You’ve probably seen them in your own community…large metal bins for dropping off clothing donations. As it turns out, not even donations given in good will are exempt from those who rummage through clothing bins in hopes of reselling or keeping the goods. One Baltimore company, that originally thought donations were down, has successfully retrieved stolen goods, and led authorities to recycled clothing thieves with the help of GPS tracking software– and in the process found out that donations weren’t down after all. By placing GPS tracking devices in various clothing items–in pockets, liners, etc., and using GPS tracking software, the company has successfully retrieved several batches of stolen clothing. Company officials use geofencing, a feature of the tracking software to receive cell phone alerts whenever one of their GPS tracking devices leaves the immediate area of the clothing collection bins. The clothing collected by the company is bailed and then shipped to third world countries.
In the wake of the mysterious and tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370, some may be wondering just how much GPS tracking software plays a role in tracking jets like the Boeing 777 and other aircraft. We ran across a great article by BBC Asia that explains how airplanes are tracked. In short, airplanes do use GPS tracking, but the feature is almost exclusively used only for the purpose of informing the pilot of his or her position, rather than air traffic control. Surprisingly, much of air traffic control remains radar-based, with planes using a primary radar, a secondary radar, and ACARS–a system that transmits computer data from the plane to computers on the ground for the purpose of reporting on the health of the aircraft’s various systems.
Here’s the BBC Asia Article:
The US federal government has recently released funding to aid in purchasing GPS trackers for autistic children at high risk for wandering away and becoming lost. The average cost of GPS tracker for a child ranges from $80-$100 before the addition of data costs/subscriptions for monthly GPS tracking software service.
The release of federal GPS tracking funding comes on the heels of incidents where children have become lost by leaving their homes or their schools. While some children are eventually found unharmed, other incidents have resulted in the deaths of children. Autistic children can be easily sidetracked with curiosity or panic quickly in a new situation. GPS tracking systems do not replace parental supervision but are a valuable extra layer of security when needed.
For more information about GPS trackers or GPS tracking software, please visit http://www.trackingtheworld.com.
Read our latest press release on the LightTrack accessory that works with your GPS tracking device to detect when packages are opened. It’s available only from TrackingTheWorld. Limited number of prototypes available on a first-come-first-served basis!
Here are two of the latest GPS tracking news updates we’ve found around the Web today:
Just when Samsung is making James Bond-ish watches popular again, AT&T has announced it will release a GPS tracking equipped smartwatch for kids which will use geo-fencing to alert parents when a child leaves his or her predetermined safe zone, and will enable parents to see their child’s location at any time provided the child is wearing the tracker. Known as the FiLIP, the GPS tracking device for kids is also capable of voice communication with up to 5 numbers which are preprogrammed by parents. There’s also a panic button that, when pressed for 3 seconds, will cause the device to begin dialing contact numbers.
China to Use GPS Tracking on Government Cars
In an effort to curb abuse by public officials, China will begin installing GPS tracking devices on thousands of government vehicles. The move comes partly in response to criticism for supposed widespread corruption and flamboyant lifestyles among government officials. Guangzhou, a city in southern China, took on a similar project for fleet tracking of government vehicles in 2011. The city now reports that it saves more than $6 million dollars per year due to the GPS tracking systems.
We certainly understand the benefits of GPS tracking devices that are both compact and lightweight. But, do you think it’s possible to build a GPS tracker that’s small enough and light enough to be carried on the back of a bumble bee? Funded by a $500-thousand dollar grant from the Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University is working on the development of GPS trackers to track the movements of bumblebees with the goal of better understanding the dramatic decline of bee populations in recent years. The development of the GPS tracking device for bees will take 1-2 years. Without bee pollination, it is estimated that one-third of the world’s food supply would not exist. Read the full article about GPS tracking and bees.
Where did you come from and where are you going? That’s what Napa County officials want to know, and why they plan to use GPS tracking data to analyze the area’s traffic patterns in hopes of improving congested traffic areas. According to a recent report, the GPS tracking information will be obtained through a private firm specializing in collecting anonymous GPS cell phone data. The study will also utilize photographic images of license plates, and corresponding home addresses which will be obtained through the BMV. Additional components of the study will include traffic counters at the entrances of area wineries, a major tourist attraction in the area, and surveys distributed through the public school system.
Learn more about TrackingTheWorld’s GPS tracking devices.
Officials in Steamboat Springs, Colorado hope that real time GPS tracking systems deployed on city buses will allow citizens to minimize outdoor wait times in chilly winter weather. The city is set to have GPS tracking devices installed on all 20 of their public transportation buses later this year. By allowing bus riders to monitor the location of their buses, and thereby delays in the schedule, patrons will be able to plan accordingly. The estimated cost of the program is $82,000, with $65,000 coming from state grant funding.
Take a look at another post on GPS tracking systems for public transportation.
The University of Kentucky recently was awarded a USDA grant totaling more than $100-thousand to use GPS trackers to study the patterns of adolescents and their parents when it comes to when, where, and how they buy food, and how their surrounding environment influences those choices. Known as the “Adolescent and Parent Food Activity Patterns as Drivers of Food Choice and Behaviors” project, officials hope to use the GPS tracking data to gain insight into buying habits and diet choices.
Yesterday, the New York Daily News reported that New York’s top court has decided in favor of limited GPS tracking government employees. But the decision to allow some use of tracking devices, related to a 2008 misconduct case against a Labor Department official, didn’t come without clarification of what the court considers to be overstepping employee privacy. Drawing a fine line between acceptable and excessive, the court ruled that while the government can utilize vehicle tracking during hours they claim to be working, after hours and vacation time are off limits. With the court citing that employees have a “reasonable expectation” of privacy, and that government employers should exhaust other options before resorting to GPS tracking, the decision is considered significant in it’s challenge to the government’s previous stance that around-the-clock GPS tracking was acceptable. Tell us what you think about this decision!
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