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How to Create a SPOT shared page

This ‘HowTo’ assumes you have already signed up for a SPOT account, and have also signed up for the ‘full time tracking’ option.

Launch a web browser and navigate to the SPOT website at http://www.findmespot.com, as shown below...

Photo #5263 | spot1

1. Click on the ‘SPOT Account/Your Spot Login’ link and log in using your username and password. This should take you to a page showing a list of all SPOT messengers associated with this account, similar to the following screenshot. Note the list of services on the right hand side of this page (a list of green checkboxes. If the optional ‘Unlimited Tracking’ isn’t shown here, then you should strongly consider adding it to your subscription. Even without the tracking service you can still gain many of the benefits of a SPOT tracker, but messages must be initiated manually. With the ‘Unlimited Tracking’ service enabled, all you have to do is to put the SPOT unit into tracking mode at the beginning of the day, and it will automatically send out position reports every 10 minutes or so. This mode is obviously more advantageous for our type of activity, and certainly for the case of an alive but otherwise incapacitated pilot!

Photo #5264 | spot2

Photo #5265 | spot3

2. Click on the ‘Share’ tab (highlighted in the above screenshot). This will bring you to a page similar to the one shown below, where you can manage existing ‘shared pages’ and/or create new ones. The first screenshot below shows the situation when there are no existing shared pages, and the second one below shows the Shared Page area of the same screen but with an existing shared page. If there are no pages present, the ‘Manage Shared Page’ link doesn’t do much, but if one or more shared pages have already been created, then they can be adjusted/edited via the ‘Manage Shared Pages’ link. For purposes of this ‘HowTo’ document, it is assumed that you don’t have a shared page and need to create one.

Photo #5266 | spot4

Note: the same page with an existing shared page. You can ‘manage’ an existing page, or create additional ones at will

Photo #5267 | spot5

3. To create a new shared page, click on ‘Create Shared Page’, which brings up a page like the following.

  1. The first image below shows the default page before any changes have been made.
    1. The ‘Name this Shared Page:’ field by default has the user name and ‘SPOT Shared Page 1’ where the ‘1’ gets incremented for every new shared page. You can edit this freely, but I never bother.
    2. Note that the single messenger unit on this account (The one labeled ‘TA’) has been automatically selected. If there were multiple messenger units on a single account, then one or more could be selected for edits.
    3. Message Types to Share: All are selected by default, and I recommend this not be changed. That way, if you decide to cancel tracking and manually send a ‘Check-in’ (OK) or ‘Help’ message (generally used for the ‘bummer – I’ve landed out’ message), those messages will be available for display on the tracking map.
    4. The Message Time Window selection is set for ‘7 days’ by default. I recommend changing the Message Time Window from 7 days to 24 hours to eliminate clutter on the tracking map. The last thing you want is to have a SAR responder trying to extract your current position from 7 days of flights!
    5. Custom Message: I have no idea what this does – it is set to ‘No’ by default and I left it that way.
    6. The Security choice must be set to ‘Public’ to make your shared page available to concerned individuals and/or SAR responders.
    7. In the ‘Share My Page’ section, note that neither radio button is selected. When either one is clicked, then a ‘Create Now!’ button will be shown at the bottom of the page. I recommend that the ‘Send the shared page myself’ selection be picked, as this causes the complete URL to the shared page to be shown in an edit box so that it can be conveniently copy/pasted to the SSA member profile ‘Tracker URL’ field or other application (like an email to your 50 closest friends ;-)).
  2. The second image below shows the same page, but with the recommended options selected and the ‘Create Now!’ button shown

Photo #5268 | spot6

Photo #5269 | spot7

4. Click on ‘Create Now!’, and wait a few seconds. When the creation procedure completes, some new fields (one of which is the field containing the new URL) are added to the bottom of the page, and you may have to scroll down on the page to actually see them (I do on my web browser). The image below shows the page just after clicking on ‘Create Now!’ Note the addition of the ‘Information’ block at the top, and the URL at the bottom

Photo #5270 | spot8

5. Copy and & paste the shared page URL (highlighted above) into the ‘Tracker URL’ field of your member profile, making sure to highlight the entire URL. If you are pasting into your SSA member profile area, there may be a ‘Test’ button you can use to verify that the link is valid. I also recommend that you paste the URL into an email to yourself, so you can test the link to make sure it was created properly. Once you verify that it is correct, you can send it to your favorite crewperson and/or significant other so they can access it whenever they like.

That’s it – you should be good to go. If you have any questions contact us  here.. Happy tracking! ;-).  Many thanks to Frank Paynter for creating this document.

Posted: 10/7/2009