Integrated Platform Getting you Here and There
The Ground Control Platform is an iOS App (called Here&There), a web front end viewer and a back end infrastructure (GeoFoto) that streamlines the process of capturing and sharing your location. It is available via the standardized app or as an integrated capability for anyone needing to add location services to there own environment.
The growing popularity of smartphones, with data networking, GPS systems, mapping infrastructure and high resolution cameras has created the opportuniy to streamline the process for capturing and sharing your location. Locations can now include GPS coordinates as well as other locating information, like a photograph, and to share it you can use conventional communications methods, such as SMS, email, Facebook, or via programmable web services. While this approach can incorporate the address into the location, it does not rely on it so it is equally effective in situations where no discernible address exists such as the beach, a park or a long country road.
This genesis of Ground Control was a broken down car on a country road and the need to communicate the location with family and roadside assistance.
The IOS App, “Here&There”, provides a streamlined process for creating a location wherever you are (Here) and sharing it with anyone you like, usually, with view that they come to meet you.
It all starts by creating a location. A location is created by the simple act of taking a picture and the application does the rest. It comprises the GPS coordinates, an identifying photograph, such as a building, car or outlook, and some user defined message.
Sharing is usually done via links sent in SMS or email, although Facebook sharing is possible if the desired audience is broader.
The recipient can view the request in another copy of Here&There to enjoy all the features or a web browser for basic viewing. If the recipient is using the Here&There App, the system will open a real-time communication channel with the sender. The picture, location and message are located on a map; and you can exchange messages about your progress (that does not require SMS).
The App also interfaces with the native iOS Apple Maps which can generate driving directions. When connected, the sender can monitor your progress as you go to meet them through a moving marker on a map. Additionally, once connected, it can create and maintain a short messaging session without the cost of SMS.
If the recipient does not have the Here&There application, the image, location and initial message can still be viewed on a map using a web browser which may be on a smartphone, tablet or desktop.
Here&There will need an acceptable mobile service level and a view of the sky is preferred for accurate locations.Once a location is created it is permanently stored on the smartphone, however, it only remains in the server for a fixed time, currently set at 48 hours. The stored locations can be sifted through in the picture carousel and selected to return to the location at a later date or time. It may be your favourite club, fishing spot or where you parked your car at a sporting venue.
Technology Infrastructure (back end)
The Ground control back end platform is called GeoFoto. This platform has been built using the cloud services offered by Amazon that are a highly scalable, reliable, secure, fast, infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. These services provide a flexible, scalable and extensible environment to store (temporarily or permanently) geo-location data along with relevant photographic data and other metadata and to share it with other applications.
The most common application is the iOS App “Here&There”. The second App is the web viewer frontend which talks to the same Web Services as the iOS App and retrieves information for display on a web version of Google Maps. New applications can be developed by interfacing with the web services.
If your application would benefit from the integration of the Ground control front end, back end or both, please contact via the contact page in this site or email firstname.lastname@example.org