ok so the experiment was interesting. For those of you not paying attention I’ve been running an app on my phone - N82 - that uploads the phones gps position to a third party every minute or so which I can stick on a google map and then display on here. In other words anyone that fancies it can comes here and view a map with a little person drawn on it that represents me live right now! Cool eh?

I don’t know why but I was surprised at it’s accuracy and how well it all just worked, when the phone has a decent GPS signal the map on this website nails me down to the meter, and I suppose why wouldn’t it. Now, I kicked this off for a number of reasons, mainly becuase it’s geeky and I like the fact that the technology to do this is all pretty much free and well, it’s there to be done. I was also interested in the social side of it..

How many times would I turn it off to appear to be somewhere else? Would I act differently because I knew people could see where I was? Would other people act differently becuase they could see where I was.. would I even know? In short, would the indisputable truth about my whereabouts change anything.. can society survive without the white-lie ..

“I’m on the train!” when you’re walking to the station, “I haven’t been to the pub all week!” when you’re there right now?

As it turns out it made little difference to me, I just got on with living the life of Paul Fletcher as I’ve become pretty accustomed to doing but the reaction it had with other people was .. interesting!

To start with I’d regularly get texts, in some cases from people I didn’t think still read fletch.cx, things like “You’re on the Kings Road!” when I was driving home or “fetch me two slices of toast” when I’d gone to the canteen at work. Novelty value perhaps but still..

I left work early to go into HQ and ended up meeting my boss somewhere else as he phoned whilst I was en route. During the meeting I had one text and a suspicious phonecall from two collegues “what are you doing at Bank you said you were going to Waterloo!” It appears I was guilty till proven innocent!

The other thing of course is that when the phone can’t pick up a GPS signal, it resorts to Assisted GPS which uses the strength of all the telco cells to triangulate your position roughly. This often results in pinpointing me looking like I’m on a housing estate 34 of a mile to the east of my work building when actually, I’m sat at my desk! Could be interesting if anyones keeping an eye on me and using the map as the truth for where I am.

Anyhow, the experiment is still running over at findfletch and I’m intending to incorporate it properly into fletch.cx along with the new gallery and twitter during the next update to the site as a whole.. until then, bear in mind there are bugs to be ironed out and of course.. keep up with the texts… I know you’re watching.

These 548 words were written on Tue Jul 22, 2008
technology remarkable