Chapter 10. Tracker

Table of Contents

Add Tracker Wizard

A device's physical location can be tracked. For this task usually a map background is used. The latitude and longitude of two points on the map must be known. These provide reference points against which the location of devices can be determined. Any map in bitmap format can be used as a background.

The device that you wish to track must have the GPS device attached and be able to send the data back to the Net-Probe server. One such device is HP's iPAQ. Some of these units have GPS for location info and GPRS for communication. Any form of internet connectivity will do for the communication. The GPS will need to offer a NMEA0183 data output. This is usually in the form of a serial connection. Some of the iPAQ's have all this built in.

In addition the device will need to run one of the NetProbe-Remote programs. The win32 version and the WinCE version both offer modules that will link into the GPS. NetProbes Remote Script Settings will have to be configured as described here (Chapter 21, Remote Script Settings).

Add Tracker Wizard

The final step now is to configure a device element. To add a device to the workspace which has the background map and the reference coordinates configured. Set the FQDN of the device. Then right click on the device and select 'Add Tracker'. This will start the Add Tracker Wizard. Here you must select the Remote Host that is running on the device. For the host to appear in the list the NetProbe-Remote must be configured and running. If the unit does not appear then have a look in the logs to see if there is any hint as to the problem.

Figure 10.1. Tracker Wizard 1

Tracker Wizard 1

The Type setting in the wizard determines if a script or module is used to talk to the GPS. Some remotes only support modules, i.e. Win CE (Windows Mobile). The 'Refresh Rate' and 'Time-Outs' define how often the device will be queried for its location and how long the script/module will wait for the GPS to reply. The Time-Out does not apply to modules.

Clicking the Next Button will take you to the final screen in the Wizard. Here you will need to specify how the GPS is connected to the remote device. You will need to specify the Com Port to which it is connected as well as the specifications of the GPS serial communication. You will need to check the documentation of your GPS to get the correct parameters here. The 'NMEA0183 Sentence to Use' defines what information provided by the GPS must be used for position. Usually the RMC sentence is used. One other option here is to specify 'demo', With demo selected the GPS is not queried for position information, but instead the position of the device is moved randomly. This is helpful for testing and demonstration.

Figure 10.2. Tracker Wizard 1

Tracker Wizard 1

Click on the Finish button to complete the setup. Under the device's Properties one of the Targets listed will be a Coords Target. Info on the status can be seen here. The Refresh Rate can also be edited here. You may wish to change the Shape of the device. The Symbol and Labeled Symbol shapes have been added specifically for tracked devices. Unlike other shapes the size of the Symbol and Label will not change with the level of zoom, the size is constant.

To edit or delete the Tracker target right click on the device and select the required option from the menu that appears. The edit option will launch a wizard where all settings can be changed.

Also See: the section called “Reference Coordinates” and the section called “Tracks”

Copyright (c) Warren Flemmer