Epic Tracker

About a week ago, friends over at Archinoetics asked if I wanted to be a beta tester for their new iPhone app called Epic Tracker. I had heard about Epic Tracker from following Roz Savage's row across the Pacific on her "epic" solo row. The program's first iteration was called Roz Tracker and on her recent leg from Kiribati to Australia, I noticed it had evolved to Epic Tracker. Now, I am not about to row across the Pacific or scale the heights of Mt. Everest and chances are the only epic treks I will go on are those in my own mind. Nevertheless, I love the idea that you can embark on a journey and mark your course along the way. As it turns out, I had the perfect excursion to field test out Epic Tracker. On the day of the LOST series finale, my friend Ryan Ozawa organized an outing at Kualoa Ranch to visit some of the notable filming spots. It was great timing and the perfect epic trek I can handle. With iPhone in hand, it was quite simple to capture a spot with a photo and sending to to Epic Tracker. The input screen allows you to title, provide a description, tag and select your multimedia content of choice, photo, video or audio. Since I like the point and shoot immediacy of photos that's the route I took. As for GPS, I selected automatic GPS since I was not prepared to manually input GPS coordinates. Once you've assembled all your content, you click Submit Post and away it goes. I felt there should be some validation before hitting send but that might be due to the newness of the application and my not wanting to lose data. I've noticed with the iPhone GPS, you can never be too sure about your location accuracy. This is the result of cell phone tower triangulation which is problematic in remote locations, but then again, I have been in urban Honolulu locations with sketchy results. Once I completed my trek submissions, it wasn't until I got back on my desktop computer that I could see my completed trip. Not surprisingly several locations were way off. It was a bit of a challenge to relocate those spots since the Epic Tracker did not provide a way to move your map point. I ended up going into Google Maps and approximating where the location was and got lats and longs from there. That got edited back into Epic Tracker for a more accurate display of the LOST sites we visited. I later found out that by tapping the GPS Signal indicator on the screen, you would get a display of your map location. But you still couldn't adjust it. I suppose if you were on a real epic journey you would have a GPS device that you could manually input coordinates into Epic Tracker. The social media features allow you to send out your posts to Twitter and/or Facebook. I was blasting my ET posts to Twitter and getting updates from Ryan when he saw them. As you can see, the message starts off with a hashtag for EpicTracker. The title is the only user generated message. I could have probably been more informative but at the time I thought my description was also going to be included. The rest of the tweet is an Epictracker url. An obvious suggestion would be to use a url shortener. Maybe they can work something out with Turkey and get Epic.tr. Back on the website, more work needs to be done to add a social element. I can see a lot of my friends using this service and I would like to follow their  travels. Right now there doesn't seem be that feature. The website also seems to be split into two parallel views, one HTML and the other Flash. Once in the Flash view you aren't able to one-click back into HTML view. You need to type the entire url. There are other idiosyncrasies but I will chock it up to being early beta. In all fairness, I can't be too critical since this version of Epic Tracker is not publicly available. My role at this time is to kick the tires and report back. So far I like what I see and if some of these improvements are made for the public release I am sure you will like it to. I'll keep you posted.

5 thoughts on “Epic Tracker”

  1. Thanks for the great review and for taking the time to help us kick the tires. We are in early private beta but if anyone is interested, as we have availability I can send an invitation. Email me at brian [at] epictracker.com. Thanks again Burt!

  2. Cool, I saw you when I searched the hashtag #epictracker on Twitter. This would be perfect for you as you go traveling about.

  3. Burt,

    I just started testing it out, I have high hopes and if it works out, may become my tool of choice, especially because it pushes to other socnets.

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