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  1. #1
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    Smartphone app that sends your coordinates?

    Any such thing?

    Let's say you're riding a single track many miles from the nearest vehicular road. You come across a fallen rider. He/she looks really bad.

    Your smartphone shows some reception. You call 911. They ask where you're located.

    But you have no clue how to describe your exact location.

    What do you do?

  2. #2
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    The FCC is working on the next generation 911 system, supposedly coming online next year. You'll be able to text a 911 operator with your gps coordinates, even though they recommend making a voice call first.

    The basics with links to more info: What You Need to Know About Text-to-911 | FCC.gov

  3. #3
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    ICE-Dot is shipping soon. If you crash and don't turn off the alarm it sends a text.

    Are you a BikeWrecker? ICEdot Crash Sensor Taking Pre-Orders

  4. #4
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    Smartphone app that sends your coordinates?

    This is something that I've been trying to get sorted out too. I usually ride by myself and my family are worried that when I finally get back on a bike I'm going to fall off and hurt myself in the middle of nowhere (again).

    If you do a search for "send help" or "emergency" on the Apple app store there are several apps which will email your GPS coordinates, such as these ones:

    Send Help
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/send...517707164?mt=8

    Emergency Distress Beacon
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/emer...288770664?mt=8

    There are also ones which set your phone's lock screen to contain your contact and medical details, so that if you're unconscious or critically injured your information is there. If you have allergies, particular medical issues etc this could be very useful eg:

    Emergency Standard
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ice-...412786820?mt=8

    The default Apple Maps app allows you to email your location. If you hold your finger down on the blue location pin a menu appears which includes a share option. This sends an Apple Maps URL that includes the GPS coordinates.

    If you have a mobile signal then with an iPhone the Maps+ Streetview app goes a step further by allowing you to email a detailed location map as a picture, showing your current position:

    Maps + Streetview
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/maps...564582898?mt=8

    Live tracking is another area. The new Garmin Edge 510 and Garmin Edge 810 allow you to send a live track of your ride to a website, where people can log in and see what you're doing. This works on both IOS and Android phones.

    http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/03/ga...10-gps-review/

    There are mobile phone apps for tracking too, such as Glympse, but apparently running the tracking app on the phone can run down the battery rapidly. Using the Garmin Edge headunit paired to the Garmin app on your mobile phone sounds like it could give a longer battery life for the phone.

    Glympse
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/glym...330316698?mt=8

    If you're riding in remote areas without mobile reception then a device such as a SPOT satellite tracker seems to be the only option. It requires you pay a subscription fee for it to function but will work independently of mobile signals. If there's an issue out of mobile phone reception it could be a valuable tool to have.

    http://www.findmespot.eu/en/index.php?cid=101

    The apps linked above are for iPhone but I'm sure there are similar ones for Android phones also.
    Last edited by WR304; 06-11-2013 at 12:05 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the links.

    Although I don't own an iPhone (maybe not yet), and I don't ride with my iPad (no kidding), I do have an older GPS device.

    So while I was looking at how those apps might help (I've tried ICE Standard and Glympse as well as the usual Maps that email a link of the nearest street), I'm now thinking a real-life scenario might play out like this:

    1. Either I'm helping a fallen rider or I've fallen myself and another rider (hopefully one of my riding buddies) is physically capable of helping (not a solo unconscious situation)

    2. Voice call to 911 by mobile phone !!
    2a. if no signal at location, then helper has to go to where there's sufficient signal
    2b. if signal okay, then discussion with EMT starts

    3. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) operator will ask about the situation, especially requiring to hear YOUR VOICE to determine if it's real and not a prank or a test or a non-emergency

    4. You'll soon have to verbally describe your location
    4a. You can read off the longitude/latitude on your GPS unit
    4b. You can possibly hang up and start texting or emailing (uggghhh!)

    So 4b seems absolutely silly or prone to syntax errors.

    Luckily my cell phone (not a smartphone) has GPS location feature, and I keep it turned on all the time. But there's no guarantee that the 911 operator will precisely recognize it. It's a background feature of the cellphone.

    My GPS device, on the other hand, displays "GPS accuracy" as an indication of how clear and how many satellites it's seeing -- in addition to the coordinates.

    But the bigger problem might be NOT having cell signal for many yards. Or miles.

  6. #6
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    Smartphone app that sends your coordinates?

    A smart phone with no signal isn't much use as a communications device. You just know that the one time it's needed there won't be a signal.

    Another emergency device that doesn't require an annual subscription is the Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon. If you're out of mobile phone reception then devices such as this or the SPOT tracker are the only real option as they broadcast an emergency GPS signal.

    http://www.fastfindplb.com/us/

    With the Fast Find PLB It seems like you'd need to be able to activate it though. If it's in a pack and you can't reach it then no one will know where you are still. The SPOT tracker would give a track so that people could roughly calculate your location to begin searching.

    Just before Christmas there was a news story about a man who went out for a ride on his motorbike. He crashed the bike, ended up in a ditch with a broken back and wasn't found until three days later, suffering from hypothermia and lucky to still be alive.

  7. #7
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    Even in large metropolitan areas, there are regional parks with spotty cell signal. So it could be a scenario where you're running out (riding out!) to get help if you're the helper.

    Tough situation! Those other devices could help (incl some others mentioned earlier) if it's really zero signal. Or venturing out alone in the wilderness becomes your original mistake.

    But let's say you have okay cell signal. Are you instantly saved?

  8. #8
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    If you're riding downtown and car suddenly swerves, hits you, you go flying and land with a broken femur, chances are you'll get fixed and walk again.

    If you're riding a nice single track in a nearby regional park, hit something maybe a deer, take a hard tumble onto unknown rocks and land with a broken femur, chances are you'll eventually get amputated.

    What's the difference?

    That's right response time.

    So what can you do about it?

  9. #9
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    Smartphone app that sends your coordinates?

    I think it really depends upon where you are. The more remote the area the longer it will take probably. In areas with some mobile phone coverage (such as Snowdonia in the UK) hikers seem to get rescued fairly promptly.

    http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/201...ight-operation

    If you're out riding by yourself then the basic advice of leaving a note with your intended route and time so that if you fail to return home people know where to search is the main one. If no one know where you are they won't look for you, or if they do it will be after a longer delay. Riding with friends makes it more likely that someone will be able to bring help too.

    Here are a couple of links also:

    What can be done in an emergency when there is no cell phone???

    Surviving a night out, injured in below freezing temps and high winds?

    Injured SJ Hiker Spends 4 Days in Park

    FIRST AID KITS... who carries em???

  10. #10
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    there is an app called Runtastic Mountainbike. if you enable it to do so, you can allow people to log in on their site and see where you are in real time while riding and using the app.

    the only bad thing is when your phone battery dies on a long ride and your wife thinks youve been laying in one spot for way too long and comes out to find you!

    i really liked the app to log my rides. but now my rides have gotten longer and it seems that Strava does better at battery consumption.

  11. #11
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    Smartphone app that sends your coordinates?

    There's a little about battery life for live tracking using a Garmin Edge 810 and iPhone in this thread. It sounds like the advantage of using a Garmin Edge for the GPS is that the battery of the phone will last longer, compared to using a dedicated app and GPS on the phone itself.

    "Since the last Garmin update I used live track again. After about 10 hours (8ish of which the 810 was paired with the iPhone) the Garmin had about 35% battery left whilst the iphone had 27% left. Also this time my O2 app indicated that I had only used about 20 mb of data. Bearing in mind I did the Rutland CiCLE and my phone's battery life always lasts a much shorter time in that neck of the woods, due to it struggling to find reception, as against London where I live." rosavillewill - April 2013

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/view...013&t=12915461
    Last edited by WR304; 06-14-2013 at 03:46 PM.

  12. #12
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    There is always the good ole':

    - Make a fire, put fresh leaves / grass on it (to create smoke).. someone will show up and investigate.

    - Carry compass that has a mirror, good for signalling aircraft

    People were signalling for help long before people had cellphones! Of course, the challenge is now is finding someone that recognizes such "primitive" signals.

    More on topic: Smartphones can track your coordinates via Google Maps and share those coordinates with your circle of friends (I have not tested, I have no friends!) but in theory, you could enable this feature, and as long as you have a signal, you can text your friends/family an SOS text, they can then look to see where you are, and then they can call for help and explain the GPS location.

  13. #13
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    Smartphone app that sends your coordinates?

    These micro phones look like they could be quite good for mountain biking.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mi...th-a-big-idea/

    It's a small light phone which uses cell tower triangulation to allow other people to track your location via a free app. They're supposed to have three week battery life so would last longer than a smartphone with GPS. If you're riding where there's mobile phone reception it seems like a much cheaper option than a smartphone or device like a Garmin GTU-10, especially without requiring a subscription.

    I might have to get one.

    Edit: I supported it for a micro phone plus locator $79 USD. August 2013 delivery hopefully.

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