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I need to build a solution that allows me to track cellphones/tablets and display on a visual map.

I think there are two parts, one is understanding the general architecture. The other is more detail. I have seen a few websites that do what i want to do.For example,the Android Device Manager lets you see where your devices are on a map. I'd envisage the tablets to be Android based so even if there is a SAAS solution that I could plug into my web page would be perfect

Basically I was thinking of installing a generic app(possibly android) on a tablet/cellphone then capturing the gps data somehow through a web interface and displaying the tablets onto a single map on my webpage. A SAAS solution would work well or alternatively a javascript package to read the captured GPS co ordinates and display on a map.

Any help is appreciated. Regards

closed as unclear what you're asking by Devdatta Tengshe, Paul, PolyGeo, Curlew, Fezter Oct 21 '13 at 11:58

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Have Edited the question. Apologies for being vague as I'm totally new to this technology. – Andrew Oct 15 '13 at 20:44
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    Have you seen another website that seems to be addressing the same requirements as yours? If so, a question like "How do they do this?" would probably be more answerable than your current description. – PolyGeo Oct 15 '13 at 21:17
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    would the cell/tablets be on android or apple os? – Mapperz Oct 16 '13 at 1:21
  • It is not clear where you need help with this. Do you need help understanding a general Architecture of such a system? Or do you want to know what components (hardware & Software) are needed? Or are you asking for a service/SAAS to do this for you? – Devdatta Tengshe Oct 16 '13 at 2:53
  • Apologies, wasnt finished with my post above. I think there are two parts, one is understanding the general architecture. The other is more detail. I have seen a few websites that do what i want to do.For example,the Android Device Manager lets you see where your devices are on a map. I'd envisage the tablets to be Android based so even if there is a SAAS solution that I could plug into my web page would be perfect. – Andrew Oct 16 '13 at 6:17
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Multi part answer: 1) There are a number of generic Android apps that can act as clients for a tracking system and also provide a map based interface to view the locations. for example: Real Time GPS Tracker GPS Tracking Pro

Also have a look at http://www.heavy.com/tech/2013/07/top-best-gps-apps-for-android-2013/

2) There are also GPS tracking apps for Android that allow you to specify your own server as the recipient of tracking data.

3) The most often used API for display of tracking data is the google maps API Version 3 This API requires you to put together some Javascript to enable the mapping and placement of received GPS positions. There are other commercial API's available as well (like ArcGIS). The main difference between Google Maps and some of the others are licensing restrictions that Google places on their API. Most of the others are open source using freely available map tiles. There is also (in my opinion) better documentation and example sets for Google Maps than for most of the open source alternatives.

The advantage of developing your own viewing software is that you completely control the look and feel, the performance, and to a great extent the availability and reliability.

I use Google Maps for our applications, hosting on some pretty grunty AWS Linux servers. The servers run various background tasks, accepting position reports from clients, storing them in databases and building json files that contain the actual aggregated data from the trackers. These json files are downloaded by the javascript app that we built and are used for all manner of display parameters. The system receives ~ 2 million reports per day from a variety of sources and seems to run pretty well. The background tasks were originally all in PHP but a migration to Python is underway. Python is so much more rational and predictable. Although neither PHP nor Python are notorious speed demons, they seem to cope.

Development of apps using the Google Maps API is not extremely difficult once you understand the 'culture' of the API. There is extensive help and support available online.

Probably need more detail about what you're trying to accomplish to provide more info.

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