m-apps:locAR News Notes FAQ Menu

The User Menu

The User menu is where you claim and maintain your UID, or 'Unique ID'. This is the string by which your positional symbol is identified on the map displays and as a source of text messages. It's also used (if you have transmission to base enabled) to access your KML file via a viewer such as Google Earth.

This menu also lets you change the radius of a circular 'zone' around your own location. You can then be warned if any team member enters or leaves this zone.

Getting your own UID

Your 'UID' (Unique Identifier) is a string by which you are identified to other users. It needs to be 'globally unique' - that is, no one in the world has exactly the same UID as anyone else.

Your UID is based upon a 'USER' name string supplied by you (in the entry box just below the Menu button). This user name could be, for example, your first name. However, we strongly recommend that you use a 'nickname' or other (non-) identifying text string that only your friends will recognise. In particular, you should not use a name that indicates your gender or age if you are likely to share location data with people you do not know!

When forming a UID your user name is first subjected to the following rules :-

  • it can be up to 20 characters long
  • capitalisation (use of upper/lower case) is unimportant (all UIDs are lower-case)
  • spaces and any characters other than "a"-"z","A"-"Z" and "0"-"9" are removed

    For example, "my name", "MyName" and "My NAME!!" are all equivalent to "myname".

    To ask for a UID based on your supplied user name, just press ...

    Set USER

    This sends your user name string to the base server, which then assigns and returns your UID. This is shown in the yellow box next to the Menu button.

    If the user string you submit has not been claimed by anyone else than that will become your UID (subject to application of the rules above). You will be able to use the same user name and UID whenever you use locAR on this phone in future.

    If someone else has already claimed a UID based on your user string then a numeric string is appended to form your UID. For example, the first person to submit "Klaatu" as a user name gets the UID "klaatu"; the second person gets "klaatu1"; the third gets "klaatu2" and so on ....

    As you may prefer a UID without a number on the end, it is possible to check what UID you would get for a given user name without actually assigning that UID to yourself. To do this just enter your proposed user name and press ...


    This sends your user name string to the base server, which then determines what UID you would be assigned and sends you a message of the form "UID yourUID". You can submit as many user names as you like until you find one which is currently unique without numbers. Then just press Set USER to claim that UID (assuming no one else has submitted your proposed user name in the last few seconds!).

    Note: Although you can have multiple names mapped to UIDs for your phone (perhaps for different users) please don't try to 'grab' all of the non-numeric UIDs that you can think of! No specific limit is currently applied but we reserve the right to 'de-register' UID mappings without notice if we consider you to have an 'excessive' number of UIDs (say, more than 10) claimed for any one phone.

    Prev, Next and Del

    The Prev and (when displayed) Next buttons scroll back and forth through previously submitted user names (most recent first). The Del button (when displayed) deletes the currently selected entry.

    Rad+ and Rad-

    These two buttons increase and decrease the radius of a circular 'zone' around your own location. The edge of this zone is marked by a blue circle, as in the snapshot above. As you change the size of your 'own zone' its radius in metres is shown by messages at the top of the screen. The radius is initially zero, so start with Rad+ several times to make it visible.

    A warning message is triggered if any other team member enters or leaves your own zone (regardless of who moved).


    Enables (if checked) or disables the display of the various 'TIP:' system messages. These are normally each shown once after each re-start.


    Enables (if checked) or disables the buzzer effects used to give you 'feelback' when various events occur.
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