Tag Archives: mapping

NZ Car Logbook Dilemma Solved

July 2012

Real Estate Agents are no different than other independent contractors or self employed persons in New Zealand, who spend a good percentage of their working day “on the road” so to speak.

To calculate a “working Vs a private usage” situation for the vehicle used, IRD request that a log book must be kept, covering & detailing a continuous period of three (3) months. And it needs to be updated every 3 years.

This logbook is really no more different than what I suspect truck drivers complete every working day, it needs to state your start, your finish, your kilometers and the purpose, as in whether each trip is for private purposes, or solely business related.

Erwin Wernsen is a chap who, between projects, decided to write an app, in this case an Android app that works brilliantly on the Samsung S3 I can attest.

His little app will save the real estate agents of New Zealand heaps and heaps of time, and yet into the bargain, provide an even more detailed and accurate “log book.”

As any new Smartphone user already knows these devices today come standard with the ubiquitous GPS. To ensure you don’t lose any points on your license, most everyone I know has a Bluetooth handsfree carkit in said business related vehicle as well.

Great, that’s the only two ingredients required for this little app, the cunningly named “Auto Mileage Log” to do its business and log your journeys.

Time to throw away that paper based book!

The one other item required is an internet connected PC so that you can review, analyse and download your “logbook” reports.

And in the words of the developer himself, here’s the neat little trick that makes this app a standout winner in my books………

But while I was developing the app I got the idea to use the bluetooth connection as a signal to start and end the trip logging. This way the logging would be fully automatic and I would not need to remember to start and stop the registration. At that time that was a unique feature so I decided to publish the app on the market. I guess more people liked this feature since I had quite a few downloads right away. Some of the users also provided me with good feedback…..

So you don’t even have to remember to turn anything on! Just remember that you have started the app, and that you have the GPS and Bluetooth activated on your phone, oh and obviously that its connected “paired” to your handsfree carkit.

You can even review your maps right on your Smartphone just to check you got all the details correct

Another exciting feature is that when setting up the preferences you select what time of the day, I think mine is set for 23:00hrs, that the phone will upload your “logbook” data automagically to the dedicated website. Yes, yes…… upfront you do need to register on the site, and use a special PIN that the site generates for you, but it works a treat. You can also download the report in .CSV.

Oh, and did I mention at this stage the app is FREE.

I suspect that not just Real Estate Agents would benefit from this app/website combo, and would be interested to know of other industries in NZ where something like this would be handy.

Thanks Erwin for a great app, I’m thinking this won’t be the last one you write.

PS: When you review the details online you can adjust the report so that, for example. you may require to change Business to Private.

Also this works better with a car only Bluetooth unit, not one of those wireless ones people clip to their ears. If you have one of those, then this app will track you everywhere you go….?

Tahunanui Beach, Nelson very high and low tides this weekend

Saturday, April 7th 2012

Around about this time of year each year, very close to the full moon,

the place in New Zealand with the highest tides, also sees some of NZ’s lowest tides.

 

There is no better place to see and experience that for yourself than down at our “world famous in NZ” beach, Tahunanui. one of New Zealands favourite family beaches,

and not far away from NZ’s and the Southern Hemispheres largest motor camp, the Tahuna Beach holiday camp. Whether it was kids building sandcastles,

or young girlfriends getting some snaps for their future modelling portfolios, everyone was smiling.

Yesterday afternoon, my lovely wife & I decide to go for a stroll.

However whence one noted no parking for 100’s of metres, it turned out I wasn’t the only one that was thinking this way on a glorious, typically sunny Nelson afternoon.

No, it turned out to be us, and about 5 ~ 600 others had exactly the same idea, Good Fridays version of an “Indian Summer” ……

….had everyone out enjoying it. With such a low tide, I just had to see how far you could walk out….

and if you check my Panoramio page here, you’ll see exactly what I mean, a fair distance to put it midly.

So don’t forget, today around 4pm and tomorrow Sunday about 4:45pm, there are very low tides late each afternoon, head on down and experience it for yourself. Even saw some folk swimming, must be from Invercargill I reckon? 🙂

Many more NELSON PHOTOs over at my www.Pan0ramio.com page

New Zealand is, well actually has been now for a while…

……the perfect test case.

This I recall from my IT days chatting with project folk from the major companies, even when it was something that wasn’t the most popular thing, NZ was, they recanted, just a perfect “test case” situation. Another likened it in these words…..as a “control” experience for his company.

Why?

Well, from what I was told…it went like this……….

1] english speaking country

2] accustomed to most / easily adjustable, even taking local customs into account, to Australia / Canada / USA / UK, and hence scalable …..

3] the ability to “test market” anything for a pittance of what it would cost to do “the same” in one of the countries named in no. 2 above

4] plenty of other “not at first glance” obvious reasons…..

….and that precisely brings me to this…….

CREDIT – http://www.webpronews.com

many media sites are reporting tonight, like the ole days of IT, that Google Maps will deliver “live traffic” updates to 3 countries, us, Hong Kong, and Norway.

So good on you Google – well done…can’t wait to try this out.

And while I’m at it on the subject of driving in New Zealand – can I recommend all Kiwis check out the most excellent site here…..

http://www.giveway.co.nz/

It just makes this new road rule change (thats due in about a week) so so so easy to comprehend and more importantly, understand.

GRAPHIC CREDIT – http://www.webpronews.com/google-maps-traffic-data-added-for-norway-new-zealand-hong-kong-2012-03

OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE – Google Lat Long Blog

 

2011 Sunshine Captial of New Zealand is

Jan 2nd, 2012

According to data complied by the NIWA Cliflo database (which you can check yourself here) the results are in (well accept for the 31st Dec from Blenheim that is)

Yes, we had a curved ball thrown at us towards the end there and its probably the only reason we didn’t hit 2500 annual hrs of sunshine.

And here are the figures…..

DATA - http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz

When I get a moment in the next few days I’ll also update on the annual temperatures for the year that was 2011 in Nelson.

Eagle eyed browsers amongst you will note, after  a cursory glance at the above figures, that there is just a tad over 107hrs difference between Nelson and the next place down last years winner.

I’ve attempted to illustrate that difference with the above graphic.

The above figure illustrates the amount of extra sunshine that Nelson did get per day (on average), each & every day in 2011, here in the Top of the South, more than any other town or city last years winner, Whakatane.

UPDATE – Jan 3rd 2012

Nelson Mail Jan 3rd 2012

The local paper the Nelson Mail proclaims our winning status on its front page tonight.

Honourable mention should also go to Tekapo coming in, according to the Nelson Mail tonight, at 2463hrs, just 24hrs behind Nelsons total. This would place Tekapo in 2nd place on the top chart.

DATA – http://cliflo.niwa.co.nz

Help others too…

Nov 10th, 2011

This may at first seem like such an over-used phrase….but when you think about it……

… folk that have been in the position of real estate marketers for many years….well they have “exactly that” mantra in mind all the time.

Why?

The why is because real estate in New Zealand is, contrary to many themes / thoughts ….still a people business.

That means your heart still has to be in the right place…and “helping people” must be right up there at the absolute top. If you don’t feel so inclined, then perhaps you need a change of vocation.

I get no greater happiness each month that when I check out the “missions.”

If you’d like to check out the incredibly valuable missions that as principal sponsor, Summit encourage, then you can actually follow them in real time right here…and see just exactly what they do day to day.

If we have a problem locally….its often the reality that we are surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most fascinating National Parks…something that does not discourage visitors. People being what they are……..well lets just say, a rescue chopper is very very handy?

As you can see from the pie chart above, its not just Nelson that benefits.

That really is gratifying.

NOTE – as the helicopter pilots tell me…if you are going to venture out into the Parks….at the very least have a light source (& backup power like solar / battery / whatever could be a life saver)

The new US sourced “military grade” night vision goggles that the pilots now use at night, they are fantastic, but to action a very quick rescue – they do need a light source…like a torch.

Surprisingly enough the best light source this year has been from something like a mobile phone.  Once turned on, the output from the screen is enough to trigger activation in the night vision goggles from kilometres out, and real rescues have been performed because of just that exact light source!

I could imagine even an Ipod would do the same – so definitely take your music with you too!