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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    « Cheap! Family Memories For Sale | Main | Quilting and Family History: Report from Road, Honoring Eleanor Burns »
    Tuesday
    Jan272009

    Tech Tuesday: "Share Your Where" with Blip for Blackberry

    Blackberry users might feel a bit jealous of all the cool tools for the iPhone, but some applications are still exclusively Blackberry, including the GPS tracking program, Blip by BlackLine GPS.

    I have been using Blip since last summer, mostly to find out if Mr. Curator has left work for home so that I can put the tuna casserole in the oven. This FREE application runs on GPS enabled Blackberry mobile phones. Activated on the phone, it works as a mini-tracking device. Go to Blip, and any shared phones are listed. Select the phone you want to view, and choose "Map Last Location." In a few seconds, a Google Map of the area appears identifying the selected user.

    Now, it's obvious that Blip would be great for a bit of detective work if you wanted to follow someone's movements, but tracking can be turned off any time by the user. Do I really want Mr. Curator to know that I am at the quilt shop again? When I tell friends about the program, their reactions mostly run to "cool, but not on my phone." Some think it is just a bit too Big Brother-ish. I think it is useful, however, especially if you are travelling in an unfamiliar area or alone. I first activated Blip on my Blackberry last summer when we were in New England and I planned to spend a day on the backroads by myself doing a bit of family history research. You can be sure I showed my husband how it worked, just in case my car went off the road and into a ditch.

    Blip is a step-brother application to Blackline's portable tracking device, Snitch GPS. The palm-size Snitch, and it's counterpart Loner, act much like an auto LoJack anti-theft device. The difference is portability. GPS Snitch protects your auto, RV, truck, or other vehicle. If activated by a break-in it will silently notify you via email and initiate GPS tracking that you can follow on the Snitch Website. Loner GPS works in much the same way, but is designed to act as an emergency safety device for employees working alone in the field. The device is worn by the person and activated by motion-sensor technology. Way cool. Both are available from Blackline.

    I am playing around with using Blip to record tracking information that I can transfer to a saved Google Earth map. This would be a convenient way to mark gravesites or residences with GPS coordinates.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    Hi there -
    Loved that I've found your blog - great cross of history meets technology. Thank-you.

    You should check out the site http://arcalife.com" REL="nofollow">arcalife - it's a recently launched website, still in Beta, that could really help and lend to the genealogy network.

    A colleague of mine, Paul Taylor, built the site with a team of technologists. I am helping him spread the word. Paul is originally from England and he now lives in Canada. He was inspired to build this network from a personal hard experience in his family and it's grown from there.

    arcalife incorporates family search, building a family tree, an easy way to invite your family, uses web 2.0 tools - you can import your photos and videos from other networks like Facebook - it's truly a full experience where you can store all of your family memories online in one place - it's an in-depth user experience that is pretty easy and fun.

    I'd love to hear what you think - Or better yet, pass it along!
    You can let me know feedback, or you can let arcalife know at feedback AT arcalife DOT com.
    Your time and help is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, and thanks so much.

    January 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Cole

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