TripTrack GPS App for the BlackBerry 10


TripTrack - GPS Screen TripTrack - Tracks Screen TripTrack - Setup Screen TripTrack - Map View

Introduction
TripTrack is an application for your BlackBerry 10 smart phone that makes use of the built-in GPS to periodically determine your location and store the locations to create a "track". A "track" is a collection of locations (waypoints) that together define a path or route you've taken.

Each track you generate is maintained in a local database and can be recalled later for exporting to a standard GPX or KML file. A GPX and KML file can be imported into Google Earth and other mapping applications to visually show your route.

Features:
  • Start and stop GPS sampling.
  • Displays location, velocity, average velocity, and altitude
  • Displays distance and bearing to configurable "Home"
  • Displays current bearing (that is highlighted when bearing towards home coordinates)
  • Configurable sample interval and accuracy threshold
  • Choose between metric, imperial, and nautical units
  • Email current location
  • Record GPS samples to create a track
  • Configurable track name
  • Tracks stored in local database
  • Export track as GPX and KML files
  • Email GPX and KML files
  • Keep screen awake feature
  • Battery saver feature automatically turns OFF the GPS when battery drops below a specified level
When running TripTrack for the first time you should go to the settings screen and provide a default email address and setup other application parameters. Choose Setup from the Application Menu (swipe down from the top).

Setup...
From the opening GPS screen, swipe down from the top bezel and choose 'Settings'.

Email Address: The email address that you provide in this field is used as the default 'To:' address when you choose the option to email your current location or an exported track (GPX file). The email is used as a default and can be removed or additional email addresses added in the email composer before the email is sent.

Sampling Interval (seconds): Defines how often a position fix is read from the GPS. Typically, a smaller interval is appropriate when you are travelling at a fast pace (in a car for example), and your location is changing quickly. Choose a larger interval when your position is changing more slowly (when hiking for example). The smaller the interval (i.e. the more samples collected), the more accurate the total distance travelled calculation will be, but at the cost of battery usage and the number of waypoints saved in the database. Many waypoints within a relatively short distance may look crowded when the exported track is displayed on a map. Press x4 to expand the range of the slider from 60 seconds to 240 seconds. Press x1 to return to a slider range to 60 seconds for finer control.

Minimum Position Accuracy (meters): To reduce the number of waypoints stored in the database and to maintain a relatively accurate track, adjust this setting to ignore GPS position fixes that fall outside the accuracy you specify.

Minimum Distance: Choose the minimum distance from the last recorded coordinate that must be met before a new position (waypoint) is recorded to the track. Press x4 to expand the range of the slider from 60 seconds to 240 seconds. Press x1 to return to a slider range to 60 seconds for finer control.

Metric/Imperial/Nautical: Choose between displaying velocity, distance and altitude values in metric units (metres, kilometres), imperial units (feet, miles) or nautical units (knots). TripTrack automatically displays values as metres/feet when the value is less than 1 kilometre/mile. When the value is equal to or greater than 1 kilometre/mile the value is displayed using the unit kilometre/mile.

Turn off GPS: The GPS sensor requires a lot of battery power and as a result your device battery can soon reach a level that will cause your device to turn off completely. This battery saving feature tells TripTrack to turn off the GPS and disable the keep screen awake feature when the battery gets below the specified level.

Using TripTrack...
(1) Start the GPS.

In the GPS screen, press 'On/Off' toggle button to start GPS sampling. There may be an initial delay in updating the screen while the GPS connects to satellites and gets a first position fix. When you turn on the GPS sampling the Record button will become enabled. The main GPS screen displays your position in latitude, longitude, your velocity (average velocity in brackets), your altitude, the straight-line distance and bearing to your home coordinates, and your current bearing. The outer circle around the current bearing arrow turns green when your current bearing is in the direction of your home coordinates (+/- 11.25 degrees). A statistical error related to position and altitude is displayed between brackets to the right of the values. Calculation of the average velocity does not include position fixes that have a velocity of zero(0).

(2) Record a track.

Tap the 'Record' button when you are ready to start recording a track. You will be prompted to provide a name for the track. You can select the default by simply pressing the Ok button, or edit the name to better describe the track and then press Ok. The name of the current track is shown in the screen's title. GPS fix samples that meet the limits you established in the Settings screen will be added to the database. Pause recording at any time by pressing the same button (but now labelled 'Pause').

Your position will be recorded to the track as a waypoint at the interval you defined as long as recording is enabled. If you turn off the GPS sampling, recording of the track will automatically stop. You can continue recording the same track by turning GPS sampling On and then tapping the 'Record' button.

To start a new track press the 'Track Name' button and provide a new name. You do not need to stop recording to start a new track. The next GPS position sample will automatically start recording into the new track.

In the GPS screen tap the overflow icon (3 vertical dots) to access action options...

Set Home: The main GPS screen always shows the straight-line (as-the-crow-flies) distance from the current location (as determined by the GPS) and your "Home" location. Your "Home" location may be a campsite you need to get back to, a destination, or actually your home. You specify your home location by providing specific latitude and longitude coordinates or by using the current location. Coordinates must be provided in a decimal format (example: 43.642574, -79.387068).

Keep Screen Awake: When selected, your device's screen will not go to sleep and you will be able to view your position and velocity continuously. Caution should be used when selecting this option as it will greatly increase battery usage. Select a second time (the label is now changed to Don't Keep Screen Awake) to disable the feature and allow the device's screen to turn off after a time period.

Email Current Location: Select this option to share your current location with a friend. The email composer will launch with the current position written to the email's body and the email address you've provided in the Settings screen as the default To recipient.


(3) Tracks.

To view a list of tracks that you have created, including the current track, select the Tracks tab at the bottom of the screen. The list displays all the tracks in the TripTrack database. Tap a track in the list to select it. The screen's title will display the number of waypoints associated with the track and the total distance of the track. (Note: The distance shown is an approximation. The accuracy of the distance is partially dependent on the distance travelled between successive waypoints. The more waypoints recorded in a given distance, the more accurate the total distance measurement will be.)

Tap the overflow icon (3 vertical dots) to access action options specific to the tracks. Action items allow you to delete a track (and all associated waypoints), edit a track name, and to export the track information as a GPX or KML file (compatible with Google Earth). When you choose the option to export the track as a GPX or KML file, the file is created in the shared documents folder and then you are provided the option to email the file. If you choose to email the file the email composer is launched with defaults but gives you full control over modifying the subject, body and recipient list before sending the email.


(4) Map View.

To view your current position and your home position on a map, select the Map tab at the bottom of the screen. Your current position is indicated by the blue circle and your home position is indicated by the blue tent. The map is refreshed as your position changes to update and re-centre your current position. If the distance between your current location and your home location is greater than the scale of the map, you can use the pinch-to-zoom feature to zoom in or out and change the scale of the map displayed.

If the GPS is not currently turned on, the map will show and centre on your current home location.

Note: For a map to be displayed your device must have a data connection. The GPS must be ON for your current position to be displayed.