Anyone who knows me knows that I love gadgets…I have a camping laptop for godsake. You read that correctly. I have a laptop that I specifically bought to take camping. It’s not waterproof but it does have a solid state drive so it can stand to be bumped around a bit.
In searching through some forums I frequent I came across the SPOT Messenger. This little gadget is basically a GPS unit that doesn’t give you directions but instead sends your location by text message,email or both to people who care about you. It works where cell phones don’t and also has a 911 feature that sends an emergency message to a monitoring station which in turn relays the GPS coordinates to local emergency services so they can respond to your location. It also has a “Help” feature. This is basically 911 without the police/EMS responding. On their website you designate up to 10 people that will get your check-in and help messages.
Another cool feature of this unit is the tracking mode. This sends a message to the monitoring station every 10 minutes which is then plotted on Google Maps. You can then share this page out so people can track your location. Right now I have 2 shared pages
This blog will also get an email from SPOT when I check in. Right now it will only be in text with my GPS coordinates and a link to Google Maps. I’m trying to figure out a way to render the map itself without the cruft. That will probably be something to work on later. Those posts will be added to the SPOT category.
I’ve had a lot of fun testing this thing out and I really hope it lives up to my expectations once I’m on the road.
9 days and counting…