A new tool for the apple iPhone was released by the popular Everytrail website. This free tool to track movement can be downloaded from the iTunes store. It uses the GPS technology built in to the iPhone 3G, but it also uses the cell information and Wi-Fi to record its position.
The tracks can be saved locally on the device including pictures. It is possible to take pictures directly from within the application and they get included in the track data. There is the option to upload the recorded data directly, but even better is the option to store it locally and upload all at once. This saves battery power and therefore extends recording time. Developers suggest also to set the screen brightness very low. The main problem for tracking with the iPhone really is that the tracking application has to run in the foreground and it cannot be interrupted with the Home button or the Lock button. The Everytrail software does cleverly offer a “fake” lock option that prevents any input and disruption wile the iPhone is in the pocked. This “fake“ lock option looks the same as the normal iPhone Lock screen with a slider to unlock, but it is basically just from within this application and therefore means that none of the two button (Home or Lock) on the iPhone shall be pressed. Otherwise the ”fake“ lock will be interrupted. It only prevents touch screen input.
I tested it on a shopping trip down Tottenham Court Road in London. Although the device was an old iPhone without GPS the record is pretty accurate and can almost keep up with my Garmin Foretrex 201 that I normally use.
Once the track is uploaded to your personal area on the website (it is free to sign up here too) it is then possible to download the track as either KML, to view/use in Google Earth or as a GPX for use with any GPS software. This is a great option that not many other such products offer.
Here is embedded the uploaded track directly from everytrail.com including the images taken during the trip.
Or it is possible to integrate as a simple map
ShoppingTottenhamCourtRoad at EveryTrail
Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging