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Can Desert Bats Be Tracked By GPS? Yes!

discovery

Among the breakthroughs of modern technology and innovation, GPS remains one of the most advanced and efficient system of tracking any moving object, situated anywhere on the surface of the earth.  Besides practical uses, it has been implemented in wildlife tracking as well, something which has revolutionised the study of animal movement and their behaviour. 

However, tracking small, flying creatures such as desert bats have remained largely impossible because of the technological limitations. However, recent scientific breakthroughs have broken that barrier, as a new study from the University of Helsinki indicated.  The study was focused on the behaviour of desert bats, which found that they fly further and longer to fulfil their nightly needs. This has given researchers some important information, indicating that desert bats tend to struggle during dry periods. All of this was possible due to the new generation of micro sized satellite based tags, which allow us to delve deeper into the lives of these unique flying mammals.

About the Research

According to the study, researchers have used 1 g GPS devices to study the movement of a kind of desert bat. They are the yellow-winged bats of Africa, one of two false vampire bats in the region. They have been chosen because of their size and ability to carry the aforementioned GPS tags. Sibiloi National Park, located in Northern Kenya, was chosen as the test site to conduct the study. This also includes the shores of Lake Turkana, which is infamous for being the world’s largest desert lake. A total of 29 bats were used by researchers, 14 of them for the dry season and 15 for the rainy season. They were tracked for 30 to 60 minutes every night, which has revealed some interesting insights for furthering scientific research. 

PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki, Irene Connena, thinks it offers some valuable insight, something which would have been possible otherwise. According to her, “The responses exhibited by bats offer important insights into the responses of other taxonomic groups,” “These new miniaturized satellite-based tags now allow us to better understand how increased aridity affects bats foraging efficiency, leading us one step forward to understanding limits in aridity tolerance and impacts of climate change.”

Deserts around the world are getting warmer and as the warm desert creatures need to cope with even harsher conditions. “Understanding how animals cope with seasonal changes is key to understand how they might react to the challenges on the horizon. New technological devices, such as miniaturized satellite-based loggers, go a long way to help us in this task“.

GPS Tracking in the Study

As mentioned before, the study was conducted using 1 g GPS devices attached to the bat’s body. The bats, which were captured after dusk were then fitted with tracking equipment. It was attached to the bat’s partially trimmed fur by applying cyanoacrylate-based glue. 

Each unit attached to a bat consisted of a rechargeable GPS logger attached to a VHF transmitter, which was mainly responsible for tag recovery after the bats drop them. Each of the tags weighed 1.45g. Some bats were recaptured to detect any changes in the bat’s weight during the tracking period, as well as checking for injuries that could’ve been caused by the tag attachment. 

Other Types of GPS Tracking for Wildlife studies

GPS tracking has been used extensively by biologists, researchers as well as several conservation agencies which use them for observing fine scale movement or migratory patterns of animals. Some GPS enabled systems have high resolution tracks available, allowing researchers to control animal borne diseases such as specific strains of avian influenza. 

Depending on the animal and the purpose of the tracking, GPS tracking devices for animals can come in several forms. Some of them are described in brief below:

  • Harness Attachments: Harness attachments are normally used for animals whose neck diameter exceeds that of their head, which makes fitting any collar based device, almost impossible. These are mainly used for long-necked, large birds such as the greylag goose, as well as other animals such as pigs. 
  • Collar Attachments: Collar attachments are the widely used variant of GPS tracking devices for wildlife studies. They are usually used for primates, large cats, bears as well as in certain types of birds. 
  • Direct Attachments: Direct attachments are used in cases where collars and harnesses cannot be used, such as for birds, reptiles and marine animals. Such devices are usually attached by glue to the animal, and are designed to automatically fall off after some time. They are usually lightweight enough and do not interfere with the animal’s ability to fly or swim. 

Conclusion

GPS technology has been a breakthrough for science and technology, serving various purposes in our daily lives. Additionally it has also contributed to other fields, such as wildlife studies and scientific research. As more innovative devices are developed, the scope of GPS will only grow in the coming years.

The Best Apps for Families

best-apps-for-the-families

It is very important for a family to share the family members’ locations among themselves for ensuring each other’s safety.

It is especially useful to parents that want to monitor their children. Parents are always worried about the whereabouts of their children whenever they are out of sight.

With these apps, they can keep an eye on them even from miles away. New GPS apps come out every day that can be used on smartphones, and here is a list of the best GPS apps right now supported on android and iOS –

Google Maps

Google maps offers its inbuilt feature for sharing location on all platforms and its web version. To use this, click on the three horizontal bars on the home screen of the app which is the menu button.

Then, tap on ‘Location Sharing’ tab. After that, you need to select the ‘Get started’ pop-up and add a contact to your list. These selected contacts will be able to receive your location immediately.

If you want to see their location, then you need to request access from the contacts and wait for them to approve your request. 

Foursquare Swarm

The platform of this app is similar to a regular social media site.

Not only Foursquare Swarm provides you with location information, but it also offers you a convenient layout for keeping tabs of your kids’ whereabouts.

When a person checks in a place, a pin will be left there to show where he is. This is useful when your family members go to many different places. Moreover, there is also a statistics report system in this program. It provides you with the data on the places visited by people more often.

This report can be used for tracking the behaviors of your family members. Data on the location types is also listed by this program. 

Glympse

Glympse offers the real-time location information of family members. You can find out anyone’s location quickly by using it.

First, download and open the Glympse app and then tap on ‘New Glympse’. Then, a text message or an email can be sent by this app to another person. By doing this, it captures information of the GPS location of the person.

While this feature is available on apps like Google maps and WhatsApp too, the benefit of using Glympse is that you can use this app without installing anything on the other person’s mobile device. A web browser for email would be enough.

Life 360

Unlike the one-way app Glympse, Life 360 allows people to know each other’s location when they are online.

When you view someone’s location on the Life 360 app, you can see when they change their locations and reach certain destinations. While Glympse only provides a real-time location, Life 360 also offers real-time tracking and it always sends notifications of someone leaving or reaching places.

It does have a disadvantage though; it takes a lot of battery life. You can fix this problem by setting it up to update location once an hour so that it is not used much.

Sygic Family Locator

Sygic Family Locator is a little different app from others. To use this app, GPS signals are needed to be activated on the devices of your family members.

You will only be able to save information on the devices if GPS signals are linked to them. A great advantage of this app is that it not only offers regular location updates to you but also provides updates about the boundaries to be aware of.

So, you can configure accurate spots that your children need to avoid. It is very useful because you can stop your loved one from going into an unwanted zone with the quick alerts sent by this app. 

Sprint FamilyWall

With this app, you can keep watch and stay connected with all your family members.

Apart from locating others, this platform also allows you to share photos. FamilyWall is different from other apps because of its functionality of communicating and organizing.

There are features like setting tasks, to-do listing and setting reminders for your whole family so that nobody misses an event. 

Verizon Family Locator

When safety is involved, Verizon Family Locator is a great locator app. This app shows a family member’s location on the map as well as the exact turn-by-turn directions so you can know the accurate whereabouts of your family members.

Moreover, this app provides you with the best route to reach them quickly. An average speed calculator is also provided that can keep track of teenagers who are experienced in the road.

These are some of the best GPS apps you can use on your smartphones to keep track of the location of your family members. Keep in mind that the safety of your loved ones come first, so choose an app suitable to your needs and keep your family connected and safe.

Independent App Review: Maps.me

Phone Tracking GPSPathfinder

The use of smartphones and applications can be seen in almost all daily activities – from shopping to communication and even financial transactions.

Applications have also made their way into the world of GPS, helping people in reaching their destinations and exploring a place.

One of the most effective GPS apps available in the market is Maps.me.

An OpenSource app, it is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

History of Maps.me

Originally called MapsWithMe, the application was developed by a small company in Zurich.

The primary objective of Maps.me is to provide offline maps of various locations. While there are many good online and offline map and navigation applications, Maps.me stands out with over 100million downloads and more than 1million positive ratings.

The Maps.me application was originally launched for the iOS platform in April 2011.

Over time, the application has undergone various updates and advancements. The application is today compatible with various versions of Android, iOS and several other devices.

Today, the Maps.me application has several efficient features like map editing, local guides, finance establishments locater, 3D buildings and others.

Highlight Features

Some of the distinct features of the Maps.me application that makes it stand out among others include:

Offline Maps

A major advantage of the Maps.me application is that it is completely offline. You can download all the necessary maps and store it on your device.

This will allow you to navigate without an internet connection, facilitating navigation in no-network areas, or when your phone has a low battery.

The maps are pretty detailed, covering not only typical bike and foot roads but hiking trails too.

You can easily use the application when you are backpacking, exploring a new city, driving, hiking or even trail running.

Such data with accurate names is not available on other applications, that are limited to the data they have themselves scanned.

Easy Offline Search

One of the most remarkable features of this application is that it allows users to search while not connected to the internet.

Since the application uses OpenStreetMap data, users can search the maps by name, category, address or even coordinates of the location. This feature is extremely helpful when traveling to a different city or country.

When you want to search for something by geographical proximity, category search proves to be extremely helpful.

For instance, you can easily find the closes gas station, ATM, pharmacy, etc. The default categories in the app include: Shops, lodging, transport, food, finance, education, business, attractions, and entertainment.

Route Planning with Turn-by-turn Directions

Like most other GPS applications, the Maps.me application also provides turn-by-turn navigations. It must be noted that the app shows only the shortest route. While the turn-by-turn directions are accurate and decent, some alternatives do a better job.

Key Reasons to Use Maps.me

The Maps.me navigation application offers some pretty unique features and benefits to the users.

Some key reasons to use this GPS app include:

  • The app shows the location of speeding cameras on navigation itself. This will prevent you from getting a speeding ticket.
  • You can easily switch the mode of transportation or move to different areas without having to reload a new map, without any data requirement.
  • The app features one of the highest numbers of trails and provides accurate information for each of them. This is especially helpful for winter treks and trails.
  • The offline feature not only makes you independent from a data connection but does not take a toll on your phone’s battery also. This ensures great navigation in underground trains too.

Beneficial Integrations of Maps.me

Apart from the features listed already, the Maps.me application has several integrations that are worth mentioning.

These integrations promise a comprehensive navigation experience and make Maps.me much more than just an offline maps application.

Some of the integrations worth mentioning include:

  • Finding a hotel – You can easily find a hotel through the Booking.com portal using Maps.me. You can see the prices, distance, category, user reviews and other features of the hotel.
  • City Guides – Through the application itself, you can find a local guide in some specific cities.
  • Points of Interest – The users can view and update points of interest in the maps through Open street data. This could include restaurants, amusement parks, key businesses, etc.
  • Public Transportation – Maps.me is a unique application that allows route planning for public transportation too. However, for real-time public transportation navigation, you will need access to the internet.
  • Booking an Uber – Through a recent integration in the app, users can quickly book an uber to their destination.
  • Bookmarks and KML Imports – You can easily bookmark your favorite locations for later reference. The users can also save KML files downloaded from other sources.

The Maps.me is one of the best in the market and serves a go-to application for navigation. It can be comfortably used for biking, driving, walking or even hiking. It is no doubt that it is one of the most popular apps for both iOS and Android.

Overview of OsmAnd Maps and Navigation

OsmAnd-Maps-logo

In today’s fast-paced life, people need to move from one place to another and even one country to another.

OsmAnd is an extremely relevant application at such a time. It is an offline navigation application that provides limited free access worldwide and offers high-quality offline maps.

It is an open-source and still being developed. Everyone can contribute to this application, which may range from reporting bugs to coding new features.

The name OsmAnd stands for Open Street Map with Automated Navigation Directions. 

The Function of The OsmAnd App Navigation

The free and open-source OpenStreetMap data is used to operate this application. Through the app, you can download map regions to your device for free.

However, you can have limited downloads for free, before buying the paid version. 

The navigation function included in this app that allows the users to reach their destination in a hassle-free way.

While using the app, you need to start the navigation by using the navigation buttons on the screen. Setting your starting and endpoint of a journey is essential afterwards.

You can get the navigation button from the context menu. When you select your points and tap the navigation button, it will guide you with a route. 

Several profiles are available for creating a route in OsmAnd, which you can set based on the vehicle and traffic conditions.

You can get your required navigation profile by going through the settings to OsmAnd development and then to App Profiles.

The app calculates the route by considering the traffic rules and weights. 

The app provides voice guidance also. You can choose your preferred language and get voice prompts in the language.

You can also mute the voice prompts when you do not need it, as there is such an option too. 

The navigation settings are designed in such a way that allows you to improve your trip by using a specific option. You can select the options like avoid toll roads, ferries, unpaved road or border crossing.

Besides, you will get the option to opt for the shortest way. It fulfils every specific requirement for routing of the user. 

Convenient Features of OsmAnd App

OsmAnd app is designed with several default features. There is a possibility to add more in future.

Plugins are offered for free often to help the users in specific situations. From routing of your destination to better parking, it enables the users with multiple convenient feature options.

Map Viewing

It supports to carry accurate and detailed maps on your device. You can see your position and orientation on the map and save the places that you visit frequently.

The specialized online tile map and satellite view are displayed on the map screen. As it is for global users, it also displays the names of the places in English, local or phonetic spelling.

Navigation

Although the navigation works offline, you can get online option too. There are no roaming charges applicable, when you go abroad.

It provides proper voice guidance, whenever you need to take a turn. Traffic warnings are given when the speed limit is exceeded, and in case of pedestrian crosswalks.

Although it is optional, you can get lane guidance and display of street name and estimated time. If you go to the wrong route, it provides an automatic rerouting option.

You can easily search for places by type, address or geographical coordinates. 

Online GPS Tracker

The online GPS tracker is a newly introduced feature that allows you to see the contacts saved on your device on the map of OsmAnd.

This feature is very convenient considering the social aspects. Telegram is the most open social platform because of having an Open API and Open SDK. For this reason, this platform is utilized for Open Serve implementation in this app.

As OsmAnd is independently associated with a telegram, you can share your location with your contacts without having the telegram app on your mobile. 

Ruler

The ruler is a feature implemented in the app to rule out the requirements like measuring the direct distances on the map.

When you do not need a route in detail, you can use it to see the distance between two cities or how far you are from your destination.

You can use it by enabling the option named ‘Two-point ruler’. 

Travel Guide

OsmAnd app is not just the navigator, but also the travel guide for the users. You can get offline guides for any destination.

It is dependent on the Wikivoyage, where various articles are available with detailed information about different destinations.

From transport options to shopping, you can get every detail and up-to-date information about the place. 

Final Thoughts

OsmAnd app is being developed every day. For instance, the Travel Guide option was included in the 3.0 version of this app. The latest version is OsmAnd 3.4, which is introduced very recently with some major improvements and additional features.  

The Best GPS Devices for Tourists Under $150

best-gps-devices
best-gps-devices

The markets are flooded with a variety of costly and fancy GPS devices for hikers

With the vast sea of choices, it has become difficult to find a GPS device within the budget that offers all the required features for easy navigation.

When looking for a GPS device, searching the market to find the best one can prove to be quite an ordeal. To help you out with the process, here are some of the best GPS devices for you under $150.

Let us take a detailed look at them here:

Garmin Drive 51 USA LM GPS Navigation System

There is no question when it comes to the reliability of Garmin GPS devices.

This simple GPS device brings together the right set of features to help you feel comfortable in an unknown city. With a TFT 5-inch navigation screen, the GPS device provides traffic information for free.

The device even highlights key areas of interests nearby. Featuring a spontaneous user interface and offering clear instructions turn-by-turn, reaching your destination is a breeze with the Garmin Drive 51.

Priced decently, this is one of the best GPS devices available for people who want to stick to their budget and still want the best available GPS device with necessary features in their vehicle.

Garmin Speak

With voice search gaining widespread popularity, the Garmin Speak has become a favorite among many.

This is perfect for the ones who do not want the bulky screen and wish to hear voice directions instead. It offers a combination of GPS navigation and Alexa – Amazon’s digital assistant.

The device offers directions along with other stuff like audiobooks, music streams, weather, and news updates, etc. The Garmin Speak can be connected to the car via Bluetooth or using an auxiliary cable for older car models.

The device does a very decent job at recognizing commands even if the street is noisy. 

TomTom Via 1425M

The TomTom Brand is another one that has made its mark in the GPS industry, offering some great GPS apps and devices.

This particular device is a pocket-friendly option for those who want basic navigation and aren’t looking for a lot of features.

Eliminating the glittering features, the TomTom Via 1425M combines all the necessary features that any motorist wishes to have in a GPS device.

The device swiftly ensures that you never miss a turn and even offers lane guidance so that you know if you should drive the middle lane or the right one.

With 30 different languages, it also features maps of Mexico and Canada.

TomTom Go Live 1535 TM

While the previous TomTom GPS device offers simply the basics, this GPS device goes all out and offers a wide range of captivating features.

One of the strongest features of the portable navigation device is its vast range of live updates like fuel prices, traffic updates, weather forecasts, lane instructions and much more.

The GPS device allows easy integration of applications like Google, Trip Advisor, Expedia, Yelp, etc, facilitating easy searching of destination.

The users can also connect to Twitter and related apps to keep their family and friends updated about their expected time of arrival and current location. This is much safer than texting updates.

Garmin Nuvi 2639 LMT

Since the focus of the article remains on the best GPS devices for tourists, it would be unreasonable to not mention an RV GPS device.

Since RVs are subject to different road laws due to their bulky size and weight, the standard GPS devices do not satisfy the needs of the recreational vehicle.

The intuitive user interface allows you to know the locations coming up ahead without leaving your map. Bright arrows point to the lane that you should be driving along with voice guidance for turns.

The device is compatible with a backup, wireless camera and has millions of points of interest preloaded into the maps. 

ITEQ 48-inch GPS Car HUD

Not from Garmin or TomTom, the pioneers in the GPS industry, the ITEQ Car HUD is definitely the most unique one on the list.

Offering all the basic features of a GPS device, the device allows you to switch between KMH and MPH speed units. The HUD eliminates the need for drivers to look down on their dashboard by displaying the traffic information on the windshield.

The GPS device is also capable of alarming you when you cross the speed-limit pre-set by yourself on the device. The device provides real-time altitude, time, direction and speed information too.

Conclusion

These are some of the best GPS devices on the market right now, that fall under the $150 bracket. When choosing a device, look for one that offers the best navigation and the desired features.

Do not get dazzled by the innumerable features and compromise on the service quality.

Pros and Cons of Employee GPS Tracking for Companies

gps-tracking-monitoring-systems-for-employees

The utilization of GPS tracking has grown immensely within the last few years.

Apart from national and individual purposes, now it plays a huge role in the industrial field too. Large and small companies are now using GPS devices to track and monitor their employees.

The success of every business lies in the productivity of the employees. They need to be efficient and do a job wholeheartedly without wasting any time is of prime importance.

Business owners feel that GPS tracking on employees is a great way to ensure that they are working properly. However, is the situation really as they think, or is the reality is a bit different from their view? Let us dig into this matter to know better.

Advantages of Employee GPS Tracking:

Business efficiency

At present the online reputation of a business is quite dependent on a bad review from a customer. To build a great reputation, it is crucial to provide your employees with the fastest routes and monitor them 24/7. You cannot afford a vehicle go out of route or the delivery would be delayed, resulting in offering a dissatisfactory service to a customer. GPS tracking the drivers help them to provide an efficient service by wasting the least amount of time. 

Standard of employee

Tracking the employees with GPS tracking lets the employer gauge how efficient and honest the drivers are. By monitoring the drivers, it is possible to gauge any unethical behavior as well as working at a high standard.

Convenient

GPS tracking devices are a lot more practical to use. General time-tracking tools are outdated, and the infrastructure takes a lot of time. However, with GPS tracking, the business owner can get rid of his time clock and processing rooms. This space can be used for other purposes. Moreover, the complete GPS tracking process can be taken care of from a smartphone only. So, although it is a bit of a hassle to change your system suddenly, GPS tracking is a worthy solution.

Cost-effective

Apart from space, it is cost-effective to adapt to GPS tracking on employees. The old type of infrastructure, business owners had to continue investing while building new sites. Although a login computer or a time clock does not cost a business too much, it is still a cost that can be eliminated by using GPS trackers. By saving little by little, the savings will add up to a large amount and help a business to grow. Moreover, GPS tracking will help to save a notable cost of fuel that can be wasted if vehicle drivers take more time to reach their destination or go on the wrong route.

Businesses that have gained benefits from employee GPS tracking

There are many companies around the world that have been benefited by employee GPS tracking. A few of them are –

  • Lowitt Alarm of Hicksville, New York.
  • Fire Alarm Maintenance Company, Aspen.
  • Hawk security services, Texas.

Disadvantages of using employee GPS tracking

Although GPS tracking has many benefits, it also has some downfalls as well. 

Breach of privacy

First of all, it requires the company to install a tracking app on the personal phones of the employees. It is important that the employee knows how to disable the feature, or sensitive data can be accessed by the company and the activities of the employee can be monitored outside work too. This is a serious breach of privacy of the employees. If the employees are not notified that they are being monitored and they get to know about it later, then they may feel that the employer does not trust them, which can leave a negative impact on their morale.

Manipulation

GPS tracking is not a perfect infrastructure with no mistake either. No matter how you monitor your employees’ activities, the feature is still open to mistakes and abuse. Employees can change the settings of the tracking apps in their free time so the result can be convenient for them. Although, not many employees have the technical skills or desire to do so, yet the risk still remains.

Technical Error

Even without any malice from the employees, the tracking apps can dysfunction due to some inevitable situations. For instance, change in time zone, bad WIFI, or an employee having his phone lost or stolen can lead to errors. Most of the problems can be fixed easily, but some unexpected incidents are bound to result from these. Before the problem is fixed, some bugs will take place and cause the company to lose money on tracking software and apps.

Ever since GPS tracking has been introduced, it has benefitted different sectors in several ways, and commercial sectors are no different. Although they have a few disadvantages, they still help businesses to enhance productivity and save money.

We Can Track Litter. Really?

no-pollution

Yes.

With the help of GPS and online interactive maps, it has now become possible to precisely track the movement of litter.

In an initiative by RMIT University – the Litter Trackers project, the university’s scientists, community groups and schools will be working together to dispose of 100 bottles with GPS tracking, over 20 locations across Melbourne.

The Litter Trackers Project

The Litter Trackers project has been collaboratively undertaken by Melbourne Water and the RMIT University. As per the belief of the project leader, this will help the residents of Melbourne in understanding the true environmental impact of the litter issue.

An astounding 95% of the total litter found on the beaches of Port Phillip Bay is originated from the suburban streets, including the massive number of cigarette butts (about 350,000) that wash into the bay every year.

With proper use of online interactive maps, people will be able to follow the movement of the bottles and understand the rapid pace at which litter moves through the waterways.

The crucial aim of the project is to explain to people how each and every one can participate in solving the issue.

The leader of the Little Tracker project, Dr. Kavitha Chinathamby said that the project would give everyone a chance to understand the gravity of the situation.

“From cigarette butts to plastic bottles, the litter we drop on our streets finds its way into our waterways and washes up on our beaches,” Dr, Chinathamby said.

She further added that litter is responsible for reducing the water quality, harming animals and fishes and running the natural beauty of the city.

Expressing her thoughts on dealing with the issue, she said that, “To build a more sustainable and livable future for Melbourne, we need healthy waterways – and that means we need to tackle our litter problem at the source.”

D. Kavitha truly believes that the Litter Tracker project would allow everyone to contribute towards driving this change to create a clean and healthy future for the bays and waterways of the city.

A Step Closer Towards Change

The project is a unique initiative to track litter in Victoria.

It is in fact, only the second attempt to track litter using GPS in the Australian waterways. Naomi Dart, the Litter and Waterwatch Coordinator for Melbourne Water say that the project will serve as a great learning tool for not only students but the community in general.

Dart says, “People often don’t realize that the rubbish they drop in their suburban street ends up right here in our rivers and streams carried by stormwater through our waterways. The Litter Tracker technology shows us this in real time.”

Being a part of Melbourne water, she expresses how the company spends millions of dollars every year to clean litter from the waterways. She trusts that the project will remind everyone how important it is to use bin litter.

As an extended part of the project, teaching resources and classroom materials will also be developed to implement education of school children on the cons of littering and its drastic impacts on the environment.

The Little Trackers Project

The Little Trackers initiative has received complete support from the Victorian Government, identifying it as an opportunity to eliminate the issue of littering. RMIT University’s Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group (AQUEST) is responsible for leading the initiative.

AQUEST works alongside community groups, schools, industry partners and the government to support clean and healthy waterways across the city.

The group is accredited with the development of unique and innovative methods to prevent pollution of creeks, rivers, and bays.

Identifying the dilapidating condition of Melbourne’s water bodies and the gigantic number of cigarette butts collected in clean-ups, the group understood the need for an educational initiative.

The plastic litter dumped into the waterways entangle the mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish; causing severe injuries and even death by huge numbers.

This litter further breaks down into tiny pieces of microplastic, about 600 million pieces of which make it to the Bay each year.

The toxic chemicals on these butts and microplastics hold potential to spread out and pollute the surrounding water and soil. If swallowed by organisms, they can cause severe health effects.

It’s important to be responsible and do our best to keep pollution away from some places. Tracking little project might be a good way to ensure that litter decreases and we can do our bit to save the environment.

The Little Tracker project has been undertaken in light of such facts and figures. Through the tracking of litter, the project can explain to people how litter from the city too impacts the environment, not only the litter on the beaches.

Even by limiting the litter by a small margin, there will be a drastic improvement in the condition of the waterways.

GPS Tracker Saved My Child (true stories)

child

An integral part of growing up and becoming independent is going out either with friends or alone.

Whilst the safety of children is always a major concern, allowing them to go out by themselves simply adds to the woes and anxiety of parents.

It becomes necessary to implement safety measures and to take precautionary steps to ensure their safety when you are not around them.

Many parents have entrusted GPS tracking devices and software to monitor the actions of their children and guarantee their safety. The technology has been fruitful in implementing children safety in society.

Let us take a look at five true incidents where GPS tracking saved the life of a child:

The Subway Ride

In 2015, a 17-year-old boy, Hanzel Nunez fled home without informing anyone. The autistic child had a habit of wandering off, leaving his family tensed about his safety.  

In 2015, wandering the streets of New York City alone, Hanzel went on to ride the subway. The subway is a place where no parent would want their teenagers to be alone and the child in question here was autistic.

Luckily, the GPS tracking device Nunez was wearing was successful in tracking his location.

The fact that he was wearing a Santa hat also facilitated the officers in looking for him, serving as a visual reference.

After thoroughly searching various train routes, the police were able to find Hanzel at almost three in the morning. Nunez had apparently explored three out of the five boroughs in New York.

The Brave Utah Boy

Aiden, a brave boy from Utah saved himself from being kidnapped using his GPS tracking device and his impeccable presence of mind. Just nine years old, Aiden was almost kidnapped when he was walking to see a friend.

An SUV drove up to him and a man tossed him into the rear of the car. While he was trying to seal the boy’s mouth with duct tape, Aiden managed to leap off the vehicle.

Having hurt his ankle when he jumped out, Aiden displayed quick thinking and hid in a nearby dumpster. Resourcefully using his GPS Device, he gave his parents a call from the gadget he wore.

His parents were able to quickly find him and took him to safety immediately. The police were informed and went on to look for the kidnapper.

Missing in the Woods

Only 11 years old, Brett went missing into dense woods for almost 90 minutes, suffering from autism. While taking a walk with his parents in a large area, Brett mischievously ran away. Though his father tried hard, he was unable to keep up with Brett, who soon went out of sight.

The vast area lined with innumerable trees and even a pond, his parents knew they had to find Brett as soon as they could. Fortunately, Brett was wearing his GPS tracking device.

Using the tracker, they were able to monitor his real-time location and provide this data to the search and rescue team looking for Brett. Soon enough, they were able to find the boy and with the GPS tracker’s aid.

Fighting Sexual Predators

In August 2015, a brave woman in Texas saved her 15-year daughter with the help of the GPS tracker. The little girl who was suffering from Asperger’s syndrome was given a GPS tracking device by her parents.

She often went for walks in her neighborhood, but this time, a sexual predator managed to lure her into a car. He threatened her to get in the car or he was going to hurt her, just at 150 yards from her home.

Fortunately, the parents were sent emails and SMS alerts by the GPS tracker since the little girl wasn’t on her regular route. Her mother immediately drove to the location specified by her daughter’s tracking device, while listening through the audio capabilities of the device.

Soon, she realized that the struggle sounds were indicative of a sexual assault. When the device was spotted by the attacker, the little girl told him that it was a GPS tracker that only her parents could remove using a special key. This scared the attacker and he decided to leave the girl back at the place where he had picked her from.

A Mother’s Fight for her Children’s Safety

Douglass and Donovan McDonough, 10 and eight respectively, had a habit of wandering off. Owing to their autism and multiple instances where the kids had just taken off, their parents decided to get the GPS tracking devices.

However, as the device could monitor audio too, the children’s school resisted the use of the tracking device, concerning the invasion of privacy of other students. After quite a struggle, their mother was able to convince the school of the need for the devices.

These five stories reflect how parents can monitor unusual changes in their’ children’s routines and keep them safe no matter what the age of their children.

Fitbit is the Best Fitness App in 2019

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Everyone must take their health and fitness very seriously. The world is not in great shape right now, and people are becoming more unwell due to an unhealthy lifestyle. It is time that you start working hard to get back in shape. With the assistance of great healthcare and fitness apps and gadgets, you can be fit in no time.

What do healthcare and fitness apps do?

There are mainly three types of functions that fitness apps have. Some of the apps are uniquely designed for a single function, and some apps can provide you with all of them. They are:

  • Workout apps that offer sets of exercises with a demonstration.
  • Diet and nutrition apps to help users make balanced food charts and follow them.
  • Activity tracker apps for tracking an individual’s physical activity like duration of sleeping steps taken in a day and calories burnt.

What is a great fitness app?

You can call a fitness app useful if it provides you with the following benefits –

  • Offering workout ideas.
  • Setting goals for an individual to achieve.
  • Offering yoga instructions.
  • Keeping track of an individual’s progress towards his goal.
  • Monitoring diet chart regularly.

Considering all criteria, Fitbit can be acknowledged as the best fitness app in 2019.

An Introduction to Fitbit

Fitbit was founded in 2017 by James Park and Eric N. Friedman. The founders wanted to invent an advanced wireless technology that will make people experience their fitness journey entirely differently. With their wearable products and apps, they have changed the way we take our fitness into account. With the Fitbit app and gadgets, the healthy and active lifestyle of people has been improved.

Fitbit the Fitness App

Fitbit fitness app is available all around the world, you can find it on the Apple store as well as the Google Play store to use from your phone. Moreover, the app is also available on windows store for opening on a computer. Various functions and tools of this app are –

Weight & Nutrition

  • Track weight
  • Measure hydration
  • Log food
  • Reach weight goals

Activity & Workouts

  • MobileRun
  • Exercise calendar
  • Track exercise
  • Exercise sharing

Day & Night

  • All-day activity
  • Sleep goals & tools
  • MobileTrack
  • Multi-tracker support

Motivation & Friends

  • Get notifications
  • Challenge friends and family
  • Earn badges
  • Stay connected

Fitbit Versa Lite

With Fitbit ruling the fitness tracker market, they are bringing fitness gadgets with the latest technology for the public such as wearable gadgets Inspire, Charge, Versa and Versa Lite. Although these are different in size, shape and price, all the products are excellent for maintaining a fit lifestyle. The Fitbit Versa Lite edition has won gold in the fitness category of T3 Awards, 2019 as the best fitness band.

The Features of Fitbit Versa Lite Edition Include:

  • Steps and calories: Tracking a person’s active minutes such as steps taken, distance walked, and calories burnt.
  • Sleep tracking: Tracking duration of sleep including light and deep sleep.
  • 24/7 heart rate: Watching over heart rate zones, resting heart rate trends etc.
  • 4+ day battery life: A great battery life to accompany you all the time, whether you are asleep or awake.
  • Swim-proof: 50m water resistance for swimming in the pool and ocean as well as getting in the shower.
  • 15+ exercise modes: Providing record workouts and live stats for yoga, run, bike etc.
  • Live pace and distance: Displaying stats during runs and rides by connecting to the GPS of the phone.
  • Notifications: Receiving all smartphone app notifications on the band if the phone is nearby.
  • Apps and clock face: Compatible with various apps like weather, sports, workouts etc. and clock face designs.
  • Female health tracking: Logging periods, gauge ovulation and receiving private alerts on the band.

Although Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Versa Lite has many common features, Versa Lite has won because of its reasonable price range. It is more preferable by the people that want a fitness band in the form of a smartwatch. However, you have to give up on some features like tap-to-pay, barometric altimeter, storing music and workout guide, but you have to keep in mind that these are not the important matters when it comes to fitness. You can opt to Versa and Versa special edition for these additional features, but that will cost you more.

The benefits of Versa Lite edition are –

  • A reasonable price range affordable by the majority of people.
  • Option to change bands and great color choices.
  • Core Fitbit and fitness features.

With the Fitbit fitness app, you can operate the fitness bands from your smartphone, which is a very convenient way of using the technology for the improvement of your fit lifestyle. With Fitbit Versa Lite being recognized as the best fitness band of this year, it is an established fact that Fitbit is the best app in 2019.

Main Concerns in Using GPS Tracking

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The GPS tracking system is highly efficient as it is supported by 24 satellites orbiting above the Earth.

Its popularity has grown immensely, especially in the last decade. GPS (Global Positioning System) is now used worldwide to track people, assets, and mainly vehicles.

With the tracking devices, you can not only track a vehicle but can also get the easiest and fastest route to your destination while driving. With the help of advanced technology, GPS devices nowadays are also able to alert the drivers about slow traffic.

There are more than fifty GPS devices for you available in the market to choose from. To make the best use of it, there are certain factors you must be concerned about before purchasing a GPS tracking device:

Purpose of the device

When you choose a device, you must consider what you are going to use it for. The capability and accuracy of a GPS tracker depends on how and for what it is designed.

You may use it for navigating the road with a car or bike, outdoor recreation like geocaching, hiking, or fishing; or it may be used for tracking an object, a person, a vehicle of a fleet for business. The clearer your purpose gets, the better it is for choosing a GPS tracker.

Battery life

The battery life of your GPS tracker must be more than enough, or it may affect its function. If a device has a low battery life, then the device will not be able to report its information properly. You can choose any of these options –

Purchasing GPS trackers with built-in motion sensors powered with a portable battery. These trackers use minimal power when they are still.

Carrying power banks with you to charge your GPS devices when required.

Carrying a fresh set of spare batteries with you.

Using a power adapter to use as an alternative of batteries.

Waterproof or not

A vehicle can have water splashes on it, but if the GPS tracker gets damaged from it, then it is a wastage of money.

So, you need a device that will be resistant to water splashes occasionally, so the internet wiring and the memory chip are not damaged.

This feature is especially important to consider if the GPS tracking device is being used for cars, trucks, drones, boats, kids or pets.

Notification alert

When you are using a real-time GPS tracking device, the notification alerts are very important.

They make the tracking safer, more efficient and managed properly. With this feature, you will get an alert by email on your mobile phone when the vehicle is speeded up excessively, entering or exiting certain areas, or a change has occurred in the driving behavior.

It is helpful in avoiding costly and unsafe activities for the vehicle.

Cost of the device

Generally, devices with passive tracking are more affordable than real-time trackers.

The reason is simple, while you can get to monitor 24 hours with real-time trackers and get notification alerts, with passive solutions, you are only able to monitor your vehicles when they are back to the headquarters.

However, even if comparatively expensive, it is still better to get real-time trackers that ensure more security. The good news is that the monthly wireless fees have reduced over the last few years, so real-time trackers are no more as expensive as before.

On the contrary, passive trackers are being costlier because of the WIFI infrastructure due to the regular maintenance it requires.

Memory

Another important factor to be concerned about is the memory of the GPS tracking device. Keep in mind that it is crucial for a tracker that it can support updating and uploading maps.

So, before purchasing a tracker, visit the website of the GPS tracker manufacturer to know how much memory it has and whether the memory is expandable as it will directly affect how many maps it can take into its memory.

Supporting app

The GPS tracker you are going to buy must have an App supported on a smartphone or you will not be able to access to many useful features.

With an app, apart from tracking, you can view the battery life of the tracking device, create and view geofences or safe zones and view and change your account settings.

Moreover, rather than email notifications, the notification alerts on an app can be received faster.

High-quality maps

It is not enough to have a basic and standard view of the map. The mapping quality of the GPS device must be high so that you can zoom in and out of the map as much as needed.

You will also be provided with different views like satellite view, birds eye, and street maps. Moreover, with the up-to-date maps, it will be easier to track the location of a vehicle accurately.

GPS tracking is an essential part of today’s lifestyle. So, consider these factors very carefully before you spend your money on it.