Using GPS as an Emergency Contact System Wherever you Go

Using GPS as an Emergency Contact System Wherever you Go

Your GPS system will get you from point A to point B, sure, but it can also do a lot more. While you can get standalone GPS systems for pilots, adventurers, or your basic gadget freak, you can also do a lot with some of the phone apps that are available.

One example of a standalone GPS is the Bushnell BackTrack. At around $65 retail, this is a personal location finder that uses GPS to help you find your way back to where you came from. Consider it your own personal trail of bread crumbs for when you’re at a huge theme park, wandering around an unfamiliar city, or even one of the giant surface parking lots at the Mall of America. The BackTrack has two buttons that you use to mark up to three different locations. Then, when it’s time to return, select a location and the LCD guides you back using arrows. This little device also works as a compass, so you can take it with you camping or other places where you need to know where north is. The BackTrack can’t, however, call emergency services for you. But it doesn’t require a subscription, either, so you can weigh the pros and cons for yourself.

If you have an iPhone or iPad 3G, they have built-in GPS systems, and you can get a range of apps that take advantage of them. If you have an iPod touch, however, you’re outta luck, because they don’t have a true GPS chip in them.

Emergency Distress Beacon is a free app that lets you get help from your friends and family. When you start the app, it will display your coordinates, which you can then email to your emergency contacts. It can find you wherever you are – even if you’re not on a road, because it sends actual coordinates.

Beacon is also free, and is an app that works similar to the Bushnell BackTrack mentioned above. Starting out, you place a beacon so that you can later be led back there by way of arrows and a distance gauge.
GPS Tracking is a $4 app that allows you to share your location with your friends and family. You an also see the location of others using the app. The app guides you to another user by giving turn-by-turn instructions, and allows you to share your location over Facebook and Twitter. However, you must opt in to the tracking to use it.

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One Response to “Using GPS as an Emergency Contact System Wherever you Go”

  1. Trudi
    August 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    This really is a great way to add value to your gps, as well as safety. Any apps that can help keep people, including kids, safe is a must have item. Technology is offering more and more useful applications.

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