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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Live GPS tracking on phone

I'm a bit behind phone tech apparently but just found out you can use your phone (if it has a data plan) as a GPS tracker.

There are several versions of apps but I went with LocaToWeb. The app itself was $1.99

You start the app on your phone and it sends the GPS location. The track shows on a map and when active will show the direction of travel. (Click on the tracks button on the home page to see the public tracks).

The phone will cache tracks when there isn't cell reception and then send when connected. The tracks themselves don't use much data.

Tracks will show as public unless you create an account (free) and select your track to be private.
It works, it's cool. :grin2:
 

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You don't even need a data plan for a phone to work as a stand alone GPS. ;)
 

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On my iPhone I use Galileo maps (free version). I purchased California Trail Maps for off-road use. Load the trail maps or another map into the Galileo app and you can do the same. No data plan needed.


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Discussion Starter #4
You don't even need a data plan for a phone to work as a stand alone GPS. ;)

Yea I know I've got an old phone that I use for GPS.

This app sends tracks real time like a Spot or InReach so people can see your trip on a HTML map.
 

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That's cool...kind of like a poor man's Spot. The downside is the data connection part; I've been in a lot of places out west where that wouldn't work. Still, for $1.99, it would be good peace of mind for the family when you're out touring alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's cool...kind of like a poor man's Spot. The downside is the data connection part; I've been in a lot of places out west where that wouldn't work. Still, for $1.99, it would be good peace of mind for the family when you're out touring alone.

Yea I live out in the middle of nowhere and might not have cell reception for a hundred plus miles sometimes.

I haven't tried it yet but according to the app it will cache tracks when there is no service then upload when it connects.

I bought a PLB because I didn't want to pay a service plan. I had a Spot and my wife misses the tracking when I'm on trips. So hopefully this will work for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
What's a PLB?

Personal Locator Beacon

I've got this one: ResQlink PLB

It's mostly for a no fooling need to be rescued situation. There is a text service that runs on the device's self test functions. I use it to check in and can ask for mechanical help. That costs about $60 a year. It is limited to the PLB's number of built in test functions, about 200 on mine over the 5 year battery life.

I backpack and fish in remote areas so carry the PLB then too.
 

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I may have misrepresented the Galileo function. It records tracks and I know they can be uploaded to sites like Facebook. I'm not sure if there is a way for automatic tracking. I'll have to do some research. I have a Delorme in reach but only have the cheap monthly plan. It would be cool to have free real time tracking.


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That's cool...kind of like a poor man's Spot. The downside is the data connection part; I've been in a lot of places out west where that wouldn't work. Still, for $1.99, it would be good peace of mind for the family when you're out touring alone.
I ended up using SWConnect which posts my path to SpotWalla. I use it on a iPhone. So far it has never left any blank spots through Nevada, Utah, and the Rockies in Colorado. I don't know exactly if it cashes locally and then publishes to the web later. But friends really get a kick out of following along via the web.
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This app is strong and steady. I have tried a couple which were fussy and weak.

This is a example of someone's SpotWalla page where the get displayed. You can set private password viewing and whether or not it displays your average speed along the route. https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=5

For what its worth, my personal habit is to not turn it on until I'm well out of town and turn it off before I get home. There is no point in publicizing exactly where your unmanned house is while you are hundreds of miles away.
 

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Thanks for that info, NVDucati. I just checked the Google Play store (I have an android phone), and they don't offer the SWConnect app. They have something called Bubbler GPS Lite that says it works with Spotwalla. From what I briefly read, it seems like it does the same thing. The reviews for it aren't too bad.

This is yet another reason why I stay on this forum, long after I sold my V-Strom. It's amazing what I can learn from you guys.
 

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Thanks for posting about this.

I use a Spot Tracker - mainly for my wife's peace of mind so she can track my location when I'm riding. I think I pay around $150/year for this service. I looked at In Reach but their plans are even more expensive in Canada.

I'm going to look into changing to an App based tracker and a PLB.
 

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I don't mind paying for my Spot subscription and if I didn't pay for it my wife would!
She loves being able to see where I'm at. Via Spotwalla she can even see some of the sights I'm seeing. It also provides for some nice maps showing your travels.
As I have gotten older the chance of shit happening has increased and it might be nice if someone knew where to come find me.
I can't imagine how many times I've been out of cell range but it has been a lot.
Knowing I could hit the HELP button and get help (generally very quickly) for me or my riding companions is very reassuring.
I'll stick with my Spot.
 

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I loaded Map Me on my phone. Was in the boondocks in the Superior National Forest and wanting to head back to camp. Worked like a charm.
 

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Another option is an app called Friend Finder. All you need is two email addresses to link them up. Yours, and another. Burns next to no power and runs in background. Great for wife or another to use to locate general radius of your phone.
I have a couple friends on it just in case wife's phone goes on blink.
Heck I even found my phone from 1000 miles away once when I dropped it. Friend went to area and boom, there it was...
 

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There is an app called iHike that lets you download USFS and USGS maps for use offline. Works without cell service. Get the maps for your ride before you head out. Tracks your route. Shows elevation, ave speed, speed in sections. Lots of features and excellent how to info. I use it for off road riding to keep from getting lost in the forest.
 
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