Maps, location data and tracking

On an ‘advanced map’, you can add location data to a map layer (point, line or polygon, depending on the type of location field it is mapped to). Note - live tracking is beta functionality in the native app versions only; the browser-based version is still in development.

Assumptions

You have an advanced map, with one or more layers defined. The layers may contain point, line or polygon data.

Adding data

To add data, navigate to your map screen, and tap the ‘+’ icon; you’ll then need to choose the layer you want to add location data to - the type of data on each layer (ie point, line or polygon) is indicated in brackets after the layer name.

Then select how you want to add the data. When adding to a layer with polygon or line location data, you get 4 choices:

  • background tracking
  • record path automatically
  • track and manually add points
  • manually add points

Layers containing only point data only have the last 2 choices available: ‘track and manually add points’ or ‘manually add points’.

Background tracking will will allow the app to track you in the background - for instance do other things within Buzzy or switch to other apps altogether; it will keep tracking in the background (more on this below). All the other options require you to keep the app open and on the current screen.

The tracking and automatic recording options all require you to choose the mode of movement (eg walking, or driving) - the device needs this to calculate how often to drop points and how sensitive to be to speed or direction changes.

Record path automatically (line or polygon layers only)

Will track you (with app in foreground only), and drop points automatically to define the line or polygon.

To use this:

  • select the plus ‘+’ icon on the map screen
  • choose the layer you want to add data to
  • choose ‘Record path automatically’ from the tracking menu
  • choose your tracking mode (eg walking)
  • click the ‘Start’ button
  • to finish, click the ‘Done’ button
  • you then have the option to save your data, discard and quit tracking, or resume tracking
  • if you choose to save the data, you will be presented with the form view of the layer you are adding to - so you can edit or complete the other fields if required, and submit your data to the layer.

Track and manually add points (point, line or polygon layers)

Will track you (with app in foreground only), but not drop points. You need to manually drop points at your current location whenever you want to add a point (eg whenever you change direction, or reach a POI).

To use this:

  • select the plus ‘+’ icon on the map screen
  • choose the layer you want to add data to
  • choose ‘Track and manually add points’ from the tracking menu
  • choose your tracking mode (eg walking)
  • the map will begin tracking you
  • whenever you want to drop a marker at your current location on the map, tap the ‘marker’ button at the bottom of the screen
  • a new point/marker will be added to the map
  • to finish, click the ‘Done’ button
  • you then have the option to save your data, discard and quit tracking, or resume tracking
  • if you choose to save the data, you will be presented with the form view of the layer you are adding to - so you can edit or complete the other fields if required, and submit your data to the layer.

Manually add points (point, line or polygon layers)

Does no tracking - you just tap on the map at the spot you want to position a point.

To use this:

  • select the plus ‘+’ icon on the map screen
  • choose the layer you want to add data to; the type of data on each layer (ie point, line or polygon) is indicated in brackets after the layer name
  • choose ‘Manually add points’ from the menu
  • simply tap on the map to add a point at that location
  • for layers with line and polygon data, you can add multiple points
  • to finish, click the ‘Done’ button
  • you then have the option to save your data, discard, or resume
  • if you choose to save the data, you will be presented with the form view of the layer you are adding to - so you can edit or complete the other fields if required, and submit your data to the layer.

Background tracking (line or polygon layers only)

Background tracking turns on a single instance of background tracking (you can only run one background tracking task at a time). It will automatically track you and drop points as required to outline a path or polygon (depending on the layer you chose to add to). It can do this in the background, so you can switch to other tasks or to other apps etc, and it will keep tracking.

Background tracking has an extra step - you need to save the layer row before you can start, so it has somewhere to save the data.

To use this:

  • select the plus ‘+’ icon on the map screen
  • choose the layer you want to add data to; the type of data on each layer (ie point, line or polygon) is indicated in brackets after the layer name
  • choose ‘Background tracking’ from the tracking menu (if you are already running an instance of background tracking, it won’t be available)
  • choose your tracking mode (eg walking)
  • a form for that layer will appear - complete any required fields and hit submit
  • background tracking will start automatically - the map will display a little indicator panel with a ‘BG tracking’ label and a ‘Pause’ and ‘Stop’ button
  • you can now leave this running and navigate away from the map if needed - the indicator panel will persist at the bottom of the screen
  • to return to the map, or pause or stop tracking, tap the indicator panel - you will return to the map view, and can choose ‘Pause’ or ‘Stop’
  • Tapping ‘Pause’ will pause the tracking, and show a ‘resume’ button - tap this to start tracking again
  • Tapping ‘Stop’ will give you the save/discard/resume option as per the other tracking modes

Background tracking is live - assuming the user is connected, it will send periodic updates to the server with the location data. Since the row has already been created at the start of the process, other users with access rights can view the ‘live’ location of the user with tracking enabled (depending on mobile connection and frequency of updates).