Device Tracking - Mobile

How device tracking work on EarthRanger Mobile

Updated at February 15th, 2024

Device Tracking

 

Before going into the details, it's important to understand how EarthRangers device tracking works. 

Once tracking is enabled, the app will immediately start capturing the devices position as device's coordinates.

 

When tracking is enabled, EarthRanger Mobile will continually attempt to submit the most recently recorded position to the EarthRanger system in real-time. Tracking points are calculated based on a distance-to-speed relationship. When the user is walking, the app records a track point every 25 meters. When a user is in a helicopter, the distance between track points is larger resulting in fewer track points as speed increases. If no movement is detected, it will record the device’s position every 5 mins.

 

Track points will sync as long as it has an active connection to a cellular or wireless network.

If the device does not have an active connection, the data will still be recorded, but will be stored in a local cache on the device. Once an active connection to a network is reestablished, EarthRanger Mobile will begin sending the data to the EarthRanger system.

 

Data will be locally cached if you do not sign off the device or if you sign off and sign in with the same user. If you sign off the device and log in with a different user, the database will be erased and all pending sync items will be lost. As long as there is cached data remaining on the device, EarthRanger Mobile will transmit it to EarthRanger whenever it has a network connection.

 

 

The cached tracking points will be uploaded in batch. To optimize the upload performance when cached, batches are uploaded with a maximum of 25 observations per upload. 

 

Tracking/Patrol

The first time you open the app the default state will be “Tracking/Patrol“. This is also the state if you log out and log in again. You have two options to start tracking by:

  1. Tap on the blue button “Start Tracking“ at the bottom of the map view.
  2. Tap on the “Tracking/Patrol” top modal, and you will get an overlay modal displayed that will allow you to activate the tracking of the device by switching the toggle to on.

While the tracking is off you will see the indicator of the user’s location moving, but no tracking will be made as you will not see the tracking points uploading to the web.

 

Tracking Live

The first time you open the app the default state will be “Tracking/Patrol“. This is also the state if you log out and log in again. You can start tracking by:

  • Tapping on the button “Start Tracking“.
  • On the “Tracking/Patrol” button, you will get a window displayed that will allow you to activate the tracking of the device.

While the tracking is off you will see the indicator of the user’s location moving, but no tracking will be made as you will not see the tracking points uploading to the web.

The tracking is considered live when:

  • Tracking is on
  • Tracking points can be uploaded successfully
  • There’s an internet connection available

 

Current Location

The current user’s location will display at the bottom of the screen.

  • Time: Current Date and Time
  • Lat/Lon: Current position of the phone.

The location and timestamp should be updated if the user location changes.

 

Tracking On

The tracking is considered On when:

  • Tracking is on
  • Tracking points cannot be uploaded successfully or
  • There’s not internet connection available

When there’s a problem with uploading the tracking points or there’s no internet connection the tracking points will be stored locally on the device and as soon as an internet connection is available these tracking points will be uploaded to the server.

The tracking points will not be lost if the app is closed before syncing.

 

Show Recent Track

When tracking is enabled for the first time the “Show Recent Track“ will be enabled by default.

The recent tracks shows the user the direction of travel between track points that have been recorded

The recent tracks are for visual purposes and not part of the tracking points. As a consequence, when the app is closed the recent tracks are no longer available. 

If the option is turned off, the line will no longer display “live“ but the next time it is enabled, it will be displayed.

The Recent Tracks works for both online and offline.

The blue arrow indicates an observation point and the direction the user has taken in the current route.

The threshold for how often an arrow is displayed is based on observation points.

When the location cannot be determined or the tracking was turned off and then turned on again, the arrows will display the distance between the location when it couldn’t be found and the location when it was found again.

When zooming in/out in the map the number of tracking points that appear on the screen will change in size and number, so they are not constantly overlayed.

 

No Location

If the location cannot be found, the tracking icon will appear different and a message will be prompted.

Because the current location cannot be determined a message “Location not found“ will be displayed instead of the latitude and longitude position.

The indicator of the user’s location will stop moving as location cannot be found.

The Track line will stop recording as well as the tracking points.

Once the location can be determined EarthRanger Mobile will refresh and tracking points will start uploading.

 

EarthRanger version 2.2.4