The SPOT Satellite GPS message and tracking system is pretty commonplace any more, but if you're not familiar with it, this is a GPS transmitter that is roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes. It is waterproof, and worn on the shoulder, on a pack, or anywhere that it has an unobstructed view of the sky. Once it is turned on, it will send an updated position of the transmitter every ten minutes. They have become a standard safety item for anyone active in outdoor pursuits, whether paddling, hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, etc. Besides the ability to keep track of where someone is, in the event of an emergency, assistance can be dispatched directly to the unit's transmitted latitude and longitude. There are two assist buttons: a Help button on the left for routine matters where family and friends can bring gas, roadside assistance, or arrange a pick up at the end of a trip, and an SOS button for commercial or professional emergency response teams to be called in.
On a day-to-day basis, they are nice for family and friends to follow the user's trip. I set up my SPOT program today, and while we're making a trip, you can follow our progress in real time. Once you visit the blog, go to Favorite Links in the right column, and click on "Follow Ibi's SPOT Track" and the link will open a map with an icon for each position transmission. If the icon appears, but there is no map, click on the map's minus zoom button to back out enough for the map to come into resolution. In the upper right corner, you can decide whether you'd like to see the location on a map or satallite view