How it works ...

The flight following system combines the tracking information from several trackers and displays it on one screen.

The top of the screen has the site selection drop down menu and the page selection menu across the top.

Site Map

The site map page shows the most recent location of the trackers that have location data in the last twelve hours. If the data is less than an hour old, the icon is a green dot with the registration in black. If the data is older than one hour the icon is an orange dot with the registration in black.

If the two most recent locations reported are within one hundred meters, that is taken as a stationary tracker. If the most recent location is more than two kilometes from the site the icon is a solid red dot with the registration in black.

The orginal Spot tracker only sends a track point once, but the Spot 2 and 3 send the three most recent locations each time a track update is sent. Occasionally when the GPS loses location data the Spot will send the last point with a new timestamp, causing several location reports from the same location with a different time. This causes spurious red dots from the newer Spots. To check a track point to see if it is from a newer Spot, click on the icon and look at the infobox. It will have the ESN. An ESN starting with 0-7 is an original Spot. Later models started with 0-8.

The Spot 3 has motion detection and doesn't continue to send track points when it is stationary. This can cause the tracking system to not notice that the Spot is stationary. If you're worried about this, when you land out press the Help button. This will send a message every five minutes and should trigger the solid red dot on the tracking display.

Each icon is clickable and pops up an info box with more data. It also has a link to the track page for that individual tracker.

The site map should automatically scale to show all the active trackers registered to the site.

Database

The database page has a list of all the trackers registered to the site. Tracker registration information can be added or edited.

Track

The track page shows the track of an individual tracker on a day. The track points are numbered sequentially to show the direction of flight. Track points are shown with a green ring normally, but a red ring if within 100 meters of the previous point.

The icons are clickable and will pop up an infobox with the time of the trackpoint, location, distance from the site, and a link for driving directions.

Polling

The polling page allows the selection of which trackers are to be polled for data. Once selected polling occurs every 10 minutes. Polling continues for 12 hours and then stops. Polling is not continuous to avoid unnecessary load on the Spot server.

Landed

The landed page allows the selection of trackers which have landed and whose information should be suppressed to avoid cluttering the site map. Trackers can be landed and 'unlanded' any time. The tracker data (if any) is still being recorded, but isn't displayed on the site map page.

Active

The active page lists the trackers that are currently returning data. They are shown in order of age (in minutes) so you can see at a glance which trackers are up to date. The message type is shown to help troubleshoot trackers.