AFTrack is the display for your GPS and brings the world of hiking, biking, sailing, geocaching and more to your phone. The program handles tracking with smart and fixed logging features. It sends reports online or via SMS. It receives SMS position messages and shows it as way points. It exports tracks and way points, uses maps online and offline and much more.
GPS and other input
- different gps sources: internal gps, internal with
NMEA, bluetooth gps direct, USB gps, online gps over
Wifi/3G, NMEA file
- collect track data
- online maps - pool editable, tile or WMS based
- wind indicator for the map or position center
- Online position sending for live tracking
The map view can contain some additional data in a dock.
If the selected map doesn't deliver tiles for the current area you can define a fall back map server.
The definitions of online maps changes occasionally. Here is the latest version - maps.xml
Offline maps have to be made in order to use them. Use tools like the MobileAtlasCreator to get some maps for your area. Files with approximately 5000 tiles are useful. MobileAtlasCreator, since version 1.8a7, generates files with tiles packed in a OSZ file (just a zip file with the downloads and a calibration info file). Place the files on your favorite directory and load it into AFTrack at the map list.
If the tiles are written to a SQLite database, larger tile numbers are possible (there are no tests to the limit, only statements up to 2 GB from the net ???). Use these formats mbtiles (Mobac: MBTiles SQLite) or sqlitedb (Mobac: Big Planet Tracks SQLite, OSMAND SQLite or RMaps SQLite)
Here are Instructions for generating offline maps with MobileAtlasCreator and Maperitive
Offline maps without zoom level can be imported from jpg, bmp or png format. They can be combined with calibration files in map, gmi, kml, kal or jpr format. The name of calibration and bitmap file has to be the same. Note: A bitmap is stored completely in memory, so the hardware determines, how big can the map (size = X x Y x 4 bytes).
Maps with tfw calibration are stored as UTM coordinates without zone information - most times. So please place the map window near to the map before you import it.
See OSM-wiki for more online references.
Offline vector maps from mapsforge project.This can be used with the original maps on the mapsforge download or the maps from openandromaps but to get the full features (coast line, contour lines) of these maps you will need to load the included theme file. Just copy one of the xml layouts to the phone and select it in map settings. When the xml layout contains local referenced pattern this is also loaded (see as sample the Elevate - Mountain Hike Theme - just copy xml and folder to phone). You also may use the Elevate 3 version with new features for the maps styling.
On the phone you may install a theme via the OruxMap or the BackCountry Nav button. Or the manualy way.
Use the map selector on top for a quick switch between the available maps at your position (yellow = current map, dark grey = online map). When online maps are allowed, then the first selector switches to the online map.
Quick install for mapsforge chartsIn AFTrack visit the map list. The third button is the downloader. Choose Mapsforge or OpenAndroMaps and select your favorite chart for download. It will take some time - OpenAndroMaps needs an unzip process at the end. Then you will find a new map in your map list.
OpenAndroMaps has some links for overview maps - not in mapsforge format, but very useful.
Making your own calibrationStart with the import of a bitmap e.g. a picture you made.
Select another map to assist you on the calibration process e.g. a satellite view for the area you want to calibrate.
In the map list you will see the map with a (nc) sign - which means no calibration.
With a long press on the list entry you can start the calibration.
In the center you have the current xy position on your map. You can move it to a point you need and then start with first button (plus).
This adds a calibration point. there are two ways to work with this point.
- When you tap on the point you can edit the points coordinates or drop the point.
- Or you select the rectangle button to see the underlaying map. Now move to the corresponding xy position to your point and say add (plus button). The underlaying map must be in the area of your new map.
When you have three points you can save the calibration with the ok button
Auto map modeIf the 'auto map' mode is selected in the map settings, the program will select the next map for the current area from the list. When there are more than one available it's always the first.
To see the selected offline map, just deselect 'auto map'.
Note: 'auto map' always selects the best scaling map. So if you use different map systems, it will be better to switch off the 'auto map' function. E.g. you hold a set of BSB sea maps (which have no zooming) and a mapsforge map (zooms from level 2 to 22 ) in the same area. So it could be good idea to hold both in different folders, drop the map list when you want to use a special map system and rescan the folder for it.
For BSB nautical charts 'auto map' means, if off is selected, that the map is shown inclusive with the border and nautical information. Otherwise the map is clipped by the polyline and the next larger map is shown as background.
Overlays are displayed on top of the current map. There are four samples for online overlays (only visible where data is available). Define others in the conf file 'overlay.xml'.
For offline overlays use the mbtiles database format and the type 'overlay'. To see how to generate this please see here.
Offline overlays are loaded as the other maps. They are marked with a (o) behind the name. They are found behind the overlay button on the main map view.
The host definition of the overlay need a refresh sometimes. Here is the last version overlays.xml.
The transparency for overlays is adjustable.
When using mapsforge latest layouts you will also find there a layout entry to define your favorite layout elements.Download the plain sqlitedb version.
When depth values are available, they are stored to the gpx export.
It is also possible to collect a track from the incoming short messages, this can work as single or multi tracking.
Colors for multi tracking are placed in the folder aftrack/conf (file trackcolors.txt).
It is a list of hex numbers. See e.g. HTML Color Codes
Each track point can be send as short message or HTTP message immediately after generation.
RoutingRoutes are useful to show on the map or to guide you to your targets. Unlike street routing, it only works with a line.
Corridor routing helps you to stay inside a routing area and warns you when you move outside. Define the routing alarm distance to get the desired size.
To design a new route or area see this video.
Routing with BRouterFirst install the BRouter from Google Play
Download the region data you need
In AFTrack select the line button - visible on a long press on the map.
You will see 2 points and a line. Define your route points and select the route button to get a list with the options to walk, bike or drive.
Then press the search button to get a new route. You can save it by the ok button or leave the routing dialog.
Wind routingFor wind routing visit the display settings and activate the wind info and the wind routing box.
When the wind gauge is visible you can tap on it to get a wind info, This normally shows the weather info from the next weather station. By select 'internal' the wind gauge shows the wind coming from NMEA data ($--MVR, $--MWD, $--MWV). There is a special plugin for the SailTimer Wind Instrument™. It gets wind values via Bluetooth LowEnergy.
In GoTo mode the tacking lines are shown from position to the point. This is also used to get the distance. The starting line for this is drawn in the background to remember the plan.
In route planning mode the wind lines are shown from point to point and the resulting distance is displayed using wind information. Nevertheless only the points are saved without wind information.
In routing mode the tacking lines are shown for the first point.
There are small boat settings (in the wind section of display settings). For now the best angle to the wind is saved and used for calculations. The best speed is only used when no other speed information is available.
It is also possible to activate polar data for the speed calculation.
In the GoTo view there is a wind gauge when wind routing is active.
To design a route with wind, see video.
AreasImport an area in the KML format. It can be displayed in different colors.
sample areas CTR in Germany
The transparency for areas is adjustable.
Way PointsWay points are organized in groups. So define your special interest group and add some points to it. Use the import of GPS or KML formatted files or add the point from your gps signal.
It is possible to set an anchor alarm to a way point when you receive short messages for it.
More waypoint icons can be placed in the AFTrack folder sdcard/data/aftrack/icons
Format must be PNG. The icon names are synchrone to the GPX "sym" or "groundspeak:type" tag.
E.g. Geocache 60x60 or Geocache 80x80
It is possible to insert a group of way points in one step (collection). This option must be defined in display settings.
There is a text file in sdcard/data/aftrack/conf to define the way points needed for the collection.
GPSBy default the location settings of the system are used. When tracks are recorded, it is recommended to switch off the network location.
There are a number of modes for receiving gps data:
- the internal gps
- the internal gps with NMEA data (belongs to the hardware), position is extracted directly
- an external bluetooth gps device
- USB GPS on devices with usb host mode
- an online gps (gps daemon) with NMEA output (see catb.org/gpsd)
- a file with NMEA data
1. with new provider
Install an extra Bluetooth gps provider from the store.
Start with a pairing of the phone and the gps in the bluetooth settings.
Start the new provider app and select the pairing parameters. Then the connection can start.
AFTrack will use this position now.
2. with AFTrack
Pair the hardware as before.
Select the bluetooth option in the gps settings and then a hardware from the device list.
NMEA sentences in use - not that some of these are only available when AFTrack is connected over WiFi or Bluetooth with a NMEA stream:
$--RMC - recommended minimum data for gps
$--GGA - Fix information
$--GNS - Fix data
$--GSA - Overall Satellite data
$--GSV - Detailed Satellite data
$--GLL - Lat/Lon data
$--DBK - Depth Below Keel
$--DBS - Depth Below Surface
$--DBT - Depth below transducer
$--DPT - Depth of water (Meter and offset)
$--MWS - Wind & Sea State (wind only)
$--MWV - Wind Speed and Angle (only true wind)
$--MWD - Wind Speed and Angle (only true wind)
$--VWT - True Wind Speed and Angle
-AIVDM - AIS position and info
For users with gpsd interest please see these projects:
Build your own gpsd on Raspberry Pi
Or use ready to use hardware from vYacht, iKommunicate
Or use SEANEXX AIS-Receiver (USB or with wifi module)
Use AFTrack as a GPSD and make your position available to a PC or tablet without gps.
For testing connect to AFTrack with a telnet program and after receiving the initial message send a command:
SMS ReportingShort message reporting can be done manually or parallel to a track. This needs some settings first.
Incoming messages are checked for gps sentences which are processed if found.
Since Android KitKat AFTrack can't delete an incoming sms, so you could set it with a sms provider.
AFTrack also receive SMS reports (select GGA mode) from other AFTrack users and store the incoming values as waypoints. For the name of the waypoint the phone book entry is used - if not already there. It is possible to receive the GPS tracker TK102, TK102-2, TK102 clones, DNT, ELRO, GEODOG or SmartcomGps.
For special functions, there exists a template to individualize the sending text (template sms.txt is found in AFTrack directory conf). It contains the all available shortcuts to fill into the message (latitude, longitude, altitude, date, time, speed, direction and the address for the position - if internet connected).
If you miss starting a track on incoming position reports then you can move the history of sms to a track - you will find this on the context menu of the way point entry.
The receive function can be used as an anchor alarm. Leave a gps tracker (or a second AFTrack version) on board and set an anchor alarm for its way point.
Basic requirements for the operation of GEODOG with AFTrackGEODOG collar with software version >= G1CG20W
The position reports are recognized in "TrackSMS" mode . To activate the this module send a short message with the following content to the collar
Tracksmson (to switch on)
Tracksmsoff (to switch off)
The collar responds with a ready message.
After the command is confirmed, the mode is activated by a 3 second press on the home button. PLEASE NOTE: GPS and the Home button indicator will flash. It hs now made a new GPS fix. Once the fix has been made successfully both lamps shown permanently.
From this point on, the collar sends positions for the last 30 seconds in a 5 block format.
The transmission mode is switched off with a short press on the home button. WARNING: if the collar runs longer than 30 seconds the display goes to "sleep mode". Before switching off do a short push on the 'on / off' button.
If no network connection is available, the tracking data are buffered and sent out later if this is possible.
Online ReportingOnline reporting means sending your position to a web site. This can be done in a single step or automatically with the log. There is a default setting for http://www.whererya.com. It can be done automatically with the logging function or manually from the menu.
If no network connection is available, the tracking data are buffered and sent out later if this is possible.
It's also possible to share your position using other apps.
- GPS Mode - select the input device
- GPS Mixed Mode - get external NMEA data but use internal position
- Selection of a bluetooth device (only visible when BT is enabled)
- Option to disable bluetooth after app closing
- Online GPS address and port, TCP, UDP or Signal K (works via web socket)
- Share position (replace internal gps provider)
- Work as GPS daemon (use json or nmea data)
- Start a setting dialog for a plugin (only available when a plugin is installed)
- Log Mode - handles the different modes for logging
- Log Mode SMS - handle incoming sms for tracking
- Log Seconds - frequency for logging only used at log on second (values from 2 to 9999 seconds (30 minutes = 1800)
- GPS update settings for seconds and distance
- Automatic log at program start
- Automatic export on track end
- use AIS (NMEA format from local server/receiver)
- AIS server and port, TCP or UDP
- this is also usable for ADS-B reports generated from the dump1090 software(connect to the port 30003)
- Altitude - select meter or feet
- Altitude correction - the altitude correction is used or not
- Altitude correction value for a manual altitude correction. When defined as 0 then the geo id is used,
Geo id is calculated with formulas and values from National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
- Special: when a barometer sensor is found then here are some more values:
- Use pressure for altitude
- Start altitude for pressure
- Get pressure from the nearest station for correction (needs net connection, is refreshed every 5 minutes)
- Vario Audio - beeps for sink or climb speed
- Depth - select meter, feet or fathom to display
- Define an offset for the depth
- Position format as decimal degree, degree with minutes, degree with minutes and seconds or UTM format
- Speed - select knots, miles, kilometers per hour, meter per minute or miles per minute
- Distance format as nautical mile, mile or kilometer
- Smart angle, the angle for smart logging
- Use filter for altitude, speed, wind to get smoother values
- Speed pause - define the minimal speed
- Use the compass when available
- Use gps direction or calculate the values or calculate it
- show a position history - for orientation on screen
- Write a NMEA log file
- Define a filter to select NMEA data. e.g. "$GPRMC $GPDPT" writes only these sentences to log file
- Set the distance for the anchorage alarm in meter
DisplayWay point settings
- How to display way points on screen
- Define the way point icon position
- Define the minimal zoom level to display the way points
- Show a small line to the way point when in goto mode
- Show start bearing to this goto way point
- Time format in short form
- Use way point collection, shows an extra button to insert a new group of way points
Fill the configuration file 'wptcollection.txt' with own values for a collection
On map only the collection is shown, when tapping on icon the contained way points a displayed
- Load also way points on import of a route
- Track color or 'up/down hill' color
- show only points
- Track line size
- Track restart, generate a new track when x minutes left and run track is selected (0 = no new track)
- Route color or 'up/down hill' color
- show route direction
- Route line size
- Routing inside a corridor (sends alarm when you get outside)
- Alarm distance for next route point or size of corridor
- import routes without using the date
- opens a dialog for AIS settings
- Use AIS dock with sorted ship list
- AIS small and scaled icons, shows the dimension of a ship
- Show a path for the moving AIS items or select the path icon inside the AIS dialog to show only this item with path
- MMSI for own ship to extract value from display
There is also an option to define a group of AIS items and display it in different color.
Design a text file with name 'aisgroup.txt' and place it into the AFTrack 'conf' folder.
The content is a list of MMSI in each line
- Label size
- Show view direction on the map
- Center tracks/routes on maps or center the start point
- Start with last map view or last position
- Position pointer format, replace the graphic 'pointer.png' in AFTrack conf folder for own designed pointer
- Wind indicator - show the true wind direction with tail feathers
- Distance rings - show rings around the position
- 10 minutes distance - show where is the next position in 10 minutes
- Radius for virtual map center (km)
- Show wind info for the map center (weather data or internal data)
- Unit for the wind speed
- Wind routing
- Layline on way point - show wind angles for the current way point (only in GoTo mode)
- Boat settings for best tack angle, max speed on angle, use polar values
- Auto dock - display the dock for the 'view on map' function
- change the dock button (map, track, route, way point or area list)
- Set light always on
- Lock the screen tabbing
- Set display orientation (automatic is not working correct on all devices)
- Save the settings
- Restore the settings from file
- Scan the defined folder, this also looks for installed map plugins and NV-digital charts
- Scan at start (could slow down the app start)
- Clear the cache for the online map store
- Automatic selection of a map for the current area. Starts with the offline maps
- Define the cache directory
- Set the cache directory
- Select an online map to use as a fallback map when teh selected online map is not available in the current area
- Stop the use of a net connection - use only the cached values
- Set the position of the zoom buttons to the left side
- Load a new layout for the mapsforge maps (just place the layout xml and the icon folder where you like)
- Define the text size on mapsforge maps
These settings are for getting way point positions from a server.
Before start a GpsGate connection fill the settings for the server.
Different profiles can be created.
A profile can be loaded from a settings file
Example of setting files
This helps you to send positions to a server.
Fill in all the values you need to connect a server.
This can be done in user profiles. So it's easy to switch to other server settings.
Sample settings for a GpsGate server
User Attribute: username
Use IMEI: off
Password Attribute: pw
Latitude Attribute: latitude
Longitude Attribuet: longitude
Altitude Attribute: altitude
Speed Attribute: speed
Direction Attribute: heading
Time Attribute: time
Time Format: HHmmss
Short MessageStorage settings
- read a missed sms from inbox
- SMS storage - predefined text to send
- Show commands in list
- Automatic send with log
- Select a string to send
- Define the receiving number
- Number to send
- Center on sms position
- Play sound on sms income
IGCThe values to fill the IGC log
- Glider type
- Glider id
- Competition class
All plugins work with all versions
- uses the SailTimer
Wind Instrument™ to work with wind data
Get a discount on the SailTimer
Wind Instrument™ as AFTrack user.
Video how to design a route
Video how to sail with AFTrack to a way point
Video how to plan route with AFTrack and wind information
Video how to calibrate a bitmap as map
Video how to plan a route with BRouter
Pdf how to work with wind
Pdf how to work with way points
Html how to use AFTrack when sailing
Html how to install an own GPSD on RasPi
Html how to install an ADSB service on RasPi
Html how to install Signal-K on RasPi
Known ProblemsShort Message applications can interfere with the reception of SMS if they occupy the inbox.
Reported are the apps 'GO SMS Pro' and 'Pansi SMS'
and the custom ROM 'MIUI'.
Incoming SMS are not removed after use (since Android 4.4), so use the AFTrack SMS setting 'SMS App'
AFTrack Standard Version
All functions as described above.
AFTrack Lite VersionThe lite version differences
- no automatic send via http
- no automatic send via short message
- no template sending via short message
- loads only three offline maps
- has a start screen
- limited export
- no multi track colors
Minimum Android version: 2.1, works best with version: 4.0 or higher
Android Market and/or Google account: -
Third-party libraries: -
Rooted device: -
Location coarse location, fine location, mock location
Modify external storage
Read contact data for incoming short message
Short message read, write, edit, send
Device Id for the use of protected maps or sending as an identifier (online settings)
Access network state, wifi state
Read system log files