What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Monday, October 4, 2010

GPS Tracking!!!

(Written Friday October 1st)

So one positive aspect of yesterday that came about was GPS Tracking. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page you will see a map embedded in this site that shows where I am. Quite a nice little thing. It means that if at any one time you want to know where I am, check the map!!   I am currently mobile right now and hoping to experiment with the tracking to see how accurate it will be. But I'm sitting in the back of a minivan and it doesn't seem to be getting much of a signal.

The way the system works is you just go to this website (www.instamapper.com), and you download software to install into your phone. The phone then uses GPS satelite and GSM phone signals to locate you. The set up is tied to the phone number, so I'll have to set it up again for my Sierra Leone phone number once I get it.  But apparently it can locate you in Europe within 10 meters, the US 25 meters, and the rest of the world within 50 meters.

For this project's purposes though it'll locate me close enough for everyone to know basically where I am. I still have to figure out where best to put it on the page.  I was hoping to just put it on one side panel, but it takes up a huge amount of space.  We'll see. More will be known once we get back and can analyze the data on the website.

Which I now have done!!  Results are this:  I can control when the GPS location is transmitted which is very important for the cost of data usage.  I took a brief little trip the other day and while the whole trip showed up on my Instamapper account page, it didn't seem to show the whole path on my webpage, but simply where I was at that very moment.  I'd love to be able to have the path that I've taken mapped out for everyone to see.  I've gotten onto their site again and tried to change the settings so that it would show my last 50 locations, we'll see once I go out again.  But even so, it may just be only where I am at that last moment.  This still would be a great thing!!  To know at all times within a few meters of where I am on the other side of the world!!  Nice!! 


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