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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    Can I use Google Maps to show the current position of a boat on the Atlantic?

    Hi,

    One of my clients has asked me to do a website for his son who is about to row across the Atlantic for a fundraiser.

    One of the things we would like to do is display where they are using Google Maps (or similar). They will have GPS equipment on board and will possibly also have internet access.

    Does anyone know how to use Google Maps to automatically show their position? And maybe even their 'path' from the start of the journey?

    Please bear in mind I'm not a programmer but a web designer so I can do the basic stuff but not the advanced API programming if needed...

    Thanks!

    Konrad

  2. #2
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    Should be pretty easy--just place a GPoint at the Latitude and Longitude of the boat.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    But Will it then automatically track the position of the boat during the trip?

    Thanks,

    Konrad

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    Not unless you update said Lat/Lng as the boat moves. One could "predict" their position using some trig, but I'm not certain how accurate that would be.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    So you think there's no way of automatically updating their position and showing where they are?

    Thanks,

    Konrad

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict chestertondevelopment's Avatar
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    You could have them enter their current position (read from the GPS) in a form every few hours or something which could then update their position on the Google map.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks for the suggestion.

    Konrad

  8. #8
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    The common way there is having a GPS enabled computer or other device regularly updating the GPS position.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    Thanks wiggsfly,

    They will have this on board. Can it be set up in such a way that it will automatically (say once a day) update their position?

    Thanks,

    Konrad

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    i don't know anything about automatically interfacing between gps devices and websites (it may be quite easy but i suspect not) but given you say you're not serious programmer why make it so hard? it seems the interface part could be done, as someone suggested above, manually; have a page which is password protected (using apache's standard thing so you don't have to create it your self) page which allows the people to make entries, consisting of, time, longitude and lattitude, for that data to get inserted into a database. or, even simpler, why don't they just email you this info and you plug it into the site yourself? which ever way, then once the data is on the site have code for google maps served up appropriately, the server side code which generates the code for the google maps pulling the relevant info (time for the label, and long+lat for the actual position) from the database which was either put there by you or the people themselves. it's the serverside code generation which makes use of the long+lat data approparetely thus serving up google maps code which'll display what you want to people -- it's *that* that's the important tricky (but not as tricky i suspect as interfacing automatically) part which you need to get sorted. so concentrate on that. so the question becomes, how do i generate code for a google map which takes a varying number of multiple label,long,lat bits series of data from a database to show people the path/route? if you've already got that sorted ignore what i'm saying. that's the essential part. if and when you get that sorted then looking into automating/hooking it up directly with gps. that's my advice.

    so there's two parts. getting the info from gps to website. and the serverside code (which makes use of info from gps) to generate google maps code. the first part, if people are willing to do a tiny bit of ongoing work to make it work, is a doddle (e.g. email, then you put it onto the website). get the second part sorted.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    Brilliant, thanks, here's something to get my teeth into!

    Konrad


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