Trip Tracker


The server is offline and will continue to be so for an unspecified period of time. This means that the map client demo and the Trip Tracker server running on this server will be unavailable.

A PDF version of the report describing the system is available now. Only a Norwegian version is available, but an English translation will be made available in due time.

Trip Tracker GPS client 0.8.1 (source) has been released with improved support for serial port communication provided by the RXTX project.

Trip Tracker is a position tracking client-server system. It's designed to assist people in setting up a realtime tracking environment with either a private or public tracking server. The Trip Tracker GPS client sends coordinates to the tracking server to update its position. In the event that the GPS client loses its Internet connection it can send all collected coordinates to the tracking server as soon as it's back online. The tracking server saves all the coordinates and can forward them to listening map clients.

Trip Tracker will enable users to work with route tracking in several different ways:

  • Realtime tracking inside the coverage area of GSM with GPRS or any other technologies used to connect to the Internet.
  • Upload of previously recorded routes to a server.

Our network protocol is presented in a clear text format, but it still has a reasonably low overhead to accommodate low bandwidth technologies such as GPRS. Adding compression for large packages of coordinates could further this goal and also reduce the cost associated with a GPRS dial-up connection and similar pay-per-byte services.

Another advantage is that you are free to modify and distribute the system yourself under the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License. Trip Tracker is designed to support all NMEA compatible GPS units. Both units that use serial port emulation (connection by USB) and those that connect directly to a serial port. This should cover most consumer-level GPS units from all major GPS producers.

We also have an online map client available for testing. If you are unable to get it to work you probably have to update your Java Runtime Environment to version 1.5/5.0 or later. A flash animation of the map client running a realtime tracking session is also available. The functionality of the map client has been improved since the flash animation was recorded, but it might still be of interest. You can also find two flash animations (one and two) of an early map client version where a previously recorded route is uploaded to the server. This behaviour has been changed so that the whole route now appears at the same time, but the animations might be fun to look at.

If you want to look at the source code you can either use a Subversion client or view individual source files from our FishEye or repository browsers.


  • The map client can only display a map of Norway because the WMS server is hardcoded in the server-side PHP script "mapservice.php". This may change in the future. If you know any good WMS servers we might add it to the server-side script, but you still need to add the proper WMS layers in the source code to make it work.


Not all features or functionality outlined on this website is guaranteed to work or exist at all. This project is still under development which means that some features that worked in one revision might be broken in later revisions. This is due to the laid-back manner of our current commit policy. There also is no guarantee that a given revision will compile.

Routes located on the public Trip Tracker server at may disappear without notice. No backup is taken of data uploaded to the server, so make sure you keep a local copy of any routes you upload.