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Designing a micro GPS tracking device Answered

Hello all,

could anyone give me some insight to how complex the process of designing a very small GPS tracker which could be used to track lets say a person, which can post its co-ords to map software which is custom programmed etc in realtime.

Hypothetical scenario:

1) Tracking someone who is on the move outdoors, only has very small pockets to fit the thing in. 
2) The device must send co-ords to mapping software on a computer every 10 seconds maybe.
3) Someone can view there position on the map software in instantly to understand their exact position.

Also how expensive would the whole process cost to manufacturer roughly?

Thanks in advance and sorry for the vagueness in my question


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8 years ago

The GPS-coordinate-allocation is simple. Can be done with almsot every Arduino like an ArduinoNano.
But getting the coords to your Computer every 10 secs is another can of whoopass.
See, you HAVE to have some sort of wireless communication to the internet at hand to do that. So anything from Bluetooth to a cellphone which relays the information to your server / your IP or directly a data-modem (which is also a stripped down cellphone per sé).
However, to put out a datapacket every 10 secs is very energyconsuming... Normally it takes > 10 secs to boot and connecto to the wireless network. So a all time-on cell is needed at maybe even an all-time-online-connection.
Be prepared for a bigger battery than you wanted...

The cost?
The Arduino: 18 Euros (For a Leonardo, Others can also be used)
The Shield: 20 Euros.
The GPS-Module: 60 $
or a maybe more workintensive version (shield+GPS-Module): 40$
+ A few dollars for Batterys and connector-wires.
Codeexample for GPS-location-parsing can be found @ http://ladyada.net/make/gpsshield/gpstest.html
A Cellphone: Dont know what they cost where you live...
A cell-Datamodem: Dont know. we used them long time ago to gather and once a day send  geo-datas...

I suppose, all the software will be written by you (The Arduino-Code, the code to run on Android or iPhone, the server-code or Programm on your Comp) and cost nothing.
If you want to "pay" you for your work, i suggest add 300$ worth of coding, testing, tinkering and retrys.

However, i simply will think you do the project for educational purpose and your logged person KNOWS that he is getting cyberstalked-par-extremis! Where i life, such logging without the knowing and OK of the logged is a serious crime if it is not within a court-order.
But the resulting device will no doupt be too big and heavy (with the batteries) to really hide it on someone without him knowing...