GPS Cell Phone Data Logging

GPS Cell Phone Data Logging

I recently took an interest in tracking/logging GPS data. Ultimately, I want to track where the hell my cat goes when he is out ALL night EVERY night. The devices I found were either too expensive, or required a monthly service fee to operate. My means for building such a device are very limited. I could build something basic, but it would be clunky and not very useful. Until I'm smarter/more capable, I can still have GPS fun with a free service offered by

Designed for GPS enabled phones, you're a quick app install and a free account away from some light James Bond action.

Read after the break for more...

The Instamapper service is super easy to use. First, check for your phones compatibility, then install the app according to your phones install process. Go to for a free account and add your phone to your device list to get your device key. Put that key into your phone app settings and you're done. Turn the app on, go for a drive, and then log into your account to see the results on a Google map.

It seems like Android is the most reliable OS for it. They claim that many Boost mobile phones work. Blackberry's are supported, but some require an external GPS receiver and if Verizon is your carrier the GPS access is likely disabled.

The iPhone (as per Apple policy) won't allow the background running of the app - so tracking will stop if you decide to use the phone for any other purpose. This destroys the most spy-like feature of the app. This feature allows it to run covertly, and allows it to be activated via SMS. Install it on the phones of those loser kids of yours and keep them in line. Of course, I only condone LEGAL usage of such features.

You can setup the app to send data at different rates. Every second will result in a high resolution track. The photo attached to this post shows me pulling into a gas station. Of course, this takes it's toll on the battery. Also, you'll want a UNLIMITED DATA PLAN for this purpose, otherwise, scale back your data rate.

While the app runs, it displays stats like speed, heading, altitude, and accuracy. You can also recall those stats online. Every time data is sent, a marker is placed on the map. You can open that marker to reveal your stats at that location. The main map shows all of your recent data lumped together, but you can go into the data for each device you've registered to the data broken out better.

It simple and lots of fun. For geeks anyway.

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