Y'all have fun!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
During the upgrade all system interfaces will be unavailable. The SPOT XML Interface will recover, but the Google Latitude and Yahoo! Fire Eagle interfaces will not recover lost messages since those interfaces don't maintain history. However, interface downtime will be minimized by upgrading and validating the interfaces first.
I'm really excited about this upgrade. As always, we are concerned about security and want to do everything we can to minimize your default exposure. In other words, SpotWalla shouldn't do anything that potentially exposes your location by default. Instead, you determine and configure your degree of exposure.
- Location pages can be configured to show/hide usernames. This feature allows users to maintain some anonymity when joining public location pages.
- Users will be able to choose which message types (e.g. Ok, Help, Custom and Tracking) update their location on location pages. For instance, if you use Ok messages to mark where you spend the night, you may not want to update your location on public location pages with that location.
- Trips have always been public by default. Not anymore. By default all trips will be hidden (i.e. not shown in any home page searches). The user will have to explicitly make them public.
SpotWalla is a highly configurable system. Most of the complexities are present because we want you to have complete control of your degree of exposure. Because of this, the configuration screens for trips, device security, etc can seem overwhelming. This upgrade doesn't eliminate any of the security options, but it does make some things easier.
- The Google Maps API (GMAPI) Version 2 is now deprecated. All GMAPI customers are encouraged to port their applications to GMAPI Version 3. This version has made it easier behind the scenes, but as a user you shouldn't notice a huge difference.
- As part of the GMAPI upgrade, a new traffic layer is now available in the trip viewer, embedded trips, location pages as well as the last location widget. Traffic information is not available in all areas or at all zoom levels. The traffic information displayed is current as of when the page was loaded. For more information on coverage areas see: Google Maps Traffic Coverage Area.
- Trips now use track dots by default.
- A zoom parameter has been added to the trip embedding functionality.
- We've added support for the <label> HTML tag. This tag makes it easier to select checkbox and radio button elements in forms by allowing you to click anywhere on the text (or label) associated with the checkbox or radio button. In older versions of SpotWalla you had to click on the checkbox or radio button itself.
- A Test Interface button has been added to the device's Interface screen. For SPOT and Google Latitude users, this button allows you to test the interface immediately. In older versions of SpotWalla you had to wait for the next polling interval to determine if the interface was configured properly.
- Elevation data is now available for all locations in SpotWalla. We've added support for a new Google service that allows us to acquire elevation data for each location. A background process will run periodically and update a location's elevation. Preference will be given to new locations, but eventually all locations will be updated. Elevation data is viewable on the device's Browse screen and will be included in all downloads - GPX, KML and CSV.
- Last location information has been added to the left pane of the trip viewer.
- Users can now join a location page from the location viewer.
- Create a secure zone while browsing a device's messages.
So this is what's in store for everyone after the upgrade on October 8th. I hope you find these updates useful.
Y'all have fun!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Ya. I know. Small potatoes, but a milestone nonetheless. :)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I called SPOT customer service. They are aware of the issue. I was told that they expect the systems to be back online and fully operational in the next couple of hours.
Y'all hang in there.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
- URL Security
- Custom Message
Securing your location data is important. When enabled, the Last Known Location widget allows you to share your location with others. Embedded within the URL is an ID that identifies the device. Once this URL is exposed to the world on your blog or in a forum post or any other medium, your location has the potential of being compromised. This upgrade will allow you to generate a new ID/URL for the device thereby invalidating the previous URL. Conceivably, you could expose yourself to the world while you're on a trip and generate a new URL when you get back. If a web crawler or person saved your URL for later usage, it wouldn't work.
The functionality described above is also available for trips. Additionally, trip IDs are no longer sequential which will eliminate the ability of someone or something from snooping in a suspicious manner.
The Last Known Location widget, by default, displays an international stop sign when the last location falls within an active secure zone. Now you can configure each secure zone with a custom message that will be displayed instead of the international stop sign.
During this upgrade all SpotWalla interfaces will be down. SPOT devices will recover missed messages when SpotWalla comes back online. Since the Google Latitude and Yahoo! Fire Eagle device interfaces do not provide location history, these devices will not recover missing locations sent during this upgrade.
I don't anticipate the upgrade will take longer than 30 minutes, but if problems arise the upgrade may take the full hour. I'll post here on the blog when the upgrade is complete.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The message interfaces will not be operational during the upgrade, but will resume immediately afterward. SPOT users needn't be concerned about losing location data as the interface will automatically catch up. Google Latitude users may lose one or two locations depending upon how long the upgrade takes.
The upgrade includes fixes to some minor issues, but also includes:
- Yahoo! Fire Eagle Support - That's right. It's back! In an effort to support even more devices, SpotWalla once again supports the Fire Eagle interface. For SPOT users, we still recommend using the SPOT XML Interface since it provides much more information about your location than Fire Eagle is designed to provide. For users with other devices, though, Fire Eagle may be the wise choice. Once the upgrade is complete, you may read more about the Fire Eagle interface here: Message Interfaces.
- You now have a choice on which icon is used to mark each location type (e.g. OK, Help, Custom and Tracking) on a trip. Normally, each location is marked using a numbered, colored flag. Now you can choose to display a smaller, simpler colored dot. This will help unclutter larger trips and, depending upon how you configure your trip, make it easier to see different location types. When the upgrade is complete, you may read more about these new options here: Creating & Updating Trips.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
More news as it becomes available.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The message interfaces will not be affected and will remain operational.
The upgrade includes fixes to some minor issues, but also includes:
- We've finally cracked the code on how to layer locations on the map. This allows us to give precedence to certain message/location types so they appear on top of other locations. This will come in handy when looking for a particular message type like Ok, Custom or Help among large clusters of locations. When the upgrade is complete Help and Last Location locations will be given the highest precedence. OK and Custom messages will have the next highest precedence. All other locations will retain their default precedence.
- The device's last location widget has been enhanced with a new format parameter which controls how the last location is displayed. When set to text the information will appear as simple text. When set to anything else the information will appear on a map. When the upgrade is complete you may click the following link for more information: Last Location Widget
- We've added finer control options to the Days of History list selection when viewing and embedding trips. Now you'll be able to choose the last 2, 4, 8 or 16 hours in addition to the usual choices.
Monday, May 3, 2010
- Multiple Secure Zones
- Full-screen trip and location page viewing