Since March 2013 when the YourLo.ca/tion service was created, we’ve helped SAR teams all over the world locate thousands of people. The very first weekend we went live we used it to help locate three missing hikers for my own SAR team. The server logs show over 3000 requests for locations.
I’ve been running the service pro bono for six years now. There’s been a few donations, but the bulk of the thousands of hours of my coding work, the server costs, and the texting service (backed by Twilio), have all been financed by me.
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to do that any more. In order to keep hosting YourLo.ca/tion and to provide a top notch, reliable and seamless service, I’m going to have to start charging for it.
I really feel that YourLo.ca/tion is useful – in fact it’s become an essential part of our standard operating procedures for ever task involving a person who makes contact via cell phone.
I still want to leave room free use, so I’ve come up with the following plan.
There will be three price tiers for YourLo.ca/tion
There are two ways to use YourLo.ca/tion for free.
The first is just to go to the site and click “Locate” – follow the prompts, manually copy the tracking url and send it to the subject. Use the tracking page or wait for email updates.
The second is to sign up for an account. I’ll give you 50 free SMS messages, and then the account will revert to the basic service, similar to the above but you the form will pre-fill certain fields to speed things up.
If you create an account you also get a record of all of your requests that you can come back to if you ever need to.
The basic service will cost $100 per year.
This will include access to all of the features of YourLo.ca/tion, but everyone at this level will use a shared SMS number (this is the number the SMS messages will be sent to your subjects from).
I’m not going to charge on a per-text basis as the basic price finances a single phone number and all messages will be going through that number.
The Advanced service costs $150 a year and will include your own, custom phone number, chosen for your country and area code. All SMS messages will appear to come from this number.
Agencies requiring Advanced service will also be eligible for support custom support.
Agencies requiring custom development can contact me directly for a quote.
I can integrate YourLo.ca/tion technology into your custom dispatch system or GIS as required. I can also develop a custom solution for your specific needs – including a private server and secure access to your data.
For example, a ski hill operator who wished to have a single point of contact phone number. I could integrate YourLo.ca/tion technology to allow guests to text or call that number to activate your dispatcher’s phone. Dispatch could interact with the guests – sending a receiving location, photos, and texts or voice calls. The service would provide a single auditable time stamped log of all interactions.
I am hoping that some of the 150 or so people who have accounts on the system decide that the features are useful enough to pay for this. This will allow me to keep the free portion of the service running, and continue to add new useful features.
Thanks for everyone who’s supported the service so far!