mobile

You asked for it and we delivered… Position tracking in Mergin Maps!

Mergin Maps mobile app is fast evolving in recent years and we are pleased to announce a new exciting feature: Position tracking in background. It operates on both Android and iOS devices. Live tracking also works while the app is minimised in the background, increasing battery life and allowing users to do other work on the phone or with it in their pocket.

Through our users’ feedback and suggestions, we gathered a detailed set of requirements and started the work earlier this year. This feature allows users to retrace their steps and record their movement history whilst surveying. In this blog post, we'll delve into the Tracking feature in Mergin Maps and see how it can be used to monitor the survey team.

How to enable tracking

To enable tracking, you need to open your Mergin Maps project in QGIS. From the project settings, you can select the option to allow tracking for the project. Note that this will enable tracking for all users who are contributing to the project as “writer”.

To see more information, you can see the documentation page.

How to use tracking in the mobile app

Once the tracking is enabled for the project, you can start and stop tracking within the app, from the main menu at the bottom:

To stop tracking, you need to open the same menu and stop recording your tracks.

How does it work

User’s locations are saved frequently (based on the settings selected from the plugin) in the background to a GeoPackage linestring table (tracking_layer) and synchronised with the rest of the project data. The layer comes with a set of default attribute fields for the name of the user, start and end time for each track. 

In addition, it records the time as M value to each vertex. The time unit is Unix epoch in seconds. To use the time you can use the QGIS expression to convert it to UTC time. The expression below converts the m values to UTC time in QGIS:

datetime_from_epoch( m*1000)

The result can be visualised in QGIS:

Customisable tracking to suit your needs

Position tracking in Mergin Maps gives you even more flexible ways to collect data. The feature will collect historic location information while it is activated on the mobile device. You have the option to set the frequency of location requests, allowing for more detailed track recording or less frequent updates to reduce power consumption and save battery. This will give you the opportunity to record routes to assets, track the position of teammates or get an idea of the time needed to travel between different locations. 

We would love to hear any feedback users have about this new feature. Also, if you have any ideas about how we can make Mergin Maps even better, please visit our Wishlist where you can suggest new features like this or vote on other features you’d like to see  in Mergin Maps.

Now let’s go collect some data!

You might also like

Mergin Maps

Hello from Mergin Maps!

February 13, 2024

plugin

Support tip: Downloading a previous version of your project

January 31, 2024

Mergin Maps

Mergin Maps 2023: our year in review

December 28, 2023

mobile

Mergin Maps is now faster and more stable than ever

November 15, 2023

plugin

Download tiles for offline background maps in five steps

October 30, 2023

partners

We've partnered with MarXact for high-precision surveying in Mergin Maps

October 27, 2023

event

Come see us at INTERGEO 2023 in Berlin

September 29, 2023

Mergin Maps

Mergin Maps Gets a Brand Refresh

September 27, 2023

Mergin Maps

We’ve added the ability to customise photo names in Mergin Maps!

August 31, 2023

Mergin Maps

Features wishlist - Help us help you!

July 27, 2023

Mergin Maps

Check out the Mergin Maps interview on App of the Day

May 4, 2023

event

Mergin Maps hope to see you at GeoBusiness London 2023

May 2, 2023

Mergin Maps

Worried about using open-source geospatial software for your business? Mergin Maps support is here for you!

April 28, 2023

Mergin Maps

Camptocamp partners with Mergin Maps to deliver open source GIS solutions

April 25, 2023

Mergin Maps

Subscription tiers are going to change

April 18, 2023

Mergin Maps

Mergin Maps Community and Enterprise Editions

March 31, 2023

Mergin Maps

Introducing Workspaces: Simplified Collaboration

January 31, 2023

Mergin Maps

Mergin Maps: a year in review (2022)

December 20, 2022

Mergin Maps

Mergin Maps in MapScaping podcast

December 15, 2022

plugin

View and track changes in QGIS

December 14, 2022

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Cookie Policy for more information. Deny cookies here.