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Smoky Barnable

Display map to track shipment progress

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I saw a website today that displays a google map that shows the current location of your shipment. I thought that rather clever. So I suppose one would just fetch the latest tracking info from UPS/USPS via api and then use google maps api to display a map with a delivery vehicles current location. I wonder if anyone has looked into this? I can envision many customers liking this feature.

 

mapapi.jpg


The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

- Rabindranath Tagore

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All the main shippers have tracking API's that you can use.  This lot offer a widget which is just a simple script you can stick in a osC box or header_tag and use but it's a paid service.

https://commercial.packagemapping.com/

I have not found a free version so far.

Update!

Look at this.

https://github.com/zettacode/packagemapping-trackservice

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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Or perhaps using this method after retrieving address from database and current location from couriers api.

 https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/mysql-to-maps

 


The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

- Rabindranath Tagore

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I think that will require you to have the tracking data in your database which I'm not sure how you would get that. I think that is why you need either your parcel companies API or use a 3rd party widget which pulls the data from another db as the company I posted. They have API for most companies built into the wdget which is why they charge. But I could be wrong 😊

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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It looks like everyone is now charging for this feature! Even checking google they now require a account for the API key to google maps! They give you $200 worth of access free but after that your charged.

If your going to have to pay anyway you might as well go for the easy option and use a ready to use widget.

src="https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?key=YOUR_API_KEY&callback=initMap">

I just checked and we use UPS from who we get a tracking link for each parcel and aparently  we can get a map link also which we just email the customer and they then can see the progress fo the order. It's only available to " UPS My Choice® members" and only in the US which is probably why we never activated it. 😂

https://www.ups.com/us/en/help-center/sri/follow-my-delivery.page


 

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Well getting around the API issue is easy just use openmaps! Getting the map installed on your website is easy just dump it into a box.

image.png.728e72c5ded042ad25d26167a5818af0.png

Then you hit a stone wall 😊 I don't keep any delivery details in my database it's all done on the ups website so I have no way of pulling the info and linking it to a customer or an order. I would need to add a mod to osC to add an aditional table to store the order tracking number. That will require core code changes. I would also I think need to olace the map in the customers account only and not on the main site view. That again requires core code changes.

Or we just duplicate what the other tracking websites do. Just add a input box to the map and email the customer the tracing number which they then enter into the map and see the order status. This again will require integrating the delivery companys API into the map display.

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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How much package location information does a shipper provide (for free), and do they have limits on how frequently a given package may be queried, or an IP address (your store) can do any query? I wouldn't be surprised if any shipper has limits to prevent abuse (e.g., live tracking of your package, with your phone hitting their server every second). Latitude/longitude is nice, but city/state + delivery status would do. Even if the shipper's site is not set up for a map, as long as information is consistently presented it should be possible to scrape it off their site and present it to a mapping app.

An alert (text or voice) to the customer phone that the package has been left at the address might prove very useful in this age of increasing thefts from the doorstep.

If a shipper charges extra for advanced tracking, and the customer requests it, that fee could be passed on to the customer at checkout.


If you are running the "official" osC 2.3.4 or 2.3.4.1 download, your installation is obsolete! Get (stable) Frozen or (unstable) Edge. See also the naming convention and the latest community-supported responsive "Edge" release

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Most of the large shippers provide at least the current city via api freely and you wouldn't need to store any of that in the database. Just make the api call to get the current location,  convert to Latitude/longitude via available class, pull the customers address from the database and then create the map. I think the Google Maps api is essentially free unless you are making huge amounts of queries per day.


The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

- Rabindranath Tagore

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I had a look Eric and Google now have the API behind a payment login. You have to accept T&C and provide billing ie card data before they will issue a API they no longer supply development API's only the first $200 is free after tht they charge. I asked if I could have a test API but no joy.

I looked at UPS and FDEX and both require you register before they let you have acess to the development SDK's so again unable to test. Marking the start point and end pint on the map is easy, it's the inbetween that's the problem as UP's only supplys this data in the US  to some customers. Fedex are the same,

Map View
FedEx Delivery Manager® members can use map views to track a package visually:
So it looks like Map view is a premium service.

10 hours ago, Smoky Barnable said:

pull the customers address from the database and then create the map

You can only do this if the tracking number is linked to the customer! which means it must be added to the db?


 

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Well failed miserably with this one! Could not find any API to use for testing so gave up.

Managed to get the openmaps to finally behave and got leafletjs auto-geolocate to function with openmaps. Adding additional locations by pulling geo data from the shipping companies should not be too difficult it’s just getting access to the API’s that's the problem.

So just got tracking option and geolocation map in box, will have to do for now.

image.png.7c38d43560e7cb0b7955ed57f26c36c5.png


 

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On 1/12/2019 at 5:04 AM, JcMagpie said:

Well getting around the API issue is easy just use openmaps! Getting the map installed on your website is easy just dump it into a box.

image.png.728e72c5ded042ad25d26167a5818af0.png

Then you hit a stone wall 😊 I don't keep any delivery details in my database it's all done on the ups website so I have no way of pulling the info and linking it to a customer or an order. I would need to add a mod to osC to add an aditional table to store the order tracking number. That will require core code changes. I would also I think need to olace the map in the customers account only and not on the main site view. That again requires core code changes.

Or we just duplicate what the other tracking websites do. Just add a input box to the map and email the customer the tracing number which they then enter into the map and see the order status. This again will require integrating the delivery companys API into the map display.

My courier always sends me an email when I purchase a shipping label, so I have the email automatically piped to a php script which extracts the tracking number and transaction id from the email, updates the database with tracking number and order status and emails customer that order is shipped. Saves me loads of time. Although I like your input box idea.

 

Edited by Smoky Barnable

The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.

- Rabindranath Tagore

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12 hours ago, Smoky Barnable said:

I have the email automatically piped to a php script which extracts the tracking number and transaction

Customers are strange beings! We did not need to do that as we could simply add the customers email address into the shipping portal when booking the delivery. The customer then was automaticity notified by email with his/her tracking details.

We had to remove this function as we had lots of complaints about receiving the tracking email. We now manually forward the link to any customer that requests it ( very few do!).

anyone intrested in the tracking box can see it on the test site. Auto Geolocation should be working so you should see map update to your location.

https://chilleddisplays.co.uk/

image.png.475a9e3601035292b7630ad0c7ca8842.png

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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