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I am a database programmer, and I want to learn about geospatial pattern matching by using the gps data from my phone.

I would like to install an app that uploads a record about the location of my phone every few seconds - to somewhere - pardon my ignorance as I am not a mobile platform developer. Presumably I can point the uploading process to some sort of a listening process on an Amazon AWS machine, where I can install a database and then analyze the data.

Is there any android application that I can install that would allow me to do this? By using an app, I can ask some friends to do the same so that I can then analyze data from multiple devices.

Whats the best approach for this type of task?

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You could try GPS Logger for Android.

A lightweight, battery efficient GPS Logger. The purpose of this app is to log your GPS coordinates at specified intervals to a file on your SD card. This app runs in the background so that you can on a long walk, hike, flight ride or photo session or even go buy some milk and have this running as long as possible. Once you're back at your computer, you can then use the files to geotag photos, upload to travel sites, view in Google Earth and so on.

The app lets you send the data via email, FTP, DropBox, Google Docs, OpenStreetMap, or OpenGTS. What you do with it, programming-wise, is entirely up to you; this part is off-topic here.

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The easiest way to do this is use Google Location Sharing/History, a.k.a. Latitude. Your phone already has all the functionality to do this: you just need to turn it on. Then, you can use the API of Google Location Sharing to retrieve the location history of the phone and process it any way you like. You don't need any server-side programming to do this.

All that said, probably the best way to get into GIS programming is through OpenStreetMap. It's a huge, complex dataset and offers lots of opportunities for analysis and for learning about different ways of storing, representing, and processing geographic data.

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I'd do it by using the free version of Endomondo. On your site profile, you can than export the data in .gpx or .tcx format.

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