Post by Farhan Chawla
A week ago I was out of Karachi, touring in the middle of Punjab, many a times I felt the need of a Personal tracker which should keep my family and friends updated of my whereabouts and that they could be posted automatically about my location.
A little probing in my software cache gave me the tools I required on my E71 and I was off being real time tracked by those near to me (and of course allowed by me)
The software I used were Google Maps Mobile, Nokia Friend View and Nokia Sports Tracker.
Together they not only assisted my family to watch my movement online but also helped me in maintaining an online journal of my movements. A brief review of each software is as following
Nokia Sports Tracker, was mainly developed to keep track of sports-based activities covering walking, running, cycling, skiing etc and it’s being used with Nokia N79 and optional Polar Heart Rate monitor for athletes.
However the same can be easily used to keep track of oneself on the move. Sports Tracker posts in real time the location including speed, altitude and even shows the current position on Maps available at it’s site. Moreover the software stores the data on the phone which can be exported as KML file for later viewing on Google Earth. The only drawback I found that it requires a GPS connection, which uses much of the battery, and the maps are not upto the mark. Others can follow you on the same site either by Public viewing or authorized viewing.
You can get Sports Tracker from http://sportstracker.nokia.com
Nokia Friend View or Nokia’s equivalent to Google Latitude is a micro blogging client, which shares your status and location to the authorized ones. It shares the same maps as Sports Tracker – which are not much in detail for Pakistan – again it requires GPS Connection. I mainly use it to leave small snippets for my friends using Nokia OVI. Nokia Friend View can be downloaded from friendview.Nokia.com, this software is still in beta stage so bugs are expected.
Google Maps mobile – probably the most useful program, although it does not offer my speed and altimeter status, but it’s extensive mapping data proves to be a useful tool. Like Fiend View, I can easily update my status via Google Latitude and share my location with the world; a widget allows me to even share my location as badge on a website. The best is that it uses GPS as well as Cell Tower Triangulation method which can be used on almost all phones even if they are not equipped with a GPS.
Google Maps Mobile shares the location on GPS with 30 – 80 m accuracy while on Cell tower Triangulation could go to 1800 m depends on the location of the towers, still for updating your dear ones about your estimated location, it’s the ideal software.
For the family check on they don’t need any special software, with location sharing my family can see where I‘m on their mobiles and I can see where they are. With extensive coverage of Pakistan roads, thanks to Google map maker which was opened for tagging a while ago, Google Maps has the most comprehensive maps I’ve ever going down to street level and Point of Interests.
Google map is available on mobile download from m.google.com , and tracking can be done on mobile or as a widget on iGoogle . Future integration is possible with Google Maps and Google Earth.