We are very excited to anncounce the launch of a major new feature on the site - a Challenge Tracker.
If you're undertaking a long distance challenge, you can now use plotaroute.com to track and share your progress. When you create a new challenge, you'll get a dedicated Challenge Tracker page on plotaroute.com. On this page you can add a photo, provide information about your challenge, including a link to your own webiste if you have one, and show where you are on your challenge route map.
Then share your Challenge Tracker page with anyone who wants to follow your progress and simply check in using our desktop or mobile site to update your position as often as you like.
To see an example of a Challenge Tracker page, have a look at my Kilimanjaro for Cancer challenge page. This is a challenge I'm planning to undertake in September to raise money for a national cancer charity and a local hospice. If anyone would like to sponsor me and help to me raise money for these two wonderful causes please visit my Kilimanjaro for Cancer website, where you'll find further details about why I'm undertaking the challenge and the charities I'm supporting.
Lastly, as this is a fairly major new feature, we've launched it as a BETA release at present. Please let us know via the forum if you spot any bugs.
Hi John, looks like a nice feature! I've just created a challenge for a trail marathon I'm running (well run/walk) next weekend. Haven't noted anything untoward, except that the 'share this page' link is not active? The news item suggests it should be shareable, so am I missing something here or is this something you need to look at?
Hi Ian - thanks for the feedback. You should see social sharing icons above where it says Share This Link - are they not there? If you're not seeing these can you let me know what browser you are using please and I'll try to recreate the problem here.
Just so everyone is aware, the challenge tracker is primarily for multi-day or long-distance challenges where you have the opportunty to stop and check-in - it doesn't support real-time tracking. I would recommended bookmarking the check-in page for your challenge so you can quickly get to it on your mobile device, or perhaps add it to your home screen - this should make it quicker to do your position updates.
Good luck with the marathon Ian.
Thanks John, first proper race for over a year, so excited & apprehensive in equal measure!
sorry no, there are no icons above the 'share this link' text.
I'm running Chrome Version 49.0.2623.87 beta-m (64-bit) on Windows 7 Enterprise SP1
....... ok, problem solved. AdBlock was preventing them from appearing, when I disabled that I could see them.
John, have you considered adding a comments box related to the challenge, in the same way you have one for each route?
Might be nice for the challenger to be able to add some commentary as to how they are progressing, and also for the rest of the community to engage as the challenge progresses.
Funny enough I was thinking the same thing! However, the idea didn't come up until the development work was nearly completed, so it was too late to add this into the first release of this feature, but hopefully we can add it in as an enhancement at a later date. I've added it to our Feature Requests list (number 48), so anyone who is interested in it can vote for it there.
John, tried to check into my challenge yesterday several times, but each time I got an error message around being unable to determine location and to ensure location services were switched on. Which they definitely were. Device is a galaxy s6.
Thanks for flagging this up Ian - sorry it didn't work for you. I've had a look into it and it appears that the Samsung Galaxy can be slow in acquiring a position fix, so it was probably timing out. I've increased the timeout period to 60 seconds and also made soem changes to help identify what the cause is if it does fail. Would you mind checking to see if it now works on your Galaxy S6 please?
No need for apologies John, it is in beta after all. Just tried again and got this popup after less than a second.
Unable to detect your position. Permission not given or location services disabled
Location services are definitely enabled. Not sure about permissions, will have a dig.
I do have power saving mode enabled, if this makes a difference?
Turned off power saving mode and it made no difference..
Checked permissions for chrome and it can access location, both network and GPS based.
So chrome doesn't work, but when I use the default android browser, it picks up the location almost immediately, so looks like a browser specific problem.
I'll have a play with chrome settings later see if I can get to the bottom of it, but any pointers would be appreciated!
It sounds like you've probably denied persmission for this page (or the site) to use your location at some point in the past and Chrome has remembered this. You would need to reset this. I'm not sure how this is done on mobile version of Chrome but I'll try to look into it.
spot on :) I've cleared that setting for plotaroute, and the check-in now seems to be working. Thanks for your help.
That's good news Ian. Would you mind sharing how you reset this in the Chrome app in case others have the same problem?
no problem, this is what I did (on a Samsung Galaxy S6)
At this point, you should see 2 sections, listing sites that are either 'allowed' or 'blocked' to access location details.
Note that each section will only show up if you have at least 1 site in that section.
In my case, www.plotaroute.com was in the disallowed section, so i had to:
www.plotaroute.com should now be in the 'allowed' section.
I'm adding to this topic because I've encountered a problem with Tracker that may be related.
I'm using Plotaroute in Chrome on a Samsung Galaxy S8+.
With Tracker switched on, I'm finding that the location indicated on the map is significantly wrong... by 200 yards, maybe, well outside the error indicated by the' 'blue circle'. It also gets 'stuck' then moves erratically to another wrong location. I've tried it with each of the options selected in the location settings for the phone. Plotaroute has location enabled as per Ian's instructions below.
However, if I run another tracking app in parallel with Plotaroute (e.g., Geo Tracker), the tracking starts to work as expected in Plotaroute also.
Hi Martyn - our tracking features use whatever location the device returns, so we're dependent on the accuracy of that. I don't think there is much we'd be able to do to improve this. We can do some testing and look into the issue of it getting stuck though.
The device is clearly generating accurate location information because other tracking apps work as expected. It's just Plotaroute that acts up... and then only when working alone. As soon as another tracking app is fired up, the tracking in Plotaroute works too. Curious.
Hi Martyn - unfortuantely websites can't access geolocation data in the same way as native apps that are built for specific devices, so some devices may give different results to websites than they do to apps.
OK. Thanks for the information, John.
I'll try to remember to activate the tracking app before opening Plotaroute in the browser.
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