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SpotWalla updates

Texas T

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From Jason a few minutes ago...

From the "Why Wait" files... I saw an opportunity to perform the upgrade this morning and took it.

My hope is that the updates will be mostly transparent even though the changes include an entirely different map source.

Here are some things you may notice:

When viewing an active trip or location page, you'll notice a green button in the banner at the top of the map. This is a refresh button/indicator. You'll notice the countdown timer on the button too. Trips will automatically refresh every 5 minutes. Location pages will automatically refresh every 2 minutes. Or if you're impatient, simply click the button.

At the top right of the map you'll see an icon that looks like a side of square pancakes without syrup. Clicking it will allow you to change the type of map displayed. Mapbox has some interesting map types. Check 'em out.

Some maps have yet to be converted to Mapbox. If a trip or location page has one or more track overlays, you'll still see Google Maps. Animated location pages still use Google Maps as does the Family viewer/history viewer.

So holler if you see anything hinky or have questions. Hollering on FB is ok, but a support email will likely get a quicker response.



Here's what my 2018 rides look like now:

228650
 

Texas T

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Most of my bigger trips from the past few years.

Remaining states are ME, VT, NH, MA, NY, CT, NJ, DE, RI, MD, VA, WV, OH, PA, AK and HI. I had hoped to get the last 14 contiguous states this summer, but it looks like it will need to wait until next year, or possibly the year after if I don't retire until then.

228660
 

Texas T

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And what Jason had posted a few days prior to let us know what was coming...


If you've been paying attention you know Google has changed its pricing model which has increased SpotWalla's operating costs. Last November I began addressing this by converting some of the maps to Open Street Map (OSM).

I've done a good deal of research and testing between then and now to find ways to reduce those operating costs. Bottom line is, good quality maps aren't free. It's impossible to reduce those costs to what they were back in 2008 or even to what they were at the beginning of 2018.

In and of itself, this isn't a big issue. The generosity of SpotWalla users and their donations keep my personal costs negligible. But we're still going to shake things up a bit and see where it all goes.

Mapbox, arguably, has the best maps on the net. The Mapbox API used to manipulate and decorate those maps is simple, light, speedy and based on open data and open technologies like OSM and Leaflet. Mapbox is not free either, but then nothing is really free.

I've begun the process of converting all of the maps in SpotWalla to use Mapbox exclusively. There's still a few gaps, but there's enough there to upgrade SpotWalla and get this new stuff in front of everyone.

Don't worry, though. This will not affect any of the supported devices and with few, minor exceptions it won't affect how you interact with SpotWalla. Trips, location pages, widgets, etc... none of that changes.

So I'm going to upgrade SpotWalla this Sunday evening. I think y'all will like the new maps - at least where they're being used. The rest of this year will be used to convert the remaining maps and fill the functionality gaps.

2019 will be an exciting year.
 

Texas T

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I'd also like to say, if you're a SpotWalla user and you don't donate to the cause, please reconsider. This isn't some big company putting this product out there for us to use; this is Jason. Just him. I kick in $50 a year because I think the product is worth it, but the suggested amount by other riders is what it costs you to fill up a full tank of gas.
 
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I'm with you Brian, I just $50. Compared to what I spend on tv, cell, etc fifty is a deal. Now I feel bad, probably should have donated the price of a fill up. Fill up for my Suburban, lol.
 

Texas T

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Moved from the Atomic 1000 thread:

I see that. I believe had I made it there our timing would have coincided, could have taken each other’s picture.
On a different note I need to find some one that is using both spot and spotwalla that can take the time to walk me through my settings. I’m very frustrated. I used it last Wednesday and everything worked perfectly. Then last night it ran almost 45 minutes behind before tracks appeared. After getting starting receipt and heading out, not another track. This is not the first time this has happened. I probably get tracking right half the time. Function test on the Gen3 indicates all is well.
You can copy / paste your "update trip" page here in this thread so I can take a look at your settings,
or you can get in touch with Jason through the Support button (top right corner) and then post in the Support & Community Forums. It may take a couple of days but he'll review your settings, fix them if need be, and let you know what you did wrong (if anything).
I assume you've gone through all the existing Help pages on the Spotwalla site?
While it's possible that something did go wrong with the Spot I've not heard any confirmed reports of this in the past. Any time I've had a tracking issue it's because I configured Spotwalla incorrectly.
 
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Thanks. I have spoken with Jason and he has in fact reviewed my settings a couple of times. He said they appeared to be good. Yet tracking failed. I’m thinking my Gen3 has crashed. I have installed new batteries, plus I run it hardwired most of the time. I use an iPhone and just set up SWconnect on it and on spotwalla. I’ll give it a try.
Also, my New garmin 396LTMS has Livetracking. I will try it, but I’m concerned about how data hungry it might be.

Thanks for your response Brian.
BTW, I see your friend Ken made the trip successfully.
 
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Yep, I hear good things. But it’s another several hundred dollars to switch. I know that my safety is worth something but my burn rate is pretty atrocious with my wife’s condition. I figure you understand what with Brenda’s past issues.
 

Texas T

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Yep, I hear good things. But it’s another several hundred dollars to switch. I know that my safety is worth something but my burn rate is pretty atrocious with my wife’s condition. I figure you understand what with Brenda’s past issues.
Oh yes. I probably already would have been retired by now.
From a safety standpoint, I carry the inReach on the bike in a powered mount, and I carry a PLB in a front jacket pocket. Belts and suspenders.
 
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I had a long session with findmespot tech support this morning. Josh could not have been anymore helpful. Long story short, my Gen3 is broke and he said they will send me a new one. We’ll see. Makes me feel a bit better, that maybe I’m not such a tech idiot after all.
 
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