ViewRanger BuddyBeacon allows you to share your exact location with anyone you choose, perfect if your friends and family want to follow your progress during your next outdoors challenge!
BuddyBeacon has been used for many charity fundraising events, including by the BBC’s Matt Baker during his 2011 Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need. ViewRanger will also be helping BBC Children in Need this November, so look out for more information about this in the coming few weeks.
Whether you’re participating in a marathon, cycling event or trekking challenge, BuddyBeacon allows others to view not only your location, but also the route you have taken and your current speed and altitude.
For those whose outdoors excursions are more leisurely than competitive, You can link your twitter messages and even photos to your BuddyBeacon; allowing your friends to share in your experiences every step of the way.
If you’d like to use BuddyBeacon, whether it be for a major sporting event, a weekend walk or for sharing gap year adventures, just follow these four easy steps.
- Download the ViewRanger app for free from your smartphone’s app store and create a ViewRanger account when prompted.
- Once you have the app you can turn on your beacon! In the app, click the 'Organizer' icon, go to 'BuddyBeacon' and flip the 'Beacon send' switch to 'On'. On Android, press the menu button and then click BuddyBeacon from there. Remember that you can switch off BuddyBeacon at any time.
- The first time you switch your BuddyBeacon on you will be asked to set a 4 digit PIN number to help protect your privacy. This is the PIN number you will share with your friends, family and supporters so that anyone you chose can follow your beacon. You can change your PIN at any time by clicking Organizer/Menu > BuddyBeacon > Beacon Settings.
- To view your location, your friends and family will need your ViewRanger username (usually your email address) and your BuddyBeacon PIN number. All they need to do then is visit www.viewranger.com/buddybeacon, click Add BuddyBeacon and then enter your details. They will then be able to follow your movements on the map! Alternatively, friends and family who also have the ViewRanger app can track you on their phone via Organizer > BuddyBeacon > Buddy list > Add buddy.
If you’d like to link your Twitter feed or Flickr photo sharing account to your BuddyBeacon, log into our web service (MyViewRanger) and click ‘MyViewRanger account’ and then ‘Plug ins’ before entering your account details. You can even set a Hash Tag so that only relevant items are attached to your journey.
Remember that if you record your adventure as a Track, once you’ve completed your journey you can publish the whole experience on Facebook. To do this from the app, upload your newly created track using the "syncronize" function, log-in online and then in Routes > My tracks, click the facebook icon next to the trip you want to share!
We can think of oodles of good reasons to use BuddyBeacon, from keeping track of other cyclists in your group to staying safe when out running in the countryside. We’d love to hear about how you use BuddyBeacon during your travels, so why not tell us on Facebook?
BuddyBeacon requires a mobile signal to work, however if you lose signal, your last known location (and time) will be displayed until your signal returns again, so you won't vanish off the map entirely!
If you are an event organiser, it is possible for you to feature a map on your website displaying the real-time location of your BuddyBeacon-using participants, you can find out more here.