How to Build Your Own Real Time GPS Tracking System

By Rachael Smithey

Real-time GPS tracking systems provide live tracking of people and objects for safety, personal interest and asset management. Real-time GPS tracking systems can be expensive to purchase and difficult to install. You can build your own real-time GPS tracking system by simply using a GPS-enabled cell phone and the InstaMapper free GPS-tracking software.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell phone with unlimited data plan, built-in GPS and Java MIDP-2.0 application support
  • InstaMapper account and software (free)

The Steps

Step 1

Create a free InstaMapper account at the Instamapper website (See Resources for link). Click on the emailed link to activate your account. Log in to InstaMapper with your user name and password. Click "Devices" > "Add a new device."

Step 2

In the Device label text box, and enter an identifying name for your phone. Select "Imperial units." Click the "Add" button.

Step 3

In the New Device screen, note the 13-digit device key assigned to your phone. Download and install the GPS Tracker application on your phone, using the link for your phone's make and model.

Step 4

Open the GPS Tracker application on your phone. Enter the 13-digit device key. Click "Save."

Step 5

Log in to InstaMapper to view markers (waypoints) and segments (tracks) sent by your phone to Google Maps. View Time, Altitude, Speed, Heading, Latitude and Longitude.

Step 6

To organize historical data into saved tracks, click "Devices." Click the "Data" link next to the device name. Left-click on the start and end waypoints of your track.

Step 7

To embed a map of your current location on a blog, website or Facebook, click "Devices." Click the "Sharing" link next to the device name. At the Enable Sharing for this Device prompt, click "OK."

Step 8

On the Location Sharing page, select from the options to send a direct URL, install the Facebook application, or use the wizard to generate the HTML code for embedding a map.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you have an unlimited data plan, as InstaMapper GPS tracking is data-intensive.
  • InstaMapper requires a reciprocal link If you embed a map on your blog or website.
  • InstaMapper prohibits tracking a person or object without consent.

References & Resources