Use your phone to publish your location to the web

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
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I came across an interesting little app in the Google Play Store called "Dweet My Phone".
dweet.io is like twitter for devices, so things like weather stations can publish data easily for free.

The Dweet My Phone app grabs the following info from your phone to publish:
- Latitude
- Longitude
- Altitude
- Heading
- Speed
- Accelerometer values
- Light sensor value
and a few others

Once you have it running on your phone it tells you the random ID it's publishing to. You can then view the data by going to:
http://dweet.io/follow/[ID]

Email or SMS that link to family and friends and they'll be able to see your location, and other info. There's a menu option in the app which helps to share the link.
Even if you have a PLB it could be worth using this app as well. There have been cases where they've failed and sent the search party to the wrong location (with fatal results). They shouldn't be considered infallible.

Also sometimes you might not want to use the PLB because it's not a life and death emergency. For example the car might have broken down but you've got plenty of supplies so you're not in danger.
If family notice you're not back when you said you would be, but know roughly where you are, they can drive out and help instead of calling for rescue.

Obviously it's limited by phone signal... but often in the bush I can find spots with a weak signal that should be enough to transmit.
It could be worth climbing up to one of these spots once per day to check in using the app.

To find the app search for "dweet.io" in the Play Store and it'll show up.
I don't even think I had to register when I installed it. So it's simple to use, and free.
Just make sure your GPS and mobile data are turned on.


Edit: (a few more things to add)

Just testing it out now and it looks like it only has about a 2 second delay from the phone to the web, which is pretty impressive. But that will likely depend on signal strength and the type of phone you're using.
You can check the delay by covering and uncovering the light sensor on your phone and watching the value change on the web page.

It appears to have my location accurate to probably less than 10 meters when I look at it on the map. But I'm inside because it's raining (I just let the GPS lock through the window).
That should be easily enough to find someone, or at least be well within shouting, koo-ee, or whistle range if you can't see them through the scrub.

The frequency can be set to 0.5, 1, 2, or 5 seconds.
I'm now wondering just how much it'll drain the battery publishing that often. I might need to ensure I take one of the USB battery packs and/or portable solar panel if I use this app to ensure it doesn't run out.
 
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Bloffy13

Jon Muir
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I have several friends who use SPOT finders etc when they are out riding their bikes either on road or cross country and one or two while bushwalking. They can send simple messages saying they are ok or have flat tyres or can be picked up when they reach a location etc. You can watch in real (ish) time so can judge when they will at a certain point, so you can time your arrival to match theirs.
I haven't loked at this yet but I'm thinking it ould be used the same way. Wonder how much it sucks battery etc? Nice to have that little bit of peace of mind when out in remoter areas.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

n5750547

Les Hiddins
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I have had a look at the SPOT and Delorme and while I like the idea, the prices and substription fees are a bit steep. I'm going to give this app a go as a lot of the places that I go to I get occasional phone reception. Hopefully it only needs a tiny amount of decent signal to get your position away/logged. Good find!
 

Greatbloke

Jack Abasalom
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I like apps that do one thing and do it well. :). I like Spot too, but yeah, I'd rather spend that money in other ways. I use an app called "gps+sms", it does not auto update as Dweet does though. I like to use it because it quickly and easily sends my location to my partner, via sms and/or email, at the push of a button. (Her details are kept in the app so no need to re-enter) she can open the link in goggle maps etc.

My main gps app, MotionX, can send autoupdates to Facebook, Twitter, email, maps, etc, but I haven't tried it out.

Apps like "find friends" work well too, at least around town, showing your position on the map, but I guess I'm getting away from the topic. :)
 

Thrud

Richard Proenneke
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Whilst were on the subject of phone tracking, and I don't want to hijack the thread Lifecraft..
If you use an iPhone it tracks your last locations and displays them on a map. you can switch it off.
Settings-Privacy-Location Services-System services-Frequent Locations (toggle off or on)

My brother in law knows of a wife (now divorced) that knew this trick, whilst her husband(now ex), who said he was in Melbourne, didn't!
 

Lifecraft

John McDouall Stuart
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I just did a test letting it run for about 2 hours and 40 minutes with GPS on. My phone went from 100% battery to 91% battery. (It's a samsung s5, and there were likely a bunch of apps also using power.)
Seems this isn't really something I would run constantly the entire time I'm in the bush, even though I have some USB battery packs and portable solar panel. Unless I was really pushing my limits and taking risks, where I figure it's worth the hassle of having to keep recharging from solar power.

I do however think this is perfect for when I wander off my pre-planned route to go exploring, so that if anything happens people know to look for me in a different place than I originally told them I would be.

I also think it's ideal for if you're lost, but not yet in an emergency situation. To make sure your location is logged in case it becomes an emergency situation.

It'll be left turned off most of the time for me (as my phone tends to stay in ultra power saving mode until I need it), but I'll turn it on at the first hint of trouble, or if I start to have doubts about my location.

Going try and see if I can find the source code for the app so I can rebuild it with an option to check in every 10 minutes, or maybe even once per hour, instead of every 5 seconds. Might save some power.
 
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