03 – Tracking

Situm provides everything you need to monitor the location of workfield crews and manage their work wherever they are.

Situm MRM or Situm SDK/APIs: you decide #

If you are a workforce manager, Situm provides Situm MRM, and end-to-end solution that will allow you to:

  • Track and visualize the indoor & outdoor geolocation of your workforces.
  • Manage & audit the work to be performed thanks to geolocated tasks and patrols
  • Manage all your workforces in a single stop shop, including their names, roles, groups and other useful information.
  • Receive events and alarms (e.g. man down alarms or panic button alerts) in real-time, allowing you to react quickly to them.
  • Audit the work performed by your team thanks to powerful geoanalytics such as trajectories, heatmaps, or geofencing based reports.

If you, however, prefer to develop your own tracking application or integrate Situm into an existing solution, you may leverage on Situm mobile SDKs and Situm REST APIs to do that.

Geolocation anywhere and every second #

Situm is an universal geolocation engine. This means that Situm can work anywhere in the world, regardless that the user is indoors or outdoors.

  1. Indoors. If the user is inside a building configured with Situm’s technology, Situm can provide it’s indoor location with great accuracy using the existing WiFi and / or BLE infrastructure
  2. Outdoors. Situm can take advantage of the available GPS signals, therefore being able to provide outdoor positioning as well (and even transitioning seamlessly from indoor to outdoor environments, and viceversa).

Works in the hand, in the pocket and in vehicles #

Tracking apps must be able to locate the smartphone regardless of how the user carries it: in the hand, in the pocket, in a bagpack, in a vehicle etc. Situm has been optimised to be able to provide accurate geolocation in any of these situations.

Real time geolocation monitoring #

When a geolocation is computed, Situm is able to send it to the Situm cloud. This allows not only to store it, but also to consume it in real time to build a myriad of tracking use cases. For instance, as shown in the following figure, the Situm Dashboard shows the users’ geolocations on top of the building floorplan, updating them in real time. This information can also be retrieved via API in order to build your own visualizations and use cases.

Building Realtime

Geospatial analytics #

As mentioned, geolocations are stored in Situm cloud. This allows to build an infinite number of geospatial reports, such as heatmaps, trajectories, etc. The following figure shows a heatmap report, which represents the density of geolocations computed for a particular user. 

You may also build your own reports and visualizations by consuming the raw geospatial data from our API.   

3D Heatmap

Background execution #

A mandatory feature of any tracking app will be to compute the users’ geolocation in the background (typically, when the smartphones’ screen is turned off/blocked)Android may kill running applications to increase battery life once the screen is turned off or if they enter background mode. This is only desirable if the application is intended to only run in foreground (e.g. wayfinding applications), but will cause inconveniences in all other cases (e.g. tracking apps). Luckily, Situm provides mechanisms to avoid this and ensure that your apps keep up & running in the background.

Android apps that integrate Situm SDK will be able to work safely in the background with just a couple of configurations: Situm takes care of everything. From Android SDK v.2.13.0+, Situm incorporates a Keep-Alive mechanism (activated by default) to prevent Android from killing or limiting the execution of applications using Situm SDK. This mechanism will cause the application to run always, even in the background or if the screen has been turned off. This comes with the following costs:

  • Users will see an always-on notification in the notification area.
  • Battery life will be significantly reduced.

For more information about battery life optimizations, please refer to Optimizing for Doze and App Standby and Background Execution Limits.

Battery efficiency #

Tracking apps usually run for hours/days on end, therefore the battery of the smartphone must last for very long periods of time. Situm allows to turn on several battery optimizations specially designed and tested with tracking use cases in mind.

Battery saver #

Usually, Situm reads the sensor data and computes a new location every second. When the smartphone is moving, Situm produces real-time updates to track the smartphone. However, when the smartphone does not move, this process is somehow unnecessary: after all, the position of the smartphone does not change.

If the Battery saver is activated, when the smartphone does not move (based on accelerometer data),  Situm stops reading & processing sensor data. Instead, Situm yields the last computed location as the current smartphone location. When the smartphone moves again, sensor reading & processing is restored.

The following figure shows a graphical explanation of this mode.

Realtime update interval #

By default, Situm computes one geolocation per second and sends it to the Situm cloud right away. This allows to monitor smartphone geolocation in real time, but if this feature is not required, we can save battery by buffering the geolocations and bursting the uploads.  

The following table enumerates the different update intervals with an approximated estimation of the battery duration under each of them.

ModeUpdate intervalApproximate* battery duration
REALTIMEEvery second9 to 12 hours
FASTEvery 5 seconds10 to 13 hours
NORMALEvery 15 seconds12 to 15 hours
SLOWEvery 25 seconds14 to 16 hours
BATTERY_SAVEREvery 30 minutesUp to 24 hours
NEVERNeverUp to 24 hours
*Depends on device, ambient conditions, other applications running, etc.

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