Location tracking (user guide)

Learn how to activate location tracking on a mobile device, view history of movements and how to ensure uninterrupted tracking

Sergey Shurygin avatar
Written by Sergey Shurygin
Updated over a week ago

Location tracking is a feature in the Mapsly mobile app that records the user's location in the background and transmits it to the Mapsly server, so the user's current location and history of movements over the last 30 days are viewable by the Mapsly account administrators and other authorized user.

This article is for users of location tracking and covers location tracking activation, viewing the user's historic location data and recommendations for ensuring uninterrupted tracking. For the administrator's guide to location tracking, visit this article.

IMPORTANT! To ensure uninterrupted continuous tracking, carefully follow all the recommendations listed in the last section of this guide below.

How to activate location tracking on a mobile device

Location tracking can be activated only on the device itself (it cannot be activated remotely). To activate it:

1- Install the Mapsly mobile app from App Store or Google Play Market.

2- Once logged into your Mapsly user account on your mobile device, click your avatar -> Preferences -> Tracking tab and turn the Track now switch ON:

Alternatively, you can active location tracking by clicking the "Start background tracking" button:

Similarly, you can disable the tracking at any moment by pressing the same button again.

Consider automatic activation of tracking by schedule

How automatic (de-)activation of location tracking by schedule works

Mapsly can automatically turn location tracking ON when your working day starts and turn it OFF when it ends, in accordance with your working schedule set in your Traveling preferences.

Turning automatic activation of location tracking by schedule on or off, or changing your working hours, does NOT automatically turn the tracking (similarly how setting up the Do not disturb schedule on your phone doesn't automatically activate the Do not disturb mode). Tracking by schedule is automatically activated ONLY when your working day starts, and is automatically deactivated ONLY when it ends. If you'd like the tracking to start or stop immediately, you need to use the Track now switch as described above.

IMPORTANT! If you modify your working hours or your current time zone on another device, like your laptop, these changes will NOT automatically apply to the tracking activation schedule cached on the device - to apply them you'll need to open Preferences -> Tracking in the Mapsly app on your mobile device and press Save - this will update the tracking activation schedule on the device.

How to turn ON automatic (de-)activation of location tracking by schedule

To automatically activate background location tracking by schedule, check Activate tracking automatically during my working hours box in Preferences -> Tracking (shown on the screenshot above).

How to see your current and historic locations

To see your current location, you need to have access to the User system object, and to see the history of your tracked locations, you need to have access to the Location history system object.

If you need access to either of those, please contact your Mapsly administrator. If you are a Mapsly administrator, visit the administrator's guide to location tracking for steps how to grant access to these objects.

How to view history of movements on the map

Once you have access to the Location history system object, you will see it on the Layer's pane:

Select the map filter for Location history with the date for which you'd like to see historic location data, and check the Location history box to view the tracked locations on the map.

You can also select the Location history object in the Table view and filter data by a time period.

Important considerations about location tracking in Mapsly

1- Both tracking and its automatic (de-)activation by schedule will work even if the Mapsly mobile is closed (swiped up in the list of apps) or the mobile device is rebooted without opening the app.

2- Locations are tracked only while a device is moving, and not tracked while it is stationary.

3- Carefully follow recommendations below to ensure uninterrupted continuous tracking. If the recommendations are not followed, the device's operating system may suppress Mapsly's background activity and prevent it from tracking your location.

IMPORTANT! Recommendations for reliable tracking

Mapsly's background location tracking activity, just like the background activity of any other software application, is subject to limitations imposed by the operating system and device manufacturers aimed at conserving battery. While Mapsly uses proven approaches for ensuring continuous software-based location tracking, the operating system may suppress its activity and disrupt tracking.

So while application-based location tracking - by design - cannot match the reliability of tracking with hardware GPS trackers there are steps that help ensure the app's uninterrupted background activity and maximize the reliability of tracking. Please follow them carefully:

  1. On Android: Open the Mapsly app frequently, at least once in 3-4 hours.

  2. On iOS: Keep Mapsly app open at all times.

  3. On iOS: Make sure that the app is open at the start of the working day if you are using the scheduled tracking activation.

  4. Keep Wi-Fi ON at all times.

  5. Make sure Mapsly's access to your location is Always (not While app is in use).

  6. Make sure Mapsly has access to your physical activity (motion detection).

  7. On Android: carefully follow recommendations at dontkillmyapp.com for your device - to turn off excessive battery optimization in general and specifically for the Mapsly app.

  8. On iOS: Tracking might stop working if you restart your phone. Please check tracking if you restart your phone.

  9. Make sure that at the start of the working day your battery is 80-100% charged

  10. Make sure to open Mapsly app at the end of the working day in order to ensure accurate tracking reports

For the detailed explanation on every item above please see the administrator's guide to location tracking.

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