DIY GPS tracking with Mologogo
by Phillip Torrone
December 20, 2005
Editor's note: This How-to was originally posted in the MAKE blog.
Earlier, there was a blog post about the cheap DIY GPS tracking service Mologogo, which lets people know your exact current location. To get started, you can pick up a $60 pre-paid Boost Mobile phone (or use another GPS-enabled phone), register on the Mologogo site, download a Java app, and you're pretty much done. The phone continuously transmits your position to the Mologogo server (which uses Linux, Google Maps, and the Rails development framework) and you and your friends can see where you're at in real time. I've hacked up tons of solutions to do the same thing, and this is simplest and cheapest-- it's pretty much free if you already have the phone, or $60 if you go pre-paid, plus twenty cents per day for wireless web service. Here are some photos and screenshots of the service in use.
Starting up Mologogo while taking the dog for a walk.
Choose the app.
It'll display the memory.
Then it finds the satellites. You can also hit Prefs and this is where you'd enter your Mologogo login/passwd, as well as other items, like sending, type of map to show, etc.
Here I am. The screen shows your most recently-logged location and how many minutes ago you were there. It will also show any friends that you've added to your list through the Mologogo site.
Another ping-- now it shows 0 minutes ago. Let's look at this on the server.
Here are my last 100 points. I went a few places in Seattle, and it worked great, tracking me around all of them.
This shows my route to RadioShack to buy a serial cable-- again.
One other note: Mologogo does require that your phone service includes a data plan, but if you already have a phone and a data plan, it's free. With a prepaid phone, Mologogo costs twenty cents per day for unlimited points. Not bad at all.
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