live location tracking features
Company, General, Industry, Technology

Why building live location features requires more than maps APIs

The next generation of location-based services uses live location to make assignments, track orders, track miles, personalize experiences and power great product experiences. A fleeting glimpse by product managers and developers might lead to a false view that maps platforms are sufficient to build these features. This post covers what maps do and don’t.

Say you want to build an in-app tracking view of an order. It needs to be a smooth experience (think animated icons) with accurate location (route polylines maybe), live ETA (that updates every minute), user/order information (a drawer to reference) and trip status (why is it stuck there). To build this, what can developers count on maps for and not? Read on for the answers.

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streaming live location data
General, Industry, Technology

The pitfalls of using location streams as an interface for building live location features

Developers build live location features in their product because it is core to their business. In the process, they end up having to build infrastructure. Developers who have built and operated this underlying infrastructure on their own have a deeper experience of the pains involved. Often, this is the first time they start questioning if that part of the stack is core to their business and if there is an API for that. In the chance that they find HyperTrack as that API they were dreaming of, a new problem arises.

In many in-house location stacks, the de facto interface at which the infrastructure stops and the feature begins is the location stream. You generate the location stream on the device, log/store it on the server, and then consume it in the product. For enterprises using vehicle tracking systems (VTS) and GPS chips, there is a legacy reason to go down this path. When other teams and software modules in the stack are consuming this stream, it is hard to imagine ripping it out and replacing it with HyperTrack SDKs and APIs.

And then begins: “But it does solve a bunch of things we are dealing with”, “Hey they seem obsessed with it and we are not, they must know something we don’t”, “Let’s deploy it on that new feature or new set of users in that new project”, “Let’s run this in parallel with our stack and compare the results before phasing it in”, etc.

It is then that one of the two questions comes up:

  1. “Can we provide our location stream as input to your API and get your location stream as output?”
  2. “Can we use your location stream as input to our API and everything upstream will start working better?”

Tl;dr – Bad idea. Using location streams as the interface is architecture debt. Pay it off.

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Announcements, Company

Adding a layer of superpower in the stack

New hires at HyperTrack usually impress the team with the code they check in on day-one. Aman raised a few more eyebrows on his first day when he caught a bullet of a shot during the evening cricket ritual at the office. He swerved like Neo in Matrix, though instead of dodging the bullet, he ended up singlehandedly snatching it out of thin air.

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Announcements, Community

HyperTrack Participating in 2nd Annual Galileo Hackathon

Hackathons are a great opportunity for creative juices to run wild and for the next innovation to be born. Over a short period of time, usually 24-28 hours, participants are tasked with using a variety of technology and services, and fueled by pizza, energy drinks, and excitement, to create something amazing.

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Code, Community, General, Technology

Using Postman to Test Your API Connection to HyperTrack

Testing your API connections are extremely important before putting your implementation in place, and can save you a lot of trouble and duplicated effort. Here at HyperTrack we use Postman to perform this task, and we’ve found it so useful that we put together a collection so that you too can use it. Over the next few minutes we’ll be walking you through how to test your API credentials and queries for accessing HyperTrack and see what data will be coming back.

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Company, General, Industry

Live Location Sharing by Google Maps and Facebook Messenger

On Mar 22, Google announced that users of Google Maps can share their trips and real-time location with friends when on the way. Then on Mar 27, Facebook announced that users of Facebook Messenger can share their live location with friends to make meeting up easier and safer. The news from Google and Facebook comes hot on the heels of the Feb 3 news story that Whatsapp has been testing real-time location sharing. Apple has had Find My Friends app packaged into iOS 9 and later since September 2015 so iPhone users can share live location with their friends.

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okhi featured image of okdriver app
Customers, General, Technology

OkHI Moves Their Location Stack to HyperTrack

Here at HyperTrack we value working with our customers to implement our plug-and-play location stack into their existing applications and workflows. It is also very fulfilling when we can come alongside them to experience firsthand their challenges and work together to create solutions. OkHI is one of those companies.

With OkHi their mission is to enable the 4 billion people in the world that don’t have a physical address to be included in the same services enjoyed by the rest of the world. Their solution gives them an “OkHI address”, complete with a GPS tag and photo of the house’s gate.

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