Wednesday, September 3, 2008

GPS Connect launches new Web Location Tracking application

For the last few months we've been working hard on improving GPS Connect's web location tracking application based on your, our fellow trackers, feedback. Web location tracking application is in the heart of GPS Connect location service and it is a big deal for us to provide our users with the industry best web location tracking experience. So you've spoken, we've listened and finally it's here. Ta-da!

The new web location tracking app has improved significantly in the following areas:

1. User interface and usability

The new user interface is cleaner, faster, much more intuitive and usable. Both real-time and historical maps now can display multiple tracking devices simultaneously. The entire web application is fully cross-browser compatible. We now fully support all major browsers: IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and even newly announced Chrome.

2. Mapping functionality

Traditionally user interface appears in one of two main tracking modes: real-time tracking or historical trails exploring. Both modes allow viewing all your tracking devices (a.k.a GPS locators) on the same map with easy navigation, searching and zooming/panning interface, selecting a preferred map engine, customizing visual characteristics for each tracker i.e. trail color and icon, managing visibility of route trails, way points and events. For each way point speed, mileage, heading and time stamp are displayed. Time stamp is automatically converted to a viewer local time.

A key real-time mode tool is an automatic refresh feature that allows setting a timer to automatically retrieve the latest location data for selected locators and update their positions on the map. You can toggle visibility of locators' trails and event notifications or lock a map viewing are onto a selected locator for constant monitoring. Communicate with a tracking device in a real-time by requesting its current status even if it's configured not to report automatically.

A historical mode allows viewing previously recorded routes for the selected GPS locators during the entered period of time. Set the desired time window selecting date and time of the day and view multiple routes of the selected tracking devices on the same map easily zooming/panning the routes and toggling way points and event markers visibility.

3. Security and data safety

Security and privacy of our customers' information have always been our major priority so we have triple checked and tightened all the points once again and made sure that all your data is absolutely safe.

When you are on our web site you must be logged in to access your information and use the web tracking application and all traffic goes through the SSL encrypted connection.

We fully support SSL encryption for Virtual Earth map engine however Google Maps has certain limitations and you may see a browser security warning that some information is not encrypted when you use Google Maps as a map engine. That warning does not concern your personal data; only Google Maps related data such as map tiles is transmitted unencrypted. We monitor Google Maps development status continuously and as soon as it starts supporting SSL we will add it immediately.

4. Constant Development

In today's hectic pace software and hardware technologies are changing constantly and with that understood we have made a commitment to stay on top of the corresponding technologies and provide our customers with the most modern and usable products and services by constantly developing our systems based on your, our customers, feedback.

We consider developing in three major directions: map engines support; tracking device support and new features addition. We have redesigned our tracking platform sufficiently to make it much easier and faster to evolve in all three directions so speak up and be heard.

For mapping engines we currently support Virtual Earth and Google Maps but as other maps are evolving and gain more popularity (Yahoo maps, MapQuest, etc.) we'll be ready to include them as soon as you tell us. And of course, for the supported maps we always use the most recent versions and features.

For tracking devices we currently support Laipac protocol based devices only, but we've already started integrating Enfora devices based on users feedback and we are willing to hear your other suggestions too.

In regards to the new functionality we'll be adding a lot of new exciting features soon so don't miss your chance to tell us what you need in addition to standard real-time tracking and historical maps. Feel free to let your imagination fly as high as possible.

We will be updating our GPS Connect Tour articles about all new features so stay tuned.

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