TripLogger (Interactive GPS Tracker)

Using an app alone, especially a GPS tracking software during a long trip can be very boring. I know, the purpose of the utility is to let you record the trip from point A to point B, C and etc. But does it has to be this way?

My ideal trip logging application would perform the additional:
1. Social. This could be a 1 (me) to 1 (the other person) sharing or it could be a 1 to many (viewers) or perhaps many(trackers) to one or many to many! It would be awesome to see a map (Google Map) of multiple trackers moving in real time. Ok, this is not new (think Waze) but let's go on...

2. Engaging. What do I mean by this? From the perspective of the tracker (me), I would like to be informed of information via senses when I am in a particular geospatial location. Say for example if I were to be at a certain place at a particular time, the application would sound off a loud beep or a sexy voice over that I'm going to be late, or I am on time and I am near or far from the location and etc. Not only should it be informative, it has to satisfy a couple of my human senses like audio (sound), touch (vibration) and flashes (screen flashes). I doubt it could do smell and taste, perhaps in the far future. What could be interesting is the 'inaudible' frequency (think SonicNotify) which can interact with the other devices that I would be carrying with me along the trip. An idea just hit me, the mic could pick up my voice and take commands or relay somewhere.

From the perspective of viewers, they could have a very fun time (or if it's work related, productive time) touching, dragging and dropping markers, plotting paths, drawing shapes or lines on the map to create meanings (semantics) of the trip. Taxi companies could use this to guide their drivers to customers, mummy could define a time and place of the next meeting point along with a voice message or text to be sent automatically when a certain trigger is pulled, friends could use this to see 'convergence' of folks going to some place and coordinate the overall trip.

What about using the device's camera and video recording capabilities to share in real time the trip as if the users are in the same 'driver seat'. And instead of recording in 'first person view', the trip logger device could use the front camera to let the user and the viewers engage in live video chat. It would be pretty interesting to prevent a driver from falling asleep during a long trip!
*The reason I mentioned about camera is that it's not necessary to always use the video. The camera is like a 'on demand' capture mode. It is useful to say take a couple of pictures when the speed exceeds 80kmph etc or when the user is at a certain location for example. Mix and match but the potential is pretty huge.

3. Playback. What happened in the past is over but it should not mean that the memories were lost. Instead, users could revisit back the trip and playback (like watching a movie) the movement, senses, photos, social chats (like a MSN log or Facebook chats for the Gen Y) and etc. It's a trip, not just any plain old GPS tracker built in the old days where there's no such thing as 'public APIs', cloud storage and social media. The future (present actually) use case should allow users to share a 'videolet' of the trip on social media e.g. G+/Facebook and others can just play it.

4. Control. I love data. But data that is stored somewhere in the cloud without my control is my greatest fear. I mean, why should I create information and then not be able to be assured it's readily available to me? Companies come and go. I could be using a certain photo sharing or storage cloud to store my trips' information but if that company should one day close down? Same thing applies to the GPS logs. The solution I look forward to should use open source protocols, file formats and standards to allow me to use it in whatever manner I like. An example would be the OpenDocument Format. Though not related to a trip logging software, it has a very useful feature. ODF is like DOC file format for Microsoft Office. The difference is that the file (ODF) is just a zipped container of images and text that you can edit using any image and text editor. Of course the better software to go with ODF is LibreOffice imho. So for a triplogging software, even if TripLogger is no longer around, the same exported trips are friendly enough for you to view with any other software.

There are other ideas I have in plan for TripLogger. It takes time and effort to add them in, also not forgetting about tuning the GPS recordings to be more accurate. Contact me if you wish to collaborate.

One Response to “TripLogger (Interactive GPS Tracker)”

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  1. George says:

    Hello James,

    A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a BB Z30 which I truly LOVE, and a couple of days ago I downloaded your TripLogger from BB World to it. I like the app and think its perfect for what I need. My intent is to track the routes I take through my city (Alexandria, VA) when I take my daily long walks. I want to later see them plotted on Google Map.

    I just tried it this morning, recorded a short 2 minute walk, observed the logged positions in ‘Log’, then told it to ‘Display on Google Map’, but I got the error ‘Unknown Error’ and in very small text it says ‘This webpage could not be opened’. I have the standard BB map app loaded as well as Google Maps, and certainly have Internet connectivity.

    Any idea what the problem is?

    George

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