A GPS Application for BlackBerry Smartphones
2 Years (and 1 week) ago we reviewed the GPSLogger application. Matthias (emacberry.com) originally developed the application in order to record your movement. Speed, elevation, direction, path; almost everything was captured effortlessly. In fact, GPSLogger didn’t just capture current values, but track and graph the values recorded at each interval throughout your trek. It even included a compass mode, import/export GPX and KML files, night mode viewing, and the ability to keep logs of POI along the way.
Now I speak of it in past tense because GPSLogger has been succeeded by GPSLogger II. Completely rewritten, it adds a slew of impressive functionality. Through BBM6 integration, GPSLogger II allows you to share your location (or direction) with your BBM contacts automatically. Now that’s definitely a new way to stay connected through BBM. No need to ask where they are, you’ll be able to tell instantly. Keep in mind that this feature is only available to BBM6 beta testers for now. If you aren’t one of them, you can still enjoy the following new features:
- Append Logging
- BlackBerry Maps
- Additional (multiple) Views
- Emergency Alerts
- Sharing Location (email)
- Configurable Status Bar
- Additional new Keyboard shortcuts
- Elevation plausibility check
- Additional information: The climb in percen and the average speed over the last minute
- The Distance Alert [GPSLogger: Special Options]
You’ll also be happy to know that, despite all of these new features now available, GPSLogger II is free. Check out the new features in detail after the jump.
Append Logging: With GPSLogger II it's possible to continue the recording of a Path (e.g. the next day - or after switching the battery). Simply load a previously recorded Path with the the Path-Manager and then select 'Append Logging' from the #Menu. This allows you to record different stages of a multiple day trip in a single log file. Please note that the original path file (to which you will append) will not be overwritten - for each appending session a new file (with the date of the appending day) will be created.
BlackBerry Maps: Beside the 'classic' PathView an additional MapView have been integrated - when this view will be used (only available if Blackberry Maps is installed) the logging path will be drawn on top of BlackBerry Maps. This implies that then GPSLogger II will use an online connection in order to draw the content of the map (if not already cached). If you like to avoid this additional data transfer you should use the classic PathView or you can turn of the Data Service of your device (especially when you are on Roaming). GPSLogger II will work like before if Data Service is disabled!
As additional option for the Map View you can:
- Enable/disable the rotation of the map depending on your current heading
- Select the Map opacity (in "Day-Mode")
- Enable/disable Auto-Center functionality while logging (if enabled GPSLogger II will ensure that always the complete path will be visible on the map)
Additional Views: With GPSLogger II you can have now up to three different Views on the Screen. You can specify in the 'Appearance & Startup' Options beside the 'Start View' now also an 'Additional View1' and an 'Additional View2'.
- Once the additional views are enabled you can toggle them ON and OFF by using the key shortcut  or .
- When you use three views then by default the screen will be split asymmetric 50% for the Main view and 25% for each of the additional views. If you like you can disable the asymmetric split (also in the 'Appearance & Startup' options) and use 33% for each of the views.
- When you have the Path-, Map, Speed or the Elevation-View as first additional view you can make use of the [ALT]+[I] to Zoom In and the [ALT]+[O] key shortcut to Zoom Out.
Emergency Alerts: Any sportive activity can have the risk of having an accident. Would it not be perfect to have somebody watching you? GPSLogger II does exactly that. Your device can send an automated Emergency Alert eMail when you are not moving for a certain (defined) time.
- Specify a Minimum distance (in Meter or feet) you have to move in a specified time. When you do not move the specified distance in the specified time period an eMail will be send automatically to the specified recipient. Please note that the notifications will be only send when in logging mode - if you stop logging (or enter the pause mode) no notifications will be sent.
- Beside the time interval and the distance you can specify the recipient(s), the subject and the eMail body
- The send notification will include a Google Maps link to your current position as well as the complete logged path in order to make it as easy as possible for anybody to locate you.
- Please note that this feature would require data coverage (for sending the eMail). So if you are around in an area without (or only temporary) data coverage this feature will be useless!
Sharing Location (spammy!): This is quite a simple solution to send every n-Minutes your current location to a email recipient
- This implementation offers a simple way to send your current location via eMail - sure there are other services with the same functionality but these services are web based and this means that your location data have to be stored on a 3'rd party database. If you don't like to share your location information with people you don't know this new GPSLogger II feature will allow you to do so.
- Beside the time interval you can specify the recipient(s), the subject and the eMail body
- Each send eMail will include a Google Maps link to your current position.
- Please note that this feature would required data coverage (for sending the eMail)
Configurable StatusBar: Finally the Status Bar information is customizable - decide which information you like to see
- Toggle visibility of the Status Bar with the -Key
- When logging you can select a AutoHide timeout for the Status Bar
- Specify in the 'Appearance & Startup'-Options which information should be displayed
Additional new Keyboard shortcuts:
- Volume Up/Volume Down: next/previous main Display
- [SYM]: Pause/Unpause while logging
Elevation plausibility check: Sometimes the GPS-Antenna deliver strange values for your altitude -GPSLogger II have a new General Option that allows you to check for the plausibility of the Elevation values of a path. This check (& fix) will only be applied when you are loading a previously stored path so the original data will be untouched. The check will look for up/downhill grades that are larger then 150% and if such an implausible elevation is detected simply the previous value will be used. Please note that you should turn off this functionality when you use GPSLogger II to log your sky diving activities.
Additional information: When you use a Sample Interval that is smaller then 1 Minute, GPSLogger II can show you two additional information (Please note that both values depends from your selected Sample Interval):
- The climb in percent (over the last minute) [gaining 100m of altitude over a distance of 100m will mean Climb 100%]
- The average speed over the last Minute (will be displayed as "LMinØ" in the TimingView - LMin=Last Minute)
The Distance Alert [GPSLogger: Special Options] can be now be configured in the AudioProfile Settings - Will be listed in the 'Others' Section as 'GPSLogger II - Distance Alert' - make sure that you modify the audio volume if you would like to hear the tune.
Additional BBM-Features of GPSLogger II (requires Blackberry Messenger 6.0 to be installed & configured)
Invite one or more of your BBM-Contacts to follow you. The invited BBM-Contacts will receive constantly the host location. Please note that the invited BBM-Contacts need to have GPSLogger II installed as well.
Start or Join a public Host. Create a public BBM-Channel that anybody (with BBM6.0) can join. GPSLogger II will update your Personal Message with the link information and additionally copy a join-link into the clipboard so that you can paste it in an eMail, SMS, Twitter or Facebook. Users who would like to join your public BBM-Channel can enter this link in GPSLogger in order to follow you. As host you can specify an additional audio signal (configurable in the BlackBerry Notification Settings) to get notified when a client have joined your session.
Client Options when joining a host
- Send your (client) location to the host - once you are connected to a host you can decide if the host should see your client location as well. The host itself can select which client (if multiple clients are connected) he would like to get displayed additionally on his device. Also the host have the option to instruct all clients that they should not submit their location at all.
- See only the host - By default you see your own location and additionally the host as navigation path, so you are able to follow the host. When you enable 'See only the host' then GPSLogger II will use the remote host GPS-Signal instead the one of your device. This allows you to do everything with the remote signal (that you normally do with your own signal) including logging.
Send previously recorded Paths and Locations to your BBM-Contacts. Since BBM6 allows you to share files with Friends you can send previously recorded Path or Locations to your BBM-Contacts. This functionality is available from the PathManager and the LocationManager screens.
Invite BBM-Contacts to Download GPSLogger II
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