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The Location Tracker

The AlpineQuest GPS Location Tracker is a background service that records all your locations and creates a track of your hikes.

At any moment, you can get advanced statistics (distances, speeds, elevations) and graphics.

Tracks can be saved within AlpineQuest or exported as GPX and KML files, that can be displayed in various softwares such as Google Earth.


To start the Location Tracker, click on the toggle to use the current settings. If you want to change some settings, click on the button to display the Location Tracker settings dialog.

The Location Tracker is composed of the following items:

  • The current track state give you few details on the current track;
  • The current track profile gives you a preview of what you have done yet. Click on it to display all the statistics.

When the Location Tracker is paused with recorded data, the following items are also available:

  • The “Export” button allows you to save or export the current track;
  • The “Clear” button allows you to clear the recorded data.

The Settings dialog

The Location Tracker can be finely configured to provide the exact tracking you need.

Localization settings


The two first settings are linked to the GPS Position settings, if you change one on a side, it will be updated in the other. This behavior is done to keep a synchronization between all locations listening within the application and so reduce the battery usage.

  • The “Location source let you choose from where the locations have to be retrieved. Most people will choose “Outdoor GPS”, but you can change it to “External locations” if you have an external bluetooth GPS you want to use;
  • The “Update frequency allows you to choose how fast the locations have to be recorded. For runners, a precise tracking is recommend, whereas hikers should prefer a medium one, since a fast tracking will use more battery.

Some location sources can be disabled from the device settings. Click on the “Location sources button to access these settings easily.

Locations filtering

Location filters allow you to reduce the amount of recorded locations in order to reduce the battery usage and to increase the tracking accuracy (by reducing GPS inaccuracy errors).


The “accuracy filter” will avoid recording erroneous locations while temporary loss of accuracies, while the “distance filter” will avoid recording useless similar locations while not moving.

When a new location is computed by the GPS based on the update frequency, the application will:

  • Check that the location accuracy is better or equals to the “accuracy filter” setting ;
  • Check that the distance from the previous location is greater or equals to the “distance filter” setting , or that the location accuracy is better than the previous one.

For instance, when using an update frequency of 5 seconds, a distance filter of 3 meters and an accuracy filter of +/-256 meters, all recorded locations:

  • Will have at least 5 seconds and 3 meters between them, unless the accuracy is increasing;
  • Will have at least an accuracy of +/-256 meters.

Loss of signal warnings

If the GPS signal is getting poor or lost, AlpineQuest will replace the green GPS Location Tracker's icon by a red one.

Using the “lost of signal warn, you can choose to be also warned with a sound and a device vibration.

Barometric elevations

If your device has a built-in pressure sensor, you can activate the “barometric elevations feature which will compute elevation values based on the air pressure, in addition to the common GPS elevations. These barometric altitudes are much more accurate and reactive, and can be computed precisely even if the GPS signal is very poor.

The barometric data is auto-calibrated by AlpineQuest using GPS locations.

Common issues with the Location Tracker

A common issue when recording a track is to lost the GPS location fix, leading to a missing part in the track (seen as a straight line longer that usual in the track). Usually, it happens because the device doesn't have a good enough access to the sky, for example when the device is in a pocket or in a bag. The GPS signal emitted by GPS satellites is weak and get easily lost when going through any hard material. If you have the “lost of signal warn setting activated, the application will play a song when it loose the GPS signal.

Also, tracking a path requires frequent GPS location updates and some devices (mainly old or low-cost ones, but not always) doesn't support the GPS being turned on for long hours. Common symptoms in this case can be:

  • The device becomes more hot than usual;
  • The GPS doesn't report anymore satellites for some time, the location fix is lost, leading to a missing track part;
  • The Location Tracker is simply closed by the system, the tracking is stopped.

If you encounter one of these symptoms, you can try to:

  • Reduce the tracking frequency, a location per 10 seconds is a recommended setting for hours long tracks;
  • Use an economy tracking frequency (starting at 1 location / 20 seconds), in which the GPS is completely turned off between update. Be sure to leave your device in view of the sky so the GPS can quickly retrieve a location for each update;
  • Turn off the recording of barometric elevations to leave the pressure sensor turned off (this one can also be the source of issues when continuously used for long time).

Exporting recorded tracks

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