As you know, we’re always scouring the Web for interesting GPS tracking news. Here’s what we’re reporting for June 2016:
Indiana Detention Center Considering Reduction in Jail Overcrowding with GPS Trackers for Inmates
Vanderburgh County, Indiana is looking at GPS tracking options, and the transfer of some inmates to other jails to reduce over crowding in its own facilities. Eligibility for the GPS tracking program will be determined by a judge if implemented.
GPS Tracking Reveals San Andreas Fault Activity
GPS technology has recently revealed some activity along the San Andreas Fault in California. The earth on each side of the fault has been found to be moving a few millimeters a year. While this movement was something scientists had predicted for some time, they had been unable to detect a particular pattern due to “noise” or interference in the feedback they were receiving. A new GPS technology has helped eliminate the “noise” for a more clear understanding of tectonic movement, particularly the vertical movement around the San Andreas Fault.
China Moving Toward Its Own GPS Tracking
On June 12, 2016, China launched the 23rd GPS tracking satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System–China’s network of its own GPS tracking satellites. The BeiDou Satellite System has been regionally available for some time, but the Chinese government has recently been ramping up efforts toward a globally operational system similar to the global systems in place within the United States and Russia. India and Japan are in progress on similar efforts.
After the deployment of 260 GPS tracking devices in garbage trucks, police cars, and other city owned vehicles over the last few years, the city of Grand Rapids recently suspended and warned various city workers. The reported offenses mostly consist of taking longer than authorized breaks and driving company vehicles for personal use. However, a few years back, a police officer was forced to resign after GPS data revealed that he or she was taking unauthorized breaks outside of his or her designated patrol area.
The city has recently begun installing GPS trackers on fire trucks with the goal of reducing the response times of some calls. Based on data provided by GPS tracking software, dispatchers can easily select the truck in the best position to respond
The tracking devices used by the city of Grand Rapids are not covert tracking devices; all employees are made aware of their presence on city owned vehicles.
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South Bend, Indiana schools have taken a major step forward in making their school bus system more user-friendly. With the addition of GPS tracking devices and a mobile phone app called “My Stop”, parents can now track their child’s bus from the time it leaves the lot in the morning, when it is nearing their child’s stop, and even when it has safely delivered their children to school.
School officials report that the new GPS tracking program has reduced the number of phone calls regarding bus arrival times. Parents appreciate the program as it allows them to send their child to the bus stop just before the bus arrives, reducing the amount of time the child has to spend in the cold and reducing the amount of time the child is vulnerable to other risks.
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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.
As we have mentioned before, the GPS tracking industry continues to grow rapidly. We just found a new CBS report that profiles some of the ways individuals and businesses are using tracking devices and GPS tracking software to their advantage. Here are just a few mentioned in the article, plus some of our own:
- GPS tracking for teachers in school emergencies
- Devices which allow police officers to deploy a GPS tracking device that affixes to a fleeing vehicle to avoid dangerous pursuits.
- GPS trackers “built-in” to school uniforms
- GPS shoes
- Tracking devices for school buses
- GPS tracking for playing golf
- GPS trackers in the NFL
- Tracking technology for environmental causes
Read the entire CBS report on GPS tracking.
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TrackingTheWorld recently announced the continued availability of private label websites for the company’s GPS tracking software. With a private label website, provided upon the purchase of a software license, resellers have the ability to offer their own customers subscription-based GPS tracking services under their own company name.
“Our GPS tracking software is a great option for those interested in starting their own GPS tracking business, and generating monthly recurring income,” said Gilbert Walz, CEO of TrackingTheWorld.
The private label websites offer a platform from which the site owner manages his or her own customer accounts. TrackingTheWorld’s software purchase agreement allows resellers to set monthly subscription rates for their customers.
GPS tracking devices are increasingly common among businesses, often for the purpose of vehicle tracking and fleet management, and among law enforcement agencies for covert tracking operations. According to some estimates, the GPS tracking market is projected to grow up to 40-percent, reaching the $1-billion mark by 2017. Some software resellers choose to market to a specific niche, while others choose to sell to the general public, or both.
GPS tracking software is recognized as effective business tool for increasing productivity and efficiency through applications such as employee monitoring and safety, conserving fuel, and mileage tracking, making it a cost effective choice for business owners.
TrackingTheWorld’s GPS tracking software is exclusively designed to work with the company’s own GPS tracking devices. Licensed software resellers receive best pricing on TrackingTheWorld GPS tracking equipment.
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According to a recent CBS news report, a California senate bill, SB57, requires sex offenders who remove or tamper with their GPS tracking devices to spend a mandatory 6-months in jail. The bill comes in response to the increase in monitoring of the state’s offenders via GPS due to a law passed two years ago to relieve prison overpopulation, which was designed to send offenders to jail instead of prison. But, due to overcrowding in jails as well, some offenders spend little or no time behind bars, and instead are released to home and monitored via GPS tracking bracelets.
Here’s another bit of GPS tracking news…after police suspected a pair of Michigan men of breaking into homes and stealing valuables, they obtained a search warrant to place a covert tracking device on the suspect vehicle. Some time later, the vehicle was determined to have been at another home which had also been burglarized. Utilizing the vehicle tracking device and GPS tracking software, authorities were able to apprehend the suspects (after one fled), who later confessed to a string of burglaries. Both men have since been sentenced to prison.
Scientists may soon be using GPS tracking technology to monitor and track hurricanes, according to a recent report published in Radio Journal. By utilizing a GPS tracking receiver in hurricane hunter aircrafts to measure disruptions in the sea and then comparing the data to that which is received from GPS tracking satellites, scientists can determine the strength of a storm, including wind speeds accurate within 11 mph. Using GPS tracking systems to track hurricanes may also be more cost effective than dropsondes, tubes containing scientific measuring devices dropped from planes directly into hurricanes, which cost more than $700 dollars each. However, GPS tracking for hurricanes is only effective for hurricanes at sea, not those which have already made landfall, and is somewhat less accurate than current methods.
Debate Continues on GPS Tracking for Dementia Patients
We have blogged on multiple occasions about the increasing use of GPS tracking for dementia patients, and it looks like this is a conversation that will continue for some time. According to Medical News Today, a recent report in the British Medical Journal has generated attention on the degree of usefulness for GPS tracking devices and protecting the safety of dementia patients. While some experts recognize that, due to GPS trackers, authorities are able to much more quickly locate a wandering individual, which greatly reduces the risk of harm or death, others are concerned that tracking devices for dementia are merely a “quick fix” for stressed caregivers. Send us your thoughts.
GPS Stolen for Serious Pizza Craving
When you want pizza, well, you really want pizza. According to My Suburban Life, such was the case for a Carol Stream, Illinois man who allegedly stole a GPS tracking device in order to find the nearest pizza restaurant. Now the man is charged with three counts of trespassing and one count of possession of stolen property. We can understand the craving for a delicious pie, but surely there was a better way to go about this one. And, we can’t help but wonder, did he get his pizza?