React Developer Leaves Homemade GPS Asset Tracker in Car. Car gets stolen. 

React Developer Leaves Homemade GPS Asset Tracker in Car. Car gets stolen. 

February 6, 2023 541 Views

Paige Niedringhaus, Staff Software Engineer 

Topics: Location, GPS, Advanced Sensing  

Transcript Excerpt: 

The presenter talks about how a hobby project turned into a vehicle recovery system when their parent’s car was stolen from their driveway with a note card in the back seat. 

Since the note card was in the backseat, the presenter, using the asset tracker dashboard, showed the car’s exact location to the police. The tracker was recording its current GPS coordinates every 10 minutes while the vehicle was in motion. At first, the location ping was set for every 10 minutes to conserve the battery life, but then the tracker was updated remotely over the air by going into the notehub account, updating an environment variable which overrode the current settings in the notepad to provide more frequent alerts.  

The presenter then took a step forward and tried to build his dashboard for the data from the tracker to display. First, the essential components like a note card, note carrier, and battery were configured using the blues wireless dev docs. Blues wireless quick start guide was used to configure the note carrier with the basic instrumentation. Asset tracking documentation was used to get the tracker configuration request to start GPS tracking. This was all that was needed on the hardware side to send data to the note hub and have that data available for the asset tracker. The dashboard was built using next.js, typescript, React leaflet and Mapbox. The end product includes a temperature chart, precise location using notehub API, battery voltage, and tracker events using next.js’ incremental static generation. Anyone with a note hub project and a note hub auth token could plug in their credentials and see their note card data. have an entire blog posted about this tracking system’s details, including everything from start to end to making your own asset tracking system. 

This dashboard can be further expanded upon in different ways. For example, adding a download option to download a spreadsheet of the GPS coordinates or adding customizable time frames with a date picker to see specific points in time and where the asset tracker is. The presenter also built an SOS mode into a further iteration of this tracker where if it was in stolen mode, one could actually see red lines showing up in between the different portions of where the tracker was saying its location was. People can start from the existing build and then add any features they like to make the asset tracking application their own. 

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