Track yourselfIrvine, California, So Cal

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Launch Site

Track yourself

By Pretty Good Starts

Screencast
Quick Intro

Sick of letting the big companies track you and keep your data? We set out to build a site that people can clone and run for themselves that will let them track themselves, keep their own data, and do what they want with it.

Description

Sick of letting the big companies track you and keep your data? We set out to build a site that people can clone and run for themselves that will let them track themselves, keep their own data, and do what they want with it.

In keeping with our team name, this is a pretty good start, but we have a ways to go before our vision is realized. The site allows uploading of GPS tracking data, either automatically using our PhoneGap app, or by directly uploading JSON. At this time we've implemented a minimal set of processing functions, notably the ability to identify destinations. We did not get a chance to finish up the UI, but you can get some functionality by typing.

Judging Instructions

When you first hit the site, you see nothing. Ya, we're lame. If you type in the device id 6c479162667e2769, you will see a series of purple lines and red polygons. The lines represent trips, and the polygons represent likely destinations.

The data that goes with the device id 6c479162667e2769 comes from our Android mobile client. We developed that just prior to this competition, but didn't reimplement it in time within the contest window

Users can upload their own data via the url http://pretty-good-starts.2013.nodeknockout.com/upload (yeah, you have to type that, we're lame). HOWEVER, it isn't recommended to do that because the data has to be JSON and formatted in a particular way, as we didn't finish the geojson importer inside the content time limits.

You can tune the algorithm for determining the clusters by playing with the other parameters in the dialog.

If you make the grid parameter big, say 10, you'll lump all the destinations together in one big polygon. If you make it small, say 0.001, it makes the server sweat a little more, and you more "destinations".

Similar things happen when you dial up the other parameters. If you make the max uncertainty 1, it will probably generate no "destination" areas at all. If you make it 10, you'll see more destinations.

The maximum speed parameters governs what it means to be "stopped". So if you make maximum speed something big like 10 (miles per hour), you will even see "destinations" painted along roadways, for example pesky stop lights and slow roads.

So this hints at how we intend to use this. By playing with these parameters, one can dial in things like traffic lights that you always hit, roadway sections that are always slow, and so on.

Pretty much that's it. The rest is vapor.

Mmm, vapor. Take a deep breath, imagine the possibilities.

What they Used

Our project is built on top of node.js, PostgreSQL, PostGIS and redis, and leverages many node.js packages, including express, node-postgres, node-redis. The geo-processing is done inside of PostgreSQL using PostGIS, and linking up users and geo data from devices is done using Redis. We use passport to allow logins via Twitter. And finally, our maps are generated using Leaflet and the awesome OpenStreetMap maps.

Who

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Other Votes

  • (4)
  • judge

    RivalIQ

    I have a soft spot for map tracking apps, having built one before (for electric vehicles), and so great to see this! As you cover in the intro, this is a good start but still early. I'd like to see the data preprocessed at high-ish resolution so that rendering is fast for the user, its pretty laggy right now. Have less config options in the UI, make good defaults. Add easy hookups to your phonegap app (i didn't get to try this part out -- maybe this is done?). All kinds of fun things you can do with this data.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks taking the time to be a judge, and thanks for the positive feedback. We're still working on this and have made great progress, just not on the contest site! When this is all over, I'd be happy to share a link to our much improved application if you're interested.

      The lagginess is due to the postgres db on the ubuntu instance...not enough RAM to really crank the data.

  • judge

    Sequoia Capital

    I really like the idea. It seems timely and while I've seen some tools that help you track what's being tracked, I'm not familiar with a site/app that does it with real information. The negatives are all the things the team acknowledges in its description re: completeness, design, etc.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks for reviewing our app, and in general for taking the time to be a judge. We're going to keep pushing on this. Thanks for your comments.

  • judge

    KISSmetrics

    The UI of the map with the polygons is neat. I just don't see how the product solves a problem for people.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks for taking the time to judge. We didn't make the case for our app with what we were able to finish.

  • contestant

    IOKI

    Missing a lot of ux but I like the idea

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks taking the time to review

  • contestant
    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks for voting

  • judge

    Recurly

    Just needs a function to get someone else's GPS data and then we're in business. Cool app.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Hi thanks for taking the time to be a judge. You are all awesome for that. And thanks for the positive words. We had every intention of integrating GPS babel and slurping up all kinds of data, but life intervened!

  • contestant

    Printly.pk

    couldn't try for obvious reasons, but sounds great!.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      thanks for reviewing, and thanks for the positive words

  • judge

    tenXer

    I'm not really certain why I would want this application. I already know where I've been and what trips I've taken, so what value is this providing on top of my brain's memory?

    Utility/Fun: For the quantified self enthusiast out there, I could see them being interested in something like this, but not as a service, especially from your pitch of not wanting to let someone else track your data.

    Design: I am not sure that I can comment on the design, as it doesn't look like there was any.

    Innovation: There are already quite a few applications out there that can take geoJSON and plot it across maps, so I'm a bit uncertain what about what's done here is all that new and exciting.

    Completeness: I wasn't able to upload a file since there wasn't any sample format given.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      I agree with your assessment of what we produced. This is great feedback going forward for us.

  • contestant

    CARFAX

    Great idea. It could use a little polishing, but overall it's very useful.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks for the vote, and the very generous "completeness" stars!

  • contestant

    I love data visualization and think that this is a really neat idea! I would love to see it completed.

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Hi thanks for the vote. We'd love to see it completed too, and will keep working.

  • contestant

    Industrial Web Apps

    • jmarca
      contestant

      Thanks for taking the time to vote on our app

IMPORTANT DATES

REGISTRATION
SEP 17
COMPETITION
NOV 9-11 UTC
JUDGING
NOV 11-17
WINNERS
NOV 18

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