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I know that there are devices and services of various sophistication and price that use GPS and worldwide cellular all built-in to one convenient package... for a price.

I'm looking to do it with just a cell phone and the $15 SIM I usually buy at the destination country airport.

The main feature I want is to allow people to go to a map and see my track with timestamps for a week or two. That would mean pushing my position to the Internet every hour or so and then having that list plotted on a map when the user goes to a specific web location. I could easily write an app to push the location to a Google drive, but don't know where to find a service to plot it. Besides, I figured something like this is out there already.

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    If you can write a service to push data to Google Drive, why not add a service to plot it on Google Maps? :) – bipll May 21 '18 at 18:47
  • note that cell phone reception is not a given, especially in rural or little inhabited areas. you might be for days without a cell phone connection. Satellite phones solve that issue. – Aganju May 21 '18 at 19:13
  • Doesn't literally every fitness app do this, or am I misunderstanding the question? Also, Google may be tracking your location history and plotting it on a map already. – choster May 21 '18 at 22:12
  • @choster Literally every fitness app records your position every second, while OP asks for a per-hour regular checkins. Besides I'm not sure a typical fitness app can record a two-week long activity. 0_o – bipll May 22 '18 at 11:50
  • @bipll, I don't want to host a server. If there's a way to have one public link that would plot the data I save to my drive without the need to set-up a server, please advise! – Dale May 23 '18 at 18:36
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Open Source

There is an app called gpslogger that will provide some the functionality; it covers the part that "could easily be written" to push the location.

This Android app has the ability to periodically post your phone's GPS position in many formats. The frequency of posting may be customized. If one had access to a web site that would accept HTTP requests, this app could feed your location to that web site, and that web site could display a map. This is not the desired solution since the question is about finding:

..a service to plot (the locations).

As a substitute to getting your positions onto a tracking map on the web somewhere, gpslogger has been extended to send email, but this version is not on the play store, so getting working requires being an Android developer. This version may some day be extended to work with Spotwalla, but doesn't currently do that.

Non-Free

There is an app called Bubbler GPS Pro ($9.99), that will upload to Spotwalla. The lite version only allows 5 stored positions, so isn't useful, except to see if it's worth buying the Property version. I'm not sure how Spotwalla makes money, but they say they don't charge for their services, so this appears to be a $10 one time cost. Or possibly free if the points persist on Spotwalla and you don't care to save them locally in your phone. The pro version allows pictures too, so might be worth buying for that feature.

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    That might be just what I need to finish my attempt. BTW locatoweb does a lot of what you're asking for. I'm trying to write my own because I'd like to plot the planned route on the same map. If I get mine working It will be opensource, but will need hosting. – Chris H May 25 '18 at 9:37
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    @ChrisH, LocaToWeb looks like a good solution. I might enhance the above answer with your idea at some point when I get a minute. – Dale May 25 '18 at 22:31
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Since your own answer allows the possibility of having access to a webserver, you might consider μlogger. This free (as in freedom, it's GPLv3) Android app comes in two halves, an on-phone client, and an on-server viewer, apparently written in PHP, for the uploaded tracks.

Disclaimer: I have no connection with the project, I just fired up my fdroid client and did a bit of searching.

  • Thanks for the ulogger idea. Might be good for someone who already has a server where they can host the viewer. – Dale May 25 '18 at 22:33

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