33 Quick Stories about Tracking People

Last night I got a phone call from a relative, looking for a solution to help track her father when he has a problem. She contacted me because she knows that I have a passion for and have many years of involvement in supporting companies who track things, like people, vehicles, pets and other things.

iPhone 275Her father has had a stroke which left him unable to talk or communicate effectively, but his other faculties are fine. He still drives, but last week his car broke down and whilst he’s handy and sharp, today’s cars, like his, are an engine surrounded by computers. You can’t grab your screwdriver out and tap at a circuit board (which reminds me,  must book my car in, which has just been recalled because of a faulty circuit board).

I worked as Sales & Marketing Manager for 8 years for a mapping company supplying mapping data, API’s and SaaS applications to car navigation companies, fleet management companies and a variety of clients from insurance, field service, logistics, government and much more.

I had a strong passion for helping clients to produce a commercial solution for people like her Dad, as well as people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, people with allergies, elderly people who still had mobility, diabetics and more. It was a real struggle and continues to be, perhaps because it is such a small market, but it is a needy market all the same. If I had the capital I would have entered the personal tracking market in New Zealand and Australia myself, because I feel we are dismally served. But I don’t and it seems that pretty much outside of international mail order products, there isn’t a lot available here, which is very sad, as I receive Police reports pretty much daily about missing people and that is of course just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, with that preamble, I thought if you are interested in the concepts of being able to track people, whether that is tracking people who may need your help, or tracking people you may need protection from, here is a deep dive of some of my articles on this blog. 33 different quick but interesting stories about tracking people. I hope you like them and would welcome your feedback and comments.

33 Quick Stories about Tracking People.

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11 Power Tips To Increase Your Facebook Engagement – Jeffbullas’s Blog

Facebook has over 800 million daily users. You have a fantastic opportunity to leverage it. Here are some power tips to increase your Facebook engagement.

Source: www.jeffbullas.com

I may have been noticeable by my absence in posting on this topic of late, so here’s one that caught my eye and is worthy of your time. If you spent just 5 minutes reading and 10 minutes acting on this blog, and repeating this every day for a week, I reckon you could see some significant results. That’s what you’re reading this for right?

And it’s free!

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Innovative Approaches to Encourage Travelers to Help Manage Transportation in Metro Corridors

By Paul Minett, Chair of the Ridesharing Institute
Abstract: Travelers are doing a lousy job at assisting in successful traffic management, often absolving responsibility to others. We need to enco

Source: www.newcitiesfoundation.org

An excellent article from Paul Minett. Two things I particularly like. One I wrote on extensively in a blog earlier this week is about getting the road user, the driver, to recognise that they are a major part of the problem.

The other is about gamification. This is an untapped area and one that I feel is going to be needed in spades to get people to actively look for change. People love recognition, earning points, badges etc and these do not have to be expensive. Rewards for carpooling or ride sharing are a great example.

I’m a big fan of Kate McGonigal and her book Reality is Broken. I am currently looking for ways that we can turn a shift to ride sharing or onto public transport and gamification is an obvious way to move forward. It could be discounts on food or entertainment, or discounts on public transport, stickers on your car that have date stamps that allow you cheaper parking if you arrive in a car park with multiple passengers.

Do you have any ideas we could pursue?

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Understanding the Ebola epidemic – in 2 charts and 2 maps – Washington Post (blog)

More people will probably bring Ebola into the United States in the next month or so, but that shouldn’t be cause for alarm.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Relieved to know there is no cause for alarm. All cynicism aside, this is where maps can quickly illustrate trends. This is a very interesting problem. If you trap people in their geography you are more likely to scare them into escaping and as a consequence spreading the virus more quickly into other geographies.

The more frightening element is the bell curve.  Obviously what we are looking for is a sin wave, but that isn’t looking likely just yet.

The idealist in me wants to ask why we don’t put all our efforts into fighting this instead of fighting other people. A virus doesn’t care what you believe in, what color you are or where you come from. It has no respect for borders, governments or ideologies.

What sort of impact is it likely to have on tourism and travel, particularly air travel? We have seen lots of technologies that can monitor people’s temperature at airports, but what we have been told is that there is a reasonably lengthy incubation period during which time people do not display any symptoms, which is long enough to catch a flight to anywhere in the world.

That means that all countries need to be vigilant and prepared and maps like these become very important. Strategies become very important. Several years ago I was involved with the pilot of a Windows CE app for infectious diseases, which was designed to ask people who arrived in hospitals a series of questions around whether they had traveled overseas recently, or had come into contact with others who had.

With location based technologies, map solutions and cloud based scalable computing it would be possible for hospitals and health authorities around the world to share information in near real time to get a picture on what is happening including false positives.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

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Navman Wireless delivers BI to fleet management – iTWire

Navman Wireless’s new Adaptive Intelligence BI-as-a-service lets fleet managers make more sense of their data. Fleet management systems such as those…

Source: www.itwire.com

Interesting, its been a lot of years since I first presented to Navman Wireless on map based business intelligence with BIonaMAP. It would be cool to find out more about what they are offering, this story is light on detail. Roll out the case studies and examples.

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Traffic Congestion Costs Americans $124 Billion A Year, Report Says – Forbes

In 2013 traffic congestion costed Americans $124 billion. In 2030, this number will rise to $186 billion, if nothing is done to address the problem.

Source: www.forbes.com

There is a fundamental gap in my opinion in the way countries are looking at this problem. I wrote a treatise about this last week which I’m not going to share here because it is too long and you are unlikely to read it.

Fundamentally what it comes down to (and one of the reasons I joined the NZ Transport Agency, because they believe in customers and their needs) is a partnership with the customer.I am not writing this in any way on their behalf, these are strictly my opinions.

The more we invest in ‘systems’ the more the motorists expect that silver bullet. The more we talk about the systems we create, rather than the customer and their needs, the more likely it is that the customer sits back and expects us to solve the problems, when in fact the problem is ‘us’, the customers.

Our statistics tell us that 40% of people don’t check traffic conditions in any way before they depart on their journey. Research in large cities suggests that many people feel that the cost of living and working in a city is congestion and that there is nothing they can do about it.

On the other hand, research from TomTom the world leader in GPS car navigation, reveals that if 5% of motorists change their behaviour, delaying their journey, changing their route or mode of travel, 15% benefit.

People don’t seem to value their time, given that they don’t seem to be prepared to help themselves.

As a father, the family events, like sports, concerts, school visits, birthdays and other events are priceless. You can’t get them back. They aren’t just events, they have a lifetime impact on your relationship with your children, that they carry forward as adults. As a business person, arriving late for an important meeting can lose you business and reputation. What is that worth to you?

I work in Travel Information if you weren’t aware of that and I was recently given some really interesting information. We have a long weekend coming up and Kiwis love to travel to their bach, or holiday home. On the Monday, when they travel home, it seems that a large percentage of them think that everyone will maximize their long weekend and will go home late. So what happens? They all leave early and create major congestion around 1PM in the afternoon. What a waste of their day off!

So we are planing to share real time information on that public holiday and will try to spread that peak out, giving people a longer holiday and safer journeys back home because a side effect of the congestion is stress, accidents and a waste of the happy time people have just had.

Of course 40% of people won’t check before they go, but if we’re lucky 60% will, whether it is on TV, radio, car navigation like my favorite TomTom with real time traffic, our websites like http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/highway-info/road/7873/north-island.html, free email route and area alerts, or our social media. Hopefully they will make it better for everyone.

So what is your time worth? Are you going to check the traffic before you go? Do you realise that you are in fact the system? You are the traffic. It’s not all about Intelligent Transport Systems, important as they are.

You are a critical part of the intelligent transport system (ITS), it’s just that many of you choose not to use it. Crazy isn’t it, when most of the information is available for free.

I wasn’t going to get on my soapbox, but I ate some unhealthy lettuce on the weekend and have been itching to get back into helping people with their journeys. Now its up to you to help yourself. Will you check before you go? We’re talking about your time here. Where would you rather be?

Comments welcomed.

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Tiny GPS Tracking Device Locates Lost Pets – PSFK

Never lose your pet again

Source: www.psfk.com

You’re probably aware that tracking pets, people with certain conditions and assets has been a passion of mine for many years.

 

This product if it delivers on its promise sounds like one of the best I have heard of to date. Interchangeable batteries that last up to a week! That’s pretty much unheard of! A docking station to make charging easy and even some cool apps that let you see where your pet is, where it’s been, set up radius alerts, see how fast your dog is as it’s running away from you, and where it is on your smartphone. Best yet, they are talking a about retailing at $199 US.

 

It’s small, unobtrusive and nearly here. If you have a pet that wanders, or an old or sick one that disappears that you worry about, check this out. I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen so far. I was at one stage thinking of setting up a resale business for products like this.

 

If you buy one, let me know how it goes.

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