I have been using Blip since last summer, mostly to find out if Mr. Curator has left work for home so that I can put the tuna casserole in the oven. This FREE application runs on GPS enabled Blackberry mobile phones. Activated on the phone, it works as a mini-tracking device. Go to Blip, and any shared phones are listed. Select the phone you want to view, and choose “Map Last Location.” In a few seconds, a Google Map of the area appears identifying the selected user.
Now, it’s obvious that Blip would be great for a bit of detective work if you wanted to follow someone’s movements, but tracking can be turned off any time by the user. Do I really want Mr. Curator to know that I am at the quilt shop again? When I tell friends about the program, their reactions mostly run to “cool, but not on my phone.” Some think it is just a bit too Big Brother-ish. I think it is useful, however, especially if you are travelling in an unfamiliar area or alone. I first activated Blip on my Blackberry last summer when we were in New England and I planned to spend a day on the backroads by myself doing a bit of family history research. You can be sure I showed my husband how it worked, just in case my car went off the road and into a ditch.
Blip is a step-brother application to Blackline’s portable tracking device, Snitch GPS. The palm-size Snitch, and it’s counterpart Loner, act much like an auto LoJack anti-theft device. The difference is portability. GPS Snitch protects your auto, RV, truck, or other vehicle. If activated by a break-in it will silently notify you via email and initiate GPS tracking that you can follow on the Snitch Website. Loner GPS works in much the same way, but is designed to act as an emergency safety device for employees working alone in the field. The device is worn by the person and activated by motion-sensor technology. Way cool. Both are available from Blackline.
I am playing around with using Blip to record tracking information that I can transfer to a saved Google Earth map. This would be a convenient way to mark gravesites or residences with GPS coordinates.