's face it, if you have a SPOT or a GPS (or three) you are likely to have the same information stored, unless you turn the tracking function off. But then again, tracking is the very reason I like this.

    Granted, it would be nice to be able to shave off the current speed.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  12. #12
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
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    I think that the slight possibility of big brother seeing bad stuff is far outweighed by Cathy being able to see my whereabouts when I am away on a long ride.

    IMHO.
    John
    John & Cathy
    '92 K100RS (gone- '04 R1100S Boxer Cup)
    '12 Suzuki DRZ400
    ("kid's" bikes) '02 Kaw ZX6R- Jen's '07 Duc 800ss- Johnnie's

  13. #13
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    Let's be fair Rob - the site itself stores the information (not Google) and it is securely stored behind a password and login that allows you to give limited (none, or full, your choice) access to specific people via unique URL, or not give access to anyone. The information served on top of the GoogleMap is done through the GoogleAPI, which is an "on the fly" service done at the browser level. This is really no different than the SPOT.

    Let's face it, if you have a SPOT or a GPS (or three) you are likely to have the same information stored, unless you turn the tracking function off. But then again, tracking is the very reason I like this.

    Granted, it would be nice to be able to shave off the current speed.
    of course if they have the points of the route and time at each point, speed could be inferred, though perhaps not to as fine a granularity as actual recorded speed data. living in today's world its pretty much impossible not to have tons of data about you recorded, from accounts/credit to spending habits to sites visited to organizational memberships to personal interests such as reading material, etc. The trick is knowing what's up and taking sensible measures to limit those areas as you deem fit.

    Who knew what pacman, Arpanet and that oddball document linking program called HyperText Markup Language would lead to?
    RM

  14. #14
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted View Post
    Let's be fair Rob - the site itself stores the information (not Google) and it is securely stored behind a password and login that allows you to give limited (none, or full, your choice) access to specific people via unique URL, or not give access to anyone. The information served on top of the GoogleMap is done through the GoogleAPI, which is an "on the fly" service done at the browser level. This is really no different than the SPOT.

    Let's face it, if you have a SPOT or a GPS (or three) you are likely to have the same information stored, unless you turn the tracking function off. But then again, tracking is the very reason I like this.

    Granted, it would be nice to be able to shave off the current speed.
    I am glad to see you researched this service. Most people just blindly sign up, never read the terms of use and never pay attention when said service modifies their terms. When I read google....

    I got badly burned in the 2005 Iron Butt Rally when the tracking service assured me multiple times that my data was securely stored behind a password and login that allows you to give limited (none, or full, your choice) access to specific people via unique URL, or not give access to anyone and that my route would not be public. Sure enough within five hours of the start I was getting calls from friends telling me they could see everything including speed on the interent. Apparently the site owner decided that all IBR bikes would be public in an effort to boost their sales and overrode some settings.

    By the time you find out information you thought was private is public it's too late.

    The icing on the cake was when the rider who just ahead of me on points at the first checkpoint told me his wife told him when I got stuck in a massive traffic tie up (I wasn't moving on a major interstate) so he went a different way and bagged an extra bonus.

    After that I kept it turned off except I'd turn it on for few minutes every six or so hours. If it had a battery I was going to duct tape it to a UPS truck, but alas it wasn't self-powered.

    I use many of the "evil" services but I don't like them talking to each other too much.

    As always YMMV.

  15. #15
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    I use many of the "evil" services but I don't like them talking to each other too much.
    i've been saying this about google for years. if there is one achilles heel to that company it's how much people will freak when they find out just how invasive it is to your privacy.

    the information security was the first thing i checked on this iPhone app.

    ian

    ps => thanks to the emerging 4G wireless telecom technology, we have only seen the beginning of vehicle tracking/control... and we need to deeply fear intelligent highway systems.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

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