After the system sends the request to the subject phone, the Tracking page is shown. All of YourLo.ca/tion’s main functions are presented here.
The top part of this page contains information about the request – the time it was sent, the number it was sent to, and the link.
Below that is the location responses from the subject phone:
When the subject loads the URL, this section will update with the location and the map will scroll to the position. Each time the position is updated, the page will emit a “ping” sound, and the new position will be displayed at the top of this table.
Each updated position comes with a time stamp, the position displayed in latitude and longitude, and the accuracy. The last column of the table contains a button with a drop down. Clicking the button brings up the coordinate display:
Clicking on the drop-down menu (the small arrow to the right up the button) shows additional functions.
- KML Download: KML is the Google Earth file format, suitable for plotting in a number of GIS systems
- GPX Download: GPS Exchange Format, useful for sending data to GPS units.
- GeoURI: Geo URI scheme is useful for desktop applications where software can register with the operating system to handle requests to display coordinates.
- OpenStreetMap: this displays the coordinates on OpenStreetMap
- Show on Map: this displays the coordinates on a new browser tab – suitable for sharing with agencies outside your organization.
It is very important to pay particular attention to the “Accuracy” column in the Location Tracking Table. In this context, accuracy refers to the confidence the subject phone has in the posision.
Smart phones can use different techniques to “solve” for the position on the surface of the earth, but even the most accurate GPS signal has some uncertainty. This uncertainty is expressed as a distance – which YourLo.ca/tion displays in meters.
Most of the time the accuracy will be between 12 and 50 meters – which is normal for a smartphone grade GPS.
Unfortunately, there are many limitations in how the system gathers position information from the subject phone. In some situations the phone cannot access the GPS location, and will return an error much larger, sometimes on the order of 1000m.
In cases where the accuracy is over 500m it is best to ignore it completely.
The lower section of the tracking page displays SMS messages to and from the subject phone.
You can send messages to the subject phone by using the panel to the right of the table.
The messages table will update with a small “blip” sound when the subject phone texts you. Each message is time stamped when it is received. Messages from the subject phone will contain the subject’s phone number.