Today GPS (Global Positioning System) technology touches life and businesses like never before. What initially commenced as a space technology expanded rapidly to almost all industries and everyday life. The foundation of some of the greatest businesses and largest ventures was laid by GPS-enabled technology. Uber, Amazon, Lyft, Yelp, and a whole new gamut of location-based services came to existence due to GPS powered capabilities.
The pace of current developments in the automotive and telematics field has led to an enormous demand for GPS applications with diverse capabilities. GPS tracking systems have evolved as crucial fleet management tools for modern businesses. From tracking personal belongings to complex business assets, GPS tracking unleashes more security, convenience, andunparalleled levels of control and access to shipments/fleets/belongings. Businesses deploy GPS tracking software to track and gain complete visibility of their assets efficiently. This article dwells upon all the best free and open source GPS tracking software that businesses can use for tracking their assets without incurring any cost. It further details the benefits, features, and capabilities of GPS tracking applications.
What is the Global Positioning System?
GPS is a satellite-based navigation technology. Satellites installed in earth's orbit transmit signals to receiving devices known as GPS trackers. GPS trackers help decode the exact location of the device's user by calculating signals' coordinates received from the satellite. GPS technology works 24/7 to determine parameters such as speed, location, distance, track, direction, etc. of the users/assets using the GPS devices.
Essential components required for GPS to work:
GPS technology consists of three components: Satellite, GPS Tracker, and GPS Tracking software application.
- Satellite: It is a machine sent to space (Earth’s orbit) to collect important information.
- GPS Tracker: GPS tracker is a device that can receive signals from satellites and GNSS (Global Navigation System Satellite) network to determine the location of:
- the user who is carrying it
- or the asset on which it is installed
- GPS tracking Software: GPS tracking software is an application that can read, manage, organize, and store the data received from GPS devices.
Factors that affect GPS Tracking:
- Satellite Positioning: GPS trackers work due to signals provided by satellites located in the earth's orbit. Any error in satellite reading or unavailability of minimum satellites requirement can cause faulty GPS reading or error messages such as- 'GPS coordinates not available.'
- GPS Drifts: GPS drift refers to the inaccuracy in GPS tracking caused by reflections and objects' shadows.
- Signal Obstructions: Trees, buildings, human bodies, tunnels, etc. can cause GPS signal obstructions leading to inaccurate or delayed tracking.
- Quality of GPS tracking Devices and the monitoring application: GPS tracking is not possible unless you use a quality GPS device to receive signals from satellites and a high-end connected application that provides visibility of the assets on maps.
GPS Tracking Software: An Overview
GPS Tracking software has all modules essential for tracking assets. It provides businesses the ability to monitor and optimize the movement of their valuable assets. GPS tracking software as an asset tracking technology that has substantial market potential. The following statistics prove that the use of GPS tracking applications is growing every day:
Who can use GPS tracking Software?
Locating, navigating, mapping, tracking and timing are the key purposes of GPS. Let us see the application in this context by different sectors.
- Cab services: In the Cab service business, GPS tracking allows users to allot the nearest cab when customers book online automatically. Without GPS Technology, efficient and optimal use of the fleet is not possible. It can also help In field-based service businesses such as on the spot car repair or car breakdown assistance business.
- School Buses: Parents usually wait at the stop for the school bus. With a GPS tracking system integrated with the school application, parents can exactly know where the bus is and accordingly reach the stop within time without being too early or too late.
- Logistics: Logistics companies can track miles driven, hours on the road, etc. to determine exactly when maintenance is required.
- Locating People, Pets, Kids, and Personal belongings: GPS tracking software can help locate people, pets, kids, and personal assets with the help of GPS trackers installed on wristwatches, belts, smartphones, etc.
- Wildlife Management: GPS trackers are used by wildlife authorities to track endangered species to monitor their habitat. It is also used for tracking injured animals so that they can be easily located for administering medicines.
- Police departments: Law enforcement officials can track criminals on parole by implementing GPS tracking software with electronic tagging devices. It can also help to keep track of suspected criminals after release.
- Tours and Travels: Tours and travel agencies operate huge numbers of vehicles. Tracking them with GPS technology can help in maintaining the punctuality of the vehicles. Automatic alerts to passengers about their vehicle's real-time location can be sent so that they don't have to arrive early at pickup points.
- Financial Services: Financial services use armored vans to deliver cash and valuables between branches and the ATMs. GPS tracking software can help financial institutions monitor the vehicle and money bags in real-time. Both the vehicle and bags can be monitored via GPS trackers. Any deviation from route or attempt to move money bags away from the van can be traced easily.
- Healthcare: GPS software helps in tracking essential medicines, drugs that have medical properties but can be stolen for illegal use. GPS tracker can detect any illegal stoppage, out of geofence movement, unqualified delay in delivery to identify any theft or misuse attempts.
- Manufacturing: GPS software can provide critical data about the use of heavy machinery and equipment in manufacturing plants. The data can provide valuable insights into how machinery is being used by employees. It can also prevent the theft of costly machines and commercial equipment.
- Warehousing: Locating inventory in warehouses by GPS tracking software reduces time wasted in manually searching for inventory. It increases warehouse productivity.
- Livestock Management: GPS trackers on livestock animals' ears, leg, tail, collar, etc. help in tracking their locations on open graze fields. It can also prevent livestock theft and alert owners in case the cattle trespasses a predetermined geofence.
- Food delivery business: Food delivery businesses can track their delivery agents, delivery vans, bikes, etc. in real-time with GPS tracking software. It helps in allocating the nearest delivery agent to the location. Timely deliveries keep food fresh and increase positive ratings.
- Ecommerce: GPS tracking software helps ecommerce companies in real-time monitoring of shipments, optimizing routes for deliveries, and on-time delivery. It also enhances the customer experience by providing them visibility of their shipment's exact location and estimated delivery time.
- Drones: Drones fitted with GPS tracking applications can safeguard your drone from any crash landing out of sight.
- Mining: GPS software-enabled drones can conduct site surveys and track miners at deep extraction sites.
What are the benefits of GPS Tracking Software?
- Reduce Operational Costs for Businesses: GPS tracking software helps in optimizing fuel consumption by effectively alerting owners regarding speeding, unauthorized vehicle usage, wrong route situations, etc. Continuous tracking of vehicles using GPS tracking software helps you reduce the heavy fuel consumption caused by overspeeding, idle vehicle issues, or over stoppage by drivers.
- Workflow Efficiency: GPS software increases logistics organizations' workflow efficiency by optimizing routes based on traffic and weather conditions. Reporting about miles traveled on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis can help you find the under-utilized vehicles, and you can make changes in schedules to manage such assets more profitably.
- Deceleration technology: In case of theft, GPS trackers installed in cars help in retrieving them easily. In any chase, owners can assist police authorities in decelerating or stopping cars remotely with advanced GPS trackers.
- No need to call the driver frequently: GPS tracking keeps your business ahead of the game by empowering you to track every movement of your shipments. With GPS tracking technology, you are saved from the trouble of constantly calling the drivers to find where they have reached?
- Ease of business: GPS software provides a bird's eye view of your complex fleets, corporate vehicles, and assets with specific reporting and alert systems. It eases the tracking work for you and provides you immense flexibility for managing geographically distributed fleets.
- Remote support: GPS integrates with sensors to determine system faults and other errors in vehicles. It can also provide detailed reporting on trigger-based rules for error situations. This remote diagnosis helps fleet managers to predict any breakdown event.
- Safety: Businesses can improve the safety situation for vehicles in case of breakdown, accident, theft attempts, etc. In such situations, managers know exactly where the vehicle is if assistance is required.
- Insurance Rate reductions: Insurance companies provide discounts on premiums for fleets of vehicles integrated with a GPS tracking system.
GPS Technology and AI Integration
AI-based GPS tracking technology can learn from the data to plan better routes and make real-time decisions about changing routes based on traffic conditions, roadblocks, weather conditions, etc. GPS solutions integrated with AI can analyze driver habits to provide valuable inputs to decide on the driver-route allotment. Businesses can build better strategies by using AI provided analytics. Technologies such as GPS, AI, IoT, Machine learning have already started revolutionizing the auto businesses with new concepts such as autonomous driving vehicles, self-organizing fleets, and shared mobility. Owing to these technologies, by 2030, up to 15 percent of new cars sold in 2030 could be fully autonomous once the regulatory issues are solved. GPS tracking software, telematics, and artificial intelligence together can make drivers' lives easier and businesses more profitable.
What are the key features of GPS Tracking Software?
- Tracking: The basic function of a GPS tracking app is to track the real-time location of assets when they move from one point to the other.
- Reporting: GPS tracking software provides detailed reports about location history, distance traveled, etc.that enhance performance by providing high-level analytics, a snapshot of fleets that help in optimizing further.
- Geofencing: This feature enables admins to create marked geographical boundaries in the GPS Panel. When any asset crosses the geofence, it sends alerts to the admin.
- Real-time alerts: GPS software sends real-time alerts for over speeding, route deviation, excessive stoppage, tampering, etc. to admins.
- Multiple Maps view: GPS software allows users to view objects on various map types, including satellite view, imagery, custom maps, and more.
- Track from Multiple Devices: GPS software is available for desktops, tablets, mobile phones, and laptops. It is compatible with iOS, Windows, Android app platforms.
- Works with any Tracker: GPS software applications are compatible with multiple tracking devices, sensors, and parameters.
- Scalable: GPS solutions are highly scalable to accommodate more features whenever required.
- Integrations: GPS software integrates with other popular ERP solutions and database resources to provide more features and internal capacities to businesses.
- Live Images: GPS software integrated with smart cameras can capture real-time images of vehicles or other connected assets.
- Access Control: Admins can decide the user access permissions and control.
- Multiple Languages: Provides support for multiple languages
- Location Sharing: The location-sharing feature enables users to share the GPS location of one or more devices with other users.
Let's get into the details about the 7 best free and open source GPS tracking software,
The list of 7 best Free and Open Source GPS Tracking Software
- Trackit by Flespi
- Track My Ride
- GPS Trace
Comparison table of 7 best free and open source GPS Tracking software:
Traccar is a free and open source GPS tracking software with modern features, high-performance, and a high-end platform. Traccar has robust support for all modern devices. Traccar allows you to view the status of all GPS devices in real-time. Traccar comes with multiple mapping capabilities, including satellite imagery and road map navigation. It has a strong alert and reporting system. Traccar also has mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms.
- User management module to set user permission, roles, and customization. Traccar allows users to assign various roles and set device limits.
- Traccar supports nine event categories, including Geofencing, Alarms, Ignition Status, Maintenance, Overspeed, Motion, etc.
- Traccar monitors devices entering and existing geofence
- It can track if the connected device is in motion or stopped
- It alerts when connected devices exceed the configured speed limit
- Denotes whether the device is connected to the server (online) or not (offline)
- It can send push, web, SMS, and email notifications
- It provides support through an online forum
- If you need technical support and maintenance, they provide it underpaid subscription plan
OpenGTS is a free and open source GPS tracking software distributed under Apache Software License 2.0. It is primarily used for tracking fleets of vehicles. OpenGTS can track a variety of vehicles such as taxis, delivery vans, personal vehicles, service vehicles, trucks/trailers, farm equipment, personal tracking, cell phones, containers, ships, ATVs, more. It can be configured and scaled for deployment in large-sized enterprises.
- Supports data collection and storage of GPS Tracking data from remote devices
- Customizable mapping service
- Customized reporting
- Assign geofenced areas
- Stores data in MYSQL
- Multi-language Support
- Displays detailed reports of vehicles
- Administrative features such as view and edit current account information, user data, device information, driver information, and Geozone data
Trackit is free and open source GPS tracking software for Flespi devices. Trackit is a GPS tracking solution for vehicle and asset monitoring. It comes with an intuitive and fully customizable interface. This online GPS monitoring system shows the list and position of all devices connected to the Flespi platform on the map.
- Auto Zoom features for the tracked device on the map
- Plain and intuitive interface
- Additional panels can be shown/hidden in the menu.
- Messages panel to see the historical records)
- See the latest status of all device parameters by clicking on the device icon on the map
- History mode to visualize see how your device was moving along the track
- Option to adjust the speed with the multiplier
TrackMyRide offers a free and open mapping and GPS tracking system. It accepts data from any hardware/software system and allows users to track it for free. It is a full-service web portal to track devices and see their current location. For more than three devices or multi-user accounts, one can upgrade to its commercial accounts.
- Track any device with a customized personal web interface
- Works with several different types of devices
- Design and implement any hardware/software tracking device
- Display data on GPS Tracking web site
- Get reports and statistics regarding devices
- Geo-fencing with advanced features
- Registered devices can be seen on Google Map overlays
- Displays multiple statistics regarding your device such as speed, altitude, latitude, and longitude, and heading
- Displays a track trail of your device location for the past 24 hours
Navit is an open source navigation system available for free use under the GPL license. It can be used fully offline. It does not track your usage or personal data and respects your privacy. Navit uses the Dijkstra algorithm for routing. Navit is a highly customizable application. It runs on various platforms, including Linux, Windows, Freerunner, Android, OpenMoko, etc.
- Users can tailor map layouts, on-screen display, details of the routing engine, and more
- Routing and rendering on the screen
- Use multiple maps at the same time
- Read the current vehicle position from GPS sensors
- Calculates an optimal route to your destination, generates directions
- Routing engine speaks in speaks 70 languages
- Capable of displaying vector maps of various formats
6. GPS Trace
GPS-Trace is a free GPS tracking software developed by Gurtam. GPS Trace combines reliability and performance for securing your car or bike with its GPS monitoring system. It works with just any device on the market. It allows users to receive, process, and store data from their tracker.
- Receive processed data from your tracker
- Online-monitoring: Track objects in real-time
- Statistics and analysis: Build charts, view history
- Receive notifications about important events
- Share the location with your friends
- Mark important places on the map with Geofencing
- The system sends alerts via email or pop-up notifications
- Mobile app for iOS and Android platforms
- Seamless connection with any device
TrackMe is a GPS tracking software designed to track objects online. Trackme provides real-time solutions for fleet monitoring, travel history, reports, alerts, remote devices, etc. The devices integrated with Trackme systems can be tracked, and their movement can be followed using a PC or smartphone. Users receive notifications when objects move in or out of the predefined areas. With TrackMe's Free Registration Family Account, users can add three devices with 14 days of tracking history.
- Map device location through Mobile Apps and Web portal
- Monitor location of objects in real-time
- Create Geo-fences and routes to set boundaries and areas that need specific monitoring
- Get alerts of predefined events such as when devices enter or exit particular geo-zones or speeding issues
- Group monitoring allowed (Multiple users can track same devices)
- Possibility of several users monitoring the same module through the web portal or smartphone app.
- TrackMe provides APIs for third-party integration.
- Preview and download tracking history reports in different formats (XLS, PDF, CSV, TXT)
- Detect the direction and distance of devices from your location
Any of the above top 7 free and open source GPS Tracking software can be used for your tracking needs. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive GPS tracking system with robust functionalities, you can add GPSWOX to your list. GPSWOX is one of the most popular industry-grade software available in the market. Let us see its features in detail:
GPSWOX is a popular GPS tracking software that tracks vehicles, bikes, phones, people, and many more. GPSWOX supports over 30+ languages, and it provides free installation, training, and support. The application supports 900+ devices, and the system also has a native mobile application. GPSWOX servers provide a 99.99% server uptime guarantee. Businesses of all types use GPSWOX, and it has separate modules for fleet tracking and personal tracking.
- Manage fleet (cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks, taxis) in real-time
- Fleet tracking security protection
- Configurable alerts for notification of exceptional conditions
- Detailed reporting for all assets
- Integration of GPS software with software such as Payroll, ERP, CRM etc.
- Accurately records arrival and departure times and helps in resolving billing disputes
- View vehicle data (speeding, idling, etc.)
- Create driver logs for DOT reporting
- With the GPSWOX fleet tracking app, you can send messages and assign tasks to drivers
- See the status of tasks in real-time
GPS technology has spawned unprecedented development in personalized marketing, location-based services, Gaming, on-demand delivery services, and transportation. Its integration with other technologies is opening up space for incredible possibilities. For instance, GPS technology, combined with Augmented reality, gave rise to the popular game Pokemon Go.
The GPS software industry is at the cusp of a new era with immense analytical capacities to eliminate multiple asset tracking problems for businesses that have dogged a few sectors for decades. Businesses can leverage this technology to mitigate all limits in monitoring and safeguarding their assets.
Apart from the discussed free and open source GPS tracking software, readers can also check GPS Gateway Tracking, Trackzee, Webfleet, FleetLocate, One Step GPS, Wialon, and Shadow Tracker.
We welcome your views about the article. Please comment in the section below. If you have previously utilized any of the free GPS tracking software mentioned above, share your feedbackwith us.
If you wish to analyze anyotherfree GPS tracking software or other software categories' features, then do visit GoodFirms' software directory page.