Using the Asset Tracker for investigative journalism project


My wife is working on an investigation project that involves tracking multiple items under possibly difficult conditions (i.e inside buildings, vehicles etc.). I’ve been working on code on a test unit and have managed to use code from the AssetTrackerRK library as well as the Google Maps Device Locator library. I had difficulties figuring out if there are simpler ways to get the triangulation data from the cell towers or if using the Maps Device Locator library is the preferred way.

The basic flow is

  1. Wake up
  2. Try to get GPS fix and publish data
  3. If that fails, get cell location and publish data
  4. Deep sleep (for a rather long time since we’ll be trying to track data over long periods of time)

Now, some questions I have are:

A. Are there any known issues with letting the Electron sleep for e.g. a couple of days and then waking up, hoping to get a GPS fix rather quickly if conditions are acceptable or else go for cell triangulation?

B. Does anyone know about libraries that have a “check GPS, if that fails fallback to cell location”-functionality ready to go?

C. I’m proficient enough to copy paste and modify things, but am lacking both time and skills to create something that I’m feeling confident in. Do you have any recommendations for experienced developers working with this hardware and know-how of GPS/tracking issues and culprits?

I apologize if most of this is covered elsewhere and if this isn’t the proper channel for looking for people who can take on these kinds of projects professionally.


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Which version of the asset tracker are you using? You should make sure that the Coin cell battery is inserted to retain satellite data.

You should take a look at this tutorial:

It uses the geolocation API that should give better accuracy in a building or without a GPS signal.

It was ordered a couple of weeks ago, pretty sure it’s v2.

Thanks! I’ve already added the project to my test setup and have created a simple “try GPS else try cell geolocation”-workflow that seems to work fairly well :). I was just wondering if there were any projects out there that had basicallly done the same thing since the google-maps integration example is not using GPS (afaik).