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Month: December 2016

Collecting and Handling 911 Event Data

Seattle has a pretty awesome approach to data availability and transparency through data.Seattle.gov.  The city has thousands of data sets available (from in-car police video records to land zoning to real-time emergency feeds) and Socrata, a Seattle-based company, has worked with the city (and many other cities) to allow developers to engage this data however they like.  I spent some time playing around with some of the data sets and decided it’d be nice to know when police and fire events occurred near my apartment. I setup a script to pull the fire and police calls for events occurring within 500 meters of my apartment and started storing them into a local database (Socrata makes it so simple – amazing work by that team).  While reading it from the API, I check the proximity of the event to my address and also the type of event (burglary, suspicious person, traffic stop, etc) and trigger emails for the ones I really want to know about (such as a near by rape, burglary, shooting, vehicle theft, etc).  I decided to store all events, even traffic stops, just because.  I may find a use for it later – who knows… After I’ve scrubbed through and sent…

Location to HTTP – Send GPS data to remote script

I wanted to capture my phone’s location information and store it remotely (on my server) so I could do with it as I please.  Most of the apps I found were severely limited in that they only mapped within the app, were riddled with ads, crashed frequently, or were untrustworthy (they’re storing my location, after all).  So, I decided to build my own app that did what I wanted. Location to HTTP Location to HTTP is an app I’m working on which allows users to input a remote script URL to capture a device’s location information via POST. How it works Create a remote script to capture the variables $lat and $lon via POST (example below). Download the app and enter the URL of that script. The app will automatically send the location information every 5-10 minutes to the script. Possible Uses Track your phone’s location so you can retrace your steps if you lose it. Store your location history for displaying in custom interfaces. Share your location with friends/family when travelling or hiking. Trigger home automation events based on your location (turn on the heat, turn on the lights, unlock the doors, feed the pets, water the plants, etc.).…