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Old 09-12-2005, 09:59 PM   #1
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Default GPS tracking via the web

I just bought Microsoft's Streets and Trips. I use it in my truck sometimes. I was wondering if there was anyway someone could track my GPS via the web? I've heard this is possible, but I can't find anything on it. Any information would be greatly appriciated.
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:10 PM   #2
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Nope, not with just a GPS reciever. Your typical GPS is a receiver only, does not transmit anything, much like a Sirius receiver.
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Old 09-13-2005, 04:57 PM   #3
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Default Thanks for the reply

Ok, thank you for the info.
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Old 09-13-2005, 08:46 PM   #4
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But there are devices that you can put on your car that allow people to track it.
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX WJ
But there are devices that you can put on your car that allow people to track it.
Just ask the opinions of the UPS and FedEx drivers.
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
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But there are devices that you can put on your car that allow people to track it.
Just ask the opinions of the UPS and FedEx drivers.
Or cheating spouses that hire P.I.s
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:22 PM   #7
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:55 AM   #8
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Or cheating spouses that hire P.I.s
Why would the cheating spouse hire the P.I.?
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:56 AM   #9
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The ups and fed ex systems are fairly complicated. It's a HUGE system.
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:31 AM   #10
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Yep, Qualcomm is a major-league setup. UPS, Fed-Ex, England, Werner, etc... LOTS of trucking companies use them.

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Old 09-16-2005, 11:14 AM   #11
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Fed ex has a combo system. There are scanners at shipyard that scan codes on the truck as they leave and enter the yard then compare that to the national databse of the trucks contents.
Funny story...

I had a shipment that was late and everyday the web site said the box was setting on the dock in a Denver location. It actually said Dock 4. So finally I called, they looked at the dock and found the package just hanging out. Computer efficiency, human deficiency? lol
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Old 09-20-2005, 07:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadClosed
The ups and fed ex systems are fairly complicated. It's a HUGE system.
Actually it's not.

There are a couple of ways to do track a vehicle. First you need a GPS in the car. Then you need a method of communicating your position to a web server - typically you simply update your position every X minutes. For communication, there are a couple of methods:

1. Cellular which is most popular - this is how UPS works. For the big city, no problem, get a computer capable phone and hook it to a car computer.
2. Satellite Much more expensive but it works where cellular doesn't.
3. Short Wave Radio! Yep, there is a project to do this, plus people through out the US set up free Short Wave Radio to Internet gateways for the system they set up. It's free once you have your license and equipment (no monthly cost) but coverage can be limited.

Okay, so now you have your position on the web server, now you have to be able to display a map with your position. There's a couple of aways to do that too.

1. ESRI ArcIMS (Internet Map Server) - I have a customer we used this on their site, but it's $10k so I don't think it's gunna be a real option.
2. Open Source Mapping Projects - does about what ArcIMS does but it's free. Good luck configuring it though.
3. Use Google Maps - quick, easy free, but I'm not sure you can draw a route, just plot where you are now.

So in the end, it can be done. The best way to do it, price vs ease to install/setup is to use a cellular phone to upload your coordiantes and google maps to show your position.
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:35 AM   #13
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Some of us amateur radio operators have been doing this sort of thing for years. Search for APRS.
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:47 PM   #14
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Hi Jeremy, I took a couple of classes with the project manager for the Fed Ex systems. They do use laser scanners on truck yards. At least they were protyping them. How cheap is that? Just scan the truck when it leaves and you have the package outbound. Satelite is impractical to communicate vehicle location using GPS because transmission is difficult from ground to space. In fact GPS is impractical for vehicles moving at high rates of speed unless you have a really powerful and expensive reciever or resolution isn't an issue. At best the fix would take a minute and you are already a mile or two down the road. For high resolution fixes they use wheel sensors that mark each turn and calculate location based on last fix via satellite. But that eats bandwidth.

By the hugeness of the system I was talking IT wise. Took almost 3 years to deploy. UPS - at least when I worked with a dude the DieAdd (not sure of the nomenclature - DIAD?) wasn't online. It was recorded then inputed at a docking station. They SHHH used to deliver all their packages really fast then process them later at the bar. Every few minutes clicking on off. No "real" tracking of location and this was 2002.

There are some trucking companys that use radios to track their trucks via Motorola propritary radio networks. Those things have faxes in them and everything.

//EDIT I was involved in a case study to equip snow plows with tracking and a resolution of 10 feet. That was tough. And cost prohibitive but one was lost in a snow storm and they couldn't find him to rescue him so it was built as a human life safety measure.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadClosed
At best the fix would take a minute and you are already a mile or two down the road. For high resolution fixes they use wheel sensors that mark each turn and calculate location based on last fix via satellite. But that eats bandwidth.
I'm not sure how long it's been since you have looked at GPS receivers, but I've been playing with them at work and I have one in my car in my car computer. Generally, I can tell you within 100 ft where I am. Although at higher speeds its likely off a bit more - but it's harder to tell at high speeds. In the field though it's funny, our guys are starting to use tablet PC's equiped with GPS. They often will take the tablet for a ride around the block to get their first fix, otherwise, if they stand in one place, it can take up to 5 minutes to get the first fix. But after they start up, I get accuracy of about 20 ft. Plenty for what we do in the field.


Quote:
By the hugeness of the system I was talking IT wise.
Actually you said complex. To you and I the system is likely not that complex, just kinda big. But we both probably have a higher tolerance for what we would consider complex. I have a client with a IBM System 36 which runs their tax billing system (I know, old, but it works and it works well). Every night it spits out a text file containing all the accounts and what they owe or don't owe. I FTP that file to my webserver. At 4am a cron job imports that data into a database. Every night their payments are sent via a CSV file in a text file, a program I run checks an e-mail account for that e-mail and will process the CSV file contents creating a fixed length data file that the System 36 imports every night processing payments from the website. Simple really.

Quote:
//EDIT I was involved in a case study to equip snow plows with tracking and a resolution of 10 feet. That was tough. And cost prohibitive but one was lost in a snow storm and they couldn't find him to rescue him so it was built as a human life safety measure.
Yeah, we do advelorum (sp) property appraisal, so our customers are county governments. It's starting to be a trend to have the GPS position of each house in the county for E911 services. We offer 20m accuracy, enough to find the house or building in the rural counties we work. Any customer who wants better accuracy always ends up just taking 20m accuracy after we tell them what it will cost.
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