Trapster is a free service and client for avoiding speed traps for iPhone, BlackBerry and java enabled phones. Another great thing about Trapster is that it’s community driven: anyone can report speed traps so the maps are updated all the time.
Trapster combines technologies such as GPS and wireless location, voice transcription, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and SMS, with a central database server. It communicates in real time, using the Internet. Since the traps are often moved from one position to another it is vital to get real time information about their location. You can set notifications up on your Garmin or other navigation device if you don’t want to check your phone while driving.
The iPhone application is very detailed and customizable. The displaying of speed traps can be set so you only see a given type on the map. You can even connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to interact with other Trapster users and to send updates.
After downloading Trapster from the App Store you need to create an account. It will ask you to allow location services to scan your surroundings for speed traps. As you see there are no traps at my current location. But on the highway there are two fixed cameras that I didn’t know of. Trapster uses google maps and the information from users for placing traffic cameras on it.
I was skeptical if there are enough users to keep the database updated but Trapster just reached 200k Blackberry users. You can record your trips and share them or keep them to yourself. If you notice a speed trap of any kind you can easily add it to the database by selecting the type and pin pointing on the map. The setup menu gives real depth to Trapster. You can customize every aspect of the application: notifications, alerts, sounds, etc. The main menu has a bunch of settings and a help section so you won’t get lost.
I have a dock in my car for my iPhone so I have no problems checking it regularly. I’m planning to set Trapster up with my navigation system thought because the iPhone’s battery is drained easily.
Connecting to Facebook account is fast and embedded into the application while for setting up Twitter you need to go to Safari.
Everyone of us know that speeding is dangerous, but not everyone want to keep to the speed limit, especially on highways. While Trapster is not an app to advocate speeding, it enables you to drive (and speed) without worrying about getting caught by speed traps. Radar or laser detectors are no good against modern police equipment. These devices often alert too late and you have no time to slow down before reaching the speed trap. Trapster has updated information and alerts you miles before you would get to the trap. You can also see the traps on the map, which could potentially save you lot of money (paying fines).
Trapster currently works in iPhone, Blackberry and various mobile phone that supports Java J2ME. A Windows mobile version is also coming soon.
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