Plotting mobile position on map: iGate? APRS?

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Bote

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Is there a convenient way to send my mobile GPS coordinates OVER THE INTERNET (not via ham radio) to any service that can plot my position, like Google maps or Bing maps?

I found findU.com but that only talks about transmitting my position via APRS and I have no radios at my disposal, I will only have an Internet air card in my laptop.

So how would I allow others to see where my laptop is located if all I have is pure Internet access? I leave tomorrow so it must be quick to set up.

Thanks!

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APRS will do what you want. Your position is sent via 2 meter APRS and relayed via a network of APRS stations; usually a base station will receive your packet over a 2 meter packet station and will forward it over the internet for anyone to see. It will show up on Google maps with a small icon and your callsign.

Google Maps APRS
 

Bote

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No radios, no APRS

APRS will do what you want. Your position is sent via 2 meter APRS
I don't have APRS nor will I have any radios with me. That is why I was asking if there is a means to emulate APRS, but using an Internet feed as a means to send out my location.

No radios. No APRS.

My friend says he did this on a cruise ship where there were clearly no packet stations nearby, only Internet, but he did not have time to tell me how he set it up.

Thank you.
 

Chris-KH2PM

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If you have cellphone coverage, this will work:

InstaMapper - GPS Tracking

I use it with my BB 8350i, and it works great! It runs in the 'background' and
does not kill the battery if you set it up to send out your position every 3-5
minutes.

And it's free, too.
 

jpryor

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There are programs that you can run on your mobile phone for injecting location data into the APRS-IS network.

For example here is where my phone was tonight:

Location of KC8NNO-12 - Google Maps APRS

Refer to APRSISCE for Windows Mobile:

aprsisce : APRSISCE for Windows Mobile

and AGWTracker for Pocket PC:

AGWTracker For Pocket PC

I've also used Google Latitude with my phones. That allows sharing of your current location with other trusted friends, and some provisions for sharing your location to the general public. You can also see your location history, but not as useful as APRS style tracking.
 

Bote

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Laptop

There are programs that you can run on your mobile phone for injecting location data into the APRS-IS network.
These are good suggestions, except that I can't use them. :-(

Whatever I run must run on my laptop with an air card. I have no smart phone to do it for me.

I thought for sure Google Maps would have a widget to do this, they seem to be on the leading edge of everything else. Strange.

Thanx.
 
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If you were not looking for a "radio" specifically a Amateur radio solution, why did you post in this forum?
 

jpryor

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Ah, all of those applications have full blown Windows versions as well, there are plenty of APRS programs that can feed data to the Internet via an Internet connection.
 

Bote

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If you were not looking for a "radio" specifically a Amateur radio solution, why did you post in this forum?
Because I am a ham operator and am accustomed to other ham operators being knowledgeable and ingenious. The APRS concept is identical to what I want to do, the only difference being the pipe that connects me to the server.
 

W9BU

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Because I am a ham operator and am accustomed to other ham operators being knowledgeable and ingenious. The APRS concept is identical to what I want to do, the only difference being the pipe that connects me to the server.
The fact that you are a licensed amateur radio operator wasn't clear to me, so that's why I didn't jump in with a suggestion.

APRS will do what you want and you can do it without a radio. Most of the APRS clients have the ability to connect to the APRS-IS servers via the Internet and enter your position into the servers without using a radio. Once in the APRS-IS database, any web-based APRS-IS client, such as findu.com or aprs.fi will be able to display your position.

The two APRS client programs I will suggest are:

APRSPoint -- Uses Microsoft MapPoint maps to plot positions on a zoomable, scrollable map. APRSPoint is probably the easiest program to learn and use for someone new to APRS, but it does have limitations (can't transmit APRS objects other than your own position, has no APRS messaging capability, doesn't fully support APRS position icons). The author basically sells the program for free, but he cannot sell the mapping data, so there is a charge for this program. See APRSPoint

UI-View -- A full-featured APRS client, though it does not have built-in zoomable, scrollable maps. In order to get that, you have to buy and install Precision Mapping from Undertow Software and install a server program that APRS point uses to access the Precision Mapping map data. UI-View will do just about everything you'd ever want to do with APRS. The downside is that the author died a few years ago and the program code was frozen at the time of his death. There is no further development of UI-View, but the program is well supported by its user base and there are many add-on programs that extend UI-View's functionality. You can download the program for free, but to register it and get access to all of the features, you have to promise to send a donation to a cancer agency. See APRS Client for Windows - Official UI-View Home Page Also take a look at Misc UIview Notes for useful installation notes.
 

Bote

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Oh, I hold an amateur radio operator's license all right. W4NUD, you can look it up.

I sat in AMRAD meetings with Bob Bruninga in 1980 while he and Terry Fox and Dave Mills would argue about datagrams versus virtual circuits, like a "tastes great / less filling" commercial. I thought they would come to blows over it at times.

I thought by now there would be a plethora of widgets available to marry APRS to the Internet for those of us "out of radio range", but even though I have only researched this for two days, I have come up dry. Either you must have a packet radio setup, or you must have a smartphone, or you can get 90% of the way there with a laptop running XP but miss that last 10% and no joy. Amazing. And we're almost into the year 2010.

Anyway, this is more for others to enjoy my train ride vicariously than for me personally so it's not a big deal. I just can't believe that it's as difficult to set up as it seems for my particular configuration, that's all. Oh well, I guess a GPS sensor hooked to a laptop looks ancient and antiquated to those on the bleeding edge these days, huh?

Thanks for the pointers, I'll check them out.
 

W9BU

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Bote, did you miss what I said? The APRS clients I mentioned will let you enter positions into the APRS-IS servers via the Internet. No radio required.

I agree, the state of APRS clients is not as good as it should be. Bruninga still pushes his APRS program. It'll do everything, but it's DOS. WinAPRS isn't really supported by the authors anymore. APRS-SA is useless because Delorme no longer uses the map format that APRS-SA was designed to use. UI-View is no longer being developed. APRSPoint is missing important features and support from the author is spotty. Xastir is a Linux program that will run in Windows if you want to spend a lot of time getting a Linux emulator running.

Bruninga bemoans the proliferation of "dumb" trackers, but they will get you on the map without needing a computer. You, or someone else, can then use an Internet connection to see your position on findu.com or aprs.fi. The only other option is a dedicated APRS radio like the Kenwood TM-D710 or Yaesu VX-8R, but they won't let you send APRS objects other than your own position.
 

Bote

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Bote, did you miss what I said? The APRS clients I mentioned will let you enter positions into the APRS-IS servers via the Internet. No radio required.
I checked both sites and found UI-View.org goes to a domain name squatter. No joy there.

The APRS Point site looked promising at first, but in the very limited time I had available to me to prepare it appeared to depend on a client having Microsoft MapPoint and incurred an expense for that.

I finally chose to publish my location using Google Latitude, but I had to update my location manually because they don't care about laptops, only handheld devices. Numerous pleas for such support and questions about when Google might release such a widget went unanswered on their support forum, while questions about Latitude on the iPhone or Android devices were promptly taken up.

Bottom line is that I did not have a lot of time to devote to research, downloading numerous pieces, and then assembling and testing everything into a working system. If I had had more time I'm sure I could have accomplished my goal. These days it seems that product lifecycles are measured in seconds and if something can't be dragged and dropped and start working, then it dies. I guess I'm falling victim to that mentality along with everybody else. :-(

Thanks for the pointers. I'll pursue this further under calmer circumstances.
 

W9BU

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I checked both sites and found UI-View.org goes to a domain name squatter.
The link works fine for me.

The APRS Point site looked promising at first, but in the very limited time I had available to me to prepare it appeared to depend on a client having Microsoft MapPoint and incurred an expense for that.
That is true. APRSPoint is dependent on having MapPoint, but the copy of APRSPoint that you can download from his web site does not include MapPoint. The package that he sells (APRSPoint) includes a licensed copy of MapPoint 2004. However, I believe you can buy a current copy of MapPoint or Streets & Trips and make it work with APRSPoint. There's info in the FAQ about this.
 
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