We told you about Mobile Tracker a few weeks back and I gave it a try. It installed perfectly on the T-Mobile MDA Compact III and I drove home with it running. When I got home it produced a KML file which I dropped into the excellent (and free) Google Earth and watched it load up my various waypoints. The result was a little strange, because for some reason it showed me sailing off the coast of Africa. However, after a few emails to the guys at Skylab Mobilesystems they came up with a new updated version which worked like a dream.
There’s no free trial from what I can see, so I decided to show you just how easy this is to use, and how good it is. Below is a little walk-through of the software so you can see what you’re getting… :)
Firsly, I buy and install the software. You can get more information about it or grab it here.
Here’s my T-Mobile MDA Compact III. It has has an inbuilt GPS device (as do other Windows Mobile devices like the Orange SPV M700), but you can use any Windows Mobile device and a Bluetooth GPS receiver from eBay – they’re selling for about £15-25 now, so it’s not a huge outlay.
When you fire up the software the first screen you get is nice and easy – no faffing about with GPS ports or baud rates, it’s all automatically detected. The only bits you need to worry about are the two settings you see below – how often you’d like waypoints created (the more often, the more detailed your track gets) and how you want the elevation recorded – Absolute, Relative to Ground or Clamp to Ground. Then it’s just a matter of pressing “Start” and off you go.
Now I drive, walk or pedal my way around. MobileTracker quietly sits there grabbing data until you press “Stop”. You needn’t worry when the screen goes off due to power saving, as the program continues to grab data. There’s also no need to worry about clicking “Start” again after doing a track, as each log is created with a time-stamp and there’s no chance of over-writing an existing track log.
Next up, when I get home, I sync my device with my computer and grab the KML files off the device. You can put these files into a few different programs, but I’m going to use the most popular – Google Earth. It’s just a matter of openinng up Google Earth and selecting the files…
I could make my life slightly easier by just double-clicking on the KML files directly because they’re associated with Google Earth and will open in the it automatically.
Google Earth then loads in your waypoints and glides over the route you’ve taken. You can zoom in, playback your route and much much more….