GPS track management
August 6, 2008 1:25 AM   Subscribe

looking for software/webapp for GPS track management

So I'm getting started with GPS tracking, my aim being similar to this askme question - to record my own tracks as a kind of prosthesis for my appalling memory. I'm starting to think about the next step - actually extracting useful information from those records. As a hypothetical example, let's say I have recorded my position every 10 minutes for a year. Where is the software that will allow me to ask questions like:

- how many visits did I make to the supermarket
- how many hours a day did I spend at work, on average
- what was my average commute time (to the nearest 10 minutes, obviously)
- how many days in total did I spend in the Lake District, spread out over multiple trips

Now it seems to me that this shouldn't be too hard from a programming point of view. I should be able to click on a map and tell a piece of software that this location is "work", this is "home", etc.

And I should be able to say that a journey between "home" and "work" is a regular one and give it a name "commute". Or it should be possible to convert GPS co-ordinates to useful place names by extracting the data from a map - to work out which data points correspond to "Manchester", etc. I wouldn't be surprised if Google maps can do something like that.

So my question is; does such a program/webapp exist? It seems like this kind of data should be ideal for the a kind of stats-heavy app like Mint/Google Analytics etc. that could automatically generate interesting graphs - e.g. time spent in different cities, time spent on different journeys, etc. The closest thing I've found is sites like, that are geared towards running, cycling etc. Or is this problem computationally impossible for some reason I don't understand?
posted by primer_dimer to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm fairly certain that programs like this aren't impossible; they're very likely being used by some of the more advanced inventory tracking systems. I don't know if a software program like this exists for consumers but it's not beyond the pale to imagine someone creating one.

I would start gathering the data in anticipation of an application like this even if it doesn't exist yet.

If there ended up being enough interest I'm sure someone would develop it. It's not even that computationally difficult, to be honest.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:34 AM on August 6, 2008

If you have your ham ticket, you can use APRS.
posted by Citrus at 6:46 AM on August 6, 2008

The software is absolutely possible. Just for example, Oracle databases offer the Oracle Spatial option to help you store and query this type of data. I wouldn't doubt that GIS systems would let you input and query a lot of this data. There certainly would have to be some smarts or heuristics involved since the supermarket isn't a single spot but an area and your commute is a wide corridor rather than a line (and your GPS isn't necessarily always super accurate)
posted by mmascolino at 6:58 AM on August 6, 2008

I just started screwing with buddyway. It's cool, and in beta so if you ask nicely you can probably convince the devs to hack in whatever function you're looking for.
posted by knowles at 10:55 AM on August 6, 2008

MoloGoGo offers a software package that pushes your GPS coordinates through your phone to a database that lets you do whatever you want with the data.

There also used to be a Symbian application called MyLocation or something like that that would determine roughly where you were at by cell sites. You could assign titles to those locations and set location specific reminders, so that when you came back to the office, say, it would remind you to do something, or when you left somewhere, etc.
posted by disillusioned at 11:39 AM on August 6, 2008

« Older Who owns my wrecked Blazer?   |   How do i download new browser if Safari wont load? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.