Smartphones, GPS and Blogging

A recent combination of events: car in garage, new phone, yet another fitness regime, finding a link on a website that nabbed my attention and an idle few minutes pondering some practical uses for embedding led to reflection on a project I ran whilst based at Hull CLC.

The idea was to use a mobile phone and some software, probably no longer in existence, to map journeys taken. Back then it involved a phone, a separate GPS unit and and at least two chargers. Simply put, the software allowed the users to take images which were geo-tagged and uploaded to a secure site for publication. It was, I suppose,  blog that did one or two quite specific things. The hardware was used by a couple of schools, but it never really took off for a few reasons:

The phone and GPS didn’t last that long on battery power:

Pairing the two together via Bluetooth was a bit hit and miss:

Network coverage was pretty patchy outside towns and cities

The data costs of sending pictures back were pretty prohibitive.

So, wind forward a few years when all of the above issues no longer stand and it’s back to my recently garaged car. I was curious how far I’d be cycling whilst waiting for a new exhaust to be sourced and fitted (over 3 weeks as it happened!) so I download one of the many apps that track your exercise routine. I chose Map My Fitness as it tracks runs, walks as well as cycling, but choice is one thing you have in this area.

I dutifully recorded my rides and walks and uploaded them to the site and thought no more about it until I spotted a facility to have my routes re-played via a Google earth plug-in. Now my life isn’t so empty that I need to watch re-runs of my own cycle rides round the area, but it did get me thinking of how this might be used in schools, such as logging the route of a school trip, or a pupil’s journey to school, etc.

So, using J2E, which has the very handy facility to allow embed code to be inserted, I duly copied the code from Map My Fitness and popped it into a J2E page and rather than describe here in words when you can view the end product, click this link to view it. I chose to publish it as a blog page, but it could just as easily have remained as a private file in a pupil’s storage area.

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