Map It! is a free application for Android powered mobile devices available for download in Google Play Store.
Although this is my second mobile app in Play Store, this app was my original concept of a mapping tool for my own needs. As I began to use the original prototype in the field I quickly realized it needed more features to become a location sharing tool as well as a mapping and navigation tool.
My part time job includes incorporating different locations to travel to almost every time I travel my route every three days. These locations are remote where there are often no road signs to go by. Getting good verbal directions to a new location is oftentimes difficult and confusing. The directions given to me usually does not include the fact that I may have to take a different route than the one used by my co-workers.
Now my co-workers can use the Map It! SMS text share which then gets imported into my own list of locations. I can then decide on the best route to get there which decreases the amount of travel time required if done the old way.
So it has already proven to increase productivity which is greatly appreciated by the company I am working part time for and I consider that a big win already!
Map It! has already become a very useful tool for me and this version is a reflection of many hours and days of testing in the field. My usual routes are in rural areas with very spotty to no cell service so responding to poor communications has been quite challenging and time consuming.
This version was an effort to improve reliability of the Navigation Map under difficult situations. I replaced the new Google Activity Recognition Service with an algorithm of my own design improving the map’s responsiveness to user movements and reliability.
I will have an opportunity to do more extensive testing tomorrow and if there is no show-stopping feedback from volunteer testers in the DevLab, then I will publish this version to Google Play for release to the general public.
I have several ideas based on my own needs for future enhancements including new features. But for now, more field testing and updating the info page for Map It! on this site will be my primary concern.
I wasn’t happy with the performance of the Google Activity Recognition Service as it was creating problems with the response to user movements during navigation.
Taking it out and replacing it with my own algorithm not only reduced the overall size of the application but has improved performance significantly. Future enhancements will largely address user interface elements.
If you would like to see additional features added such as an automated emergency notice which shares your current location via SMS. Please let me know in the comments below or contact me via Google+ or Facebook.
Now testing for user workflow, performance and discovery of problems which show up on different devices.
If you are interested in getting a preview and helping me with your feedback on problems and usability, consider joining the Dusty Reins DevLab Community on Google+. Your response will help me decide when it is ready to publish to the public on Google Play. More information getting access to the Beta is available in the DevLab.
I am really excited about this app because it is a working tool for me. Therefore, It gets a lot of practical testing from me! ha! Future enhancements are in the works which is useful to me in my part-time job.
I would like to hear from you about how you use the app as well. You can comment below or on my Google+ and Facebook pages in addition to the DevLab community page.
This version of Spot It! gives users the ability to mark and save any Spot It! location on a map. The new feature is available by a long-press on a map location you want to navigate to.
Another feature makes use of Google’s Activity Recognition Service (which is still subject to refinement) that will adjust how frequently your location is updated. Now, Spot It! will adjust update frequency depending if you are still, walking, biking and in a vehicle. The main concern here is to help conserve your battery power as much as possible.
I have also incorporated the mapping engine I developed for my second app Map It! which is currently in Best testing. There were a few bugs discovered in the previous version and those have been squashed.
Let me know down below if you experience any problems using Spot It! or if you have suggestions for additional features and enhancements.
Map It! is now available for early review and testing by members of the Dusty Reins DevLab.
I have written up some preliminary information about Map It! and the new features it supports under the Mobile Apps link at the top of the page. I am really excited about this app because it is the concept I had for my first mobile app and the one I really need to use for the work I do in photography and nature exploration.
I think I can have some fun with it too. Imagine getting a text from me sharing the location of a stash of Lone Star beer. If you have the Map It! app you will be able to navigate right over there with no problem by importing the GeoCoded text right into the app. Otherwise, you can use a Google Map link and you will be on your own to find your way there.