Droid + Google Latitude + Google Maps + Verizon Coverage = Sweet - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Droid + Google Latitude + Google Maps + Verizon Coverage = Sweet

I recently bought a new Motorola Droid with Verizon. My son happened to get one too, and he suggested we sign up for Google latitude, which allows us to get see each others location from or phone or computer. That in itself was really cool. But you can also turn on history, and google will keep recent updates of your location. It's not clear for how long, but I have several days worth so far. Only I can see the history, it is not shared or made public.

But...

You can export the history to a .kml file, and then you can create a map under mymaps in google maps and import that .kml file. Then, you get all of your history shown in a map suitable for sharing.

This past weekend I managed to get 2 1/2 days of riding in, we had spectacular weather here in Oregon, and Washington, and California. I did just under 900 miles.

So I got home and looked at my history, then did the .kml thing, and was really impressed with the result. Here's a link...

Kevin's Thanksgiving Run

The phone uses it's GPS or cell tower info depending on coverage etc. There are some obvious gaps where there was no coverage, but wherever there is you get a better track log than you do with SPOT. This is all 'free' with Verizon and Google, not sure about other carriers/phones. That is free in that it doesn't cost anything above the voice/data plan I have on my Droid.

I'm impressed.

Kevin

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post #2 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 01:39 PM
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Good luck with the Droid. It has the best sounding audio of any cell phone I've ever owned (and oh boy have I owned a lot since 1987). Then again, the thing died after 5 days and I returned it. I'm back to being an iPhone fanboy (despite at&t), but the Droid almost lured me away.

All (most) of the Google apps are also on the iPhone and Latitude is definitely cool.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Latitude on the iphone is completely manual, at least it was as of a couple of months ago.

The cool think about latitude on any Android based phone is that it will automatically update your location periodically in the background. 99% of the updates shown on my map are while I'm riding down the road at speed with the Droid in my jacket pocket.

Kevin

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 02:36 PM
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I'm surprised this capability hasn't made it onto GPS devices. I mean, it's cool that my phones have GPS, but it isn't likely to replace my bike and car dedicated GPS. I think the reverse is more likely and Android will prolly be a player.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcgee View Post
I'm surprised this capability hasn't made it onto GPS devices. I mean, it's cool that my phones have GPS, but it isn't likely to replace my bike and car dedicated GPS. I think the reverse is more likely and Android will prolly be a player.
Some gps do have a tack log. Lots of people use them and post the track, really useful when recommending an offroad adventure. As for the latitude, I kind of like the idea, it would eliminate one of my pet peeves when talking on the phone answering "where are you?", of course um well sometimes I don't want it known where I am

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Latitude, at least as implemented on the Droid, has a menu option to turn off reporting whenever it's not appropriate. You can also set your location manually if desired.

I don't care who knows where I am. So much so that if you ever need to know just go to

http://krussell.com/location

The beauty of the concept of latitude or spot is that you don't really have to do anything. For the GPS track log it's a PITA to bring the GPS in, hook it up, download, post, etc.

What I want is GPS accuracy with automatic upload. The Droid & latitude answer the where am I question good enough when I have coverage. Spot handles it when I don't. Neither give me a good enough track log to suit me.

I plan on fixing this myself this winter. I've got a very small board that runs linux, a 12V automotive grade power supply, and a Garmin GPS sensor. I'm going to add a USB wireless dongle. Then, I'll set it up so whenever the bike is on the thing is logging location. Once in a while it will try to find an open wifi access point, or connect to my wifi at the house. When it does I'll just upload everything. Then I'll post process it and post it with google maps.

Kevin

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 05:30 PM
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I used to use amateur radio APRS tracking that would transmit a position beacon on 2 meters at selected intervals. As long as somebody received your radio packet it would make it onto the internet and http://www.findu.com/ so family and friends could track your call sign. I used a five minute interval most of the time. Spot is 10 minutes.

This is what I'm talking about with GPS devices and phones. I already have a device that has a one or two second sample rate for position. Track logs are fine for later but there isn't any good reason why you can't make the data go out via cellular. My phone is already connected to the GPS via bluetooth.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #8 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 07:18 PM
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I was thinking of getting the Droid- do you love it?

Thinking of upgrading from my older Blackjack that meets my needs but the Droid advertisements and reviews have really gotten me thinking.

Worth the money?

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post #9 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of upgrading from my older Blackjack that meets my needs but the Droid advertisements and reviews have really gotten me thinking.

Worth the money?
I'm delighted with it. Came from the iphone 3G.

You can try one and if you don't like it take it back.

Kevin

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post #10 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 10:27 PM
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Thinking of upgrading from my older Blackjack that meets my needs but the Droid advertisements and reviews have really gotten me thinking.

Worth the money?
Be aware that the early termination fee is now $350. Also, the one year contract is prolly the best deal.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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