13 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2017 6:35 PM by sicosys

    FileMaker Integration with GPS Device

    RecPro

      Hi Everyone,

       

      We have a current client who is interested in integrating their FileMaker data management system with dedicated GPS units in their fleet of trucks. We have done some preliminary research into the Fleet Managment Controller Interface provided by Garmin.

       

      Before we go too far down a particular path, we figured we would check to see if anyone has any experience with this type of integration.

       

      Thanks in adavance,

      Paul

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
          LyndsayHowarth

          I have GPS info being fed from iPad minis straight into FM. The maps are google. I looked at the Garmin stuff but why create another complex middle man when we have such cool tools like iPads and FM Go.

           

          - Lyndsay

          • 2. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
            sicosys

            Hi!!

             

            I'm working exactly with the same issue... in my research i found few possible routes that i need to test, so i can post the results as they happen.

             

            If you have something please let everyone know!!!

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
              dkb

              Paul, I would love to see your results. I did sme experimetning last year with the Elf but results were less than spectacular. The Garmins didn't integrate well at that time, although there were a few Bluetooth options that looked interesting. Perhaps technology and integration has improved since then?

               

              (Lindsay, there are many reasons to use exetrnal GPS devices. If you need a high degree of accuracy, for example, the built in GPS is very poor.)

               

              - doug

              • 4. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                LyndsayHowarth

                Doog! Define 'very poor"...

                 

                - LYndsay

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                  dkb

                  Lyndsay - I build field data collection databases for commercial purposes. Depending on location, conditions, terrain, etc., you can be lucky to be within 10 or 20 meters using an iPad/iPhone - even under good conditions. This is simply not accurate enough if you're trying to pinpoint a specific tree or power pole, for example. The iPad, with Filemaker Go, is FANTASTIC for collecting field data but we need better - and more reliable - GPS data for some applications. There are good tools out there that can provide much more accurate and precise GPS data but we cannot easily interface with Filemaker/iPad.

                   

                  - doug

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                    SteveMartino

                    Paul when you say 'intergrated' what exactly are you looking to do?  Feed the drivers deliveries while they are on the road?  Load their GPS with deliveries/directions at the start of a shift and send them on their way (assigned route for the day, no changes)? Or collect data from the device to intergrate.

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                      RecPro

                      Thanks to everyone for "picking up" the thread.  I will try and update everyone as to where we are in this process.

                       

                      The client is currently sending dispatch info directly from FileMaker v12 on their desktop computers.  We have integrated FM directly with an SMS provider to provide 2-way SMS service between the drivers and the FM system.  The text contains the job location and turn-by-turn directions.

                       

                      The most pressing need for dispatch at this point is to see an accurate location for each of the trucks on a map.  This will then allow them to determine which trucks should be dispatched to which jobs.  At this point it appears the best method for accomplishing this is to utilize some form of "black box" tracking device, such as PocketFinder.com.  We are still trying to figure out if this can be integrated with FM.

                       

                      A secondary benefit, and not nearly as important, is the ability to show the drivers in the truck an actual map with the job location and turn by turn directions on a GPS device.  Ultimately they would like the driver to be able to indicate when the job is completed and upload the number of barrels delivered or picked up.

                       

                      Initially we had looked into equipping each truck with iPad Mini's with monthly data plans.  Their fleet (100-125 trucks) is a combination of company owned vehicles and owner-operated leased vehicles.  They are concerned with the logistics of managing and maintaining the Mini's in semi-trucks with drivers not necessarily committed to their upkeep.

                       

                      We have demoed the TomTom devices and their WebFleet fleet management web service.  It does provide an API for integration, but has many more features than required for this project, and therefore a much higher monthly service fee.  The Garmin hardware shows some promise, but their telematics API is only available to third-party partners looking to produce "commercially viable solutions and not end users".  We are still trying to clarify how we fit in that equation.

                       

                      Hopefully this provides some insight to anyone who is interested.  We would welcome any input or suggestions from anyone who has successfully integrated this type of system with FM.

                       

                      Thanks again,

                      Paul

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                        LyndsayHowarth

                        Interesting, Doug...

                         

                        I actually use the google maps to get location more often than FileMakers... (I am assuming that they both tap into the location that the device itself determines...?)

                        When I do, I will get accuracy to a spot in my office or a spot in my house when the accuracy is set to metres. Between my desk and my door the differences of measure on the maps is true to the actual distance.

                         

                        - Lyndsay

                        • 9. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                          sicosys

                          Hello Paul!!

                           

                          Well... After my last reply last january i finally found the solution to integrate GPS into filemaker pro (yes! filemaker pro, Not FM Go), i'm currently using it in a commercial solution for automatic cab dipatching.

                           

                          the solution i developed includes so many features where one of them is to get the vehicle location every few seconds, and i could interface the solution with mapping so it's possible to view all vehicles in a city map in real time on a central computer. Accuracy is awesome

                           

                          Each vehicle has a mobile computer and is comunicated to the central office via 4G broadband modem, it's very stable, reliable and fast, it uses touch screen displays in the mobile unit and is also integrated with mapping for turn by turn directions from current location to destination (it has several more features)

                           

                          If you are interested to know about this solution/integration more in depht please let me know.

                          • 10. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                            gregf

                            I am trying to interface a skypro gps with filemaker pro on a surface pro. We want to able to collect location data every time we create an entry to document our location at sea. We are not going to have access to cell towers or have internet connections and want these data to be entered automatically in filemaker pro. I know filemaker go has this capability but this app is not available for windows and our client does not want to use Apple devices. Do you have any thoughts on how to get this done?

                             

                            Thanks,

                             

                            Greg

                            • 11. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                              Draco

                              Hi sicosys, is possible know more in depht about your solution ?

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                                slmacche

                                I'm interested in learning about this technique.

                                • 13. Re: FileMaker Integration with GPS Device
                                  sicosys

                                  Hi Draco!!

                                   

                                  It's been a long time since i checked this discussion.

                                   

                                  Are you still interested?

                                   

                                  Felipe.sierra@gmail.com !