Android GPS Tracking App

kswing

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I had been using Rocket Locator on my Android tablet, but, recently it stopped working with Google maps, so, I'm working on developing my own app with somewhat similar functionality.

I have a prototype working and somewhat functional, but, it is very rough. So far it plots the NMEA location it receives via (classic) Bluetooth and it also plots your current location. It also lets you switch between satellite and street view. One of its key shortcomings so far is that it only connects to HC-06 devices. Also, so far it shows distance and bearing to the rocket, but, it doesn't draw a line between them. Once I refine it a bit I will try to figure out how to make it available (for free) to anyone who would like to use it. I might even put the source code up on GitHub so that others can modify or enhance it.

I'm testing it with an Arduino based GPS/LoRa tracker that I've developed that uses basic NMEA GPS messages, so, I think it should work with other devices without too much modification.

One of the questions I have is, what are the key things folks need in this sort of app? I'm planning to add the ability to choose the Bluetooth device and maybe also the ability to store the NMEA logs, but, I'm not sure what else is really needed. Also, what Android version are most folks running on their tablets/phones?
 

Tobor

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Wanted Features?
Maybe a compass style arrow that always points towards current/last known location.

I have a Nexus 6 running Android version: 7.1.1. The Nexus 6 has reached EOL for Android so I am stuck at 7.1.1.
 

billdz

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Ken,
Thanks and good luck with the app, it is much needed.
 

kswing

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Wanted Features?
Maybe a compass style arrow that always points towards current/last known location.

I have a Nexus 6 running Android version: 7.1.1. The Nexus 6 has reached EOL for Android so I am stuck at 7.1.1.

Thanks for the feedback....I've currently got it showing a line connecting your location to the rocket's location, but, I'll look into adding a compass arrow since that may be easier to interpret.

Also, so far I'm targeting Android 6 and higher, so, you should be good with 7.1.1.
 

Buckeye

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A reliable console screen or log file that doesn't vanish when you rotate from portrait to landscape or merely lock your phone. Ask me how I know.

I am willing to pay for an Android app that is more robust than the current free offerings.
 

kswing

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A reliable console screen or log file that doesn't vanish when you rotate from portrait to landscape or merely lock your phone. Ask me how I know.

I am willing to pay for an Android app that is more robust than the current free offerings.

So far I don't have a log screen, but, I do have it coded so that it handles screen rotations and it re-loads the last location if you stop and restart the app. A log screen is on my list of features to add.

My plan so far is to offer the app for free once I've tested it a bit more. I considered trying to sell it, but, then developing it would be more like work and less like fun and I'd also feel obligated to offer support and updates which I may not always have time for.

Also, I got to try it out for real today....I launched my Rayzor to about 8K feet at Battlepark and I used the app to track it down almost a mile from the launch pad. Even though it is still a bit rough it worked well enough to find the rocket. It's a good thing I had the tracker because everyone lost sight of it shortly after apogee.
 

Handeman

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So far I don't have a log screen, but, I do have it coded so that it handles screen rotations and it re-loads the last location if you stop and restart the app. A log screen is on my list of features to add.

My plan so far is to offer the app for free once I've tested it a bit more. I considered trying to sell it, but, then developing it would be more like work and less like fun and I'd also feel obligated to offer support and updates which I may not always have time for.

Also, I got to try it out for real today....I launched my Rayzor to about 8K feet at Battlepark and I used the app to track it down almost a mile from the launch pad. Even though it is still a bit rough it worked well enough to find the rocket. It's a good thing I had the tracker because everyone lost sight of it shortly after apogee.

Ken, we lost site of that at motor burn out!!!!! Once there was no flame to follow, it disappeared at Mach+ One observer said it teleported. That K2050(?) didn't have much burn time, but what an acceleration!
 

kswing

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Ken, we lost site of that at motor burn out!!!!! Once there was no flame to follow, it disappeared at Mach+ One observer said it teleported. That K2050(?) didn't have much burn time, but what an acceleration!

That K2050 was fun to watch....it only burned about 7/10ths of a second but it put the rocket to 8K feet. I also lost it pretty quickly, but, I caught up with the tracking smoke and then followed it to apogee. Also, I'm polishing up the tracking app a bit and after that I'll send you a copy to play with.
 

ksaves2

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I had fired up Rocket Locator last night with the OSM maps and it worked.
Google doesn't like it when an app tries to use its map tiles for free. I downloaded the map tiles of the two places I flew and kept them on a USB stick for reloading.
 

Handeman

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I had fired up Rocket Locator last night with the OSM maps and it worked.
Google doesn't like it when an app tries to use its map tiles for free. I downloaded the map tiles of the two places I flew and kept them on a USB stick for reloading.
How do you download map tiles?
 

Handeman

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At the bottom of the pull down there is a download maps selection. Google doesn't work anymore but maybe OSM Maps does.

Ok, you mean in the app. I did that. That is how I got all the tiles in my photo gallery and why I still get the satellite view at BattlePark.

I thought you were referring to a method to download the tiles outside the app.
 

ksaves2

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Ok, you mean in the app. I did that. That is how I got all the tiles in my photo gallery and why I still get the satellite view at BattlePark.

I thought you were referring to a method to download the tiles outside the app.
Yes, inside the app. I have rooted devices so I found the photo maps directory and backed them up to a USB stick. Hence when I want to use a different device, I can reinstall the photo tiles. OSM maps should get the job done though.
 
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