Chicago Critical Mass - Fri 6/25/2021
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Photos must be sent to a massup EMAIL. Use your phone's EMAIL program to EMAIL the photo to (for example) rather than texting it (MMS). On the iPhone from the photo app send by EMAIL as opposed to MMS. If your phone asks, send a large version BUT under 2MB or delivery may fail. Technically one can send a photo from messaging, but quality and GPS info are lost. Include a Subject to use for captioning. See the POST page for more info.

Texting to an Email address uses the modern method of TEXTING to an EMAIL address. Use your standard text messaging screen (NOT your phone's email) and enter as the recipient's number. iPhones allow direct entry or picking from contacts. Some phones require creating a contact record first. Using this method, receives your texts as emails, and sends to the texts' reply address (unique to your phone, assigned by the carrier). This helps serve high volume at low cost, and worked on all phones tested.

Automatic Map Linking can automatically link text addresses to mapping. This allows GPS logging even from non-GPS postings. Postings such as "Northbound passing 1300 N Wacker." or "Gathering in Senn Park (Clark and Thorndale)" will be automatically linked to a map for the location.
For best results: 1. Put the address last on the line. 2. If exact address unknown specify intersection with "and" conjunction. 3. Do include "Ave""Blvd""St" etc if known. 4. Don't include city, it's assumed.
Confirmed reasonable addresses are further included in the Plot and KML views, and may be used for auto-responder "where" queries.

Associating PHONE and EMAIL with your FACEBOOK login
Using Facebook connect your Web and GPS postings can be personally tracked, but your texts and emails may not be associated.
To also associate your texts and emails you must configure those here. To determine your phone's email address, send a text from it to your personal email address. Once received, copy the FROM address exactly (typically ######@carrier...). Send a message back to the copied address to confirm it works. Then login here using Facebook connect ("f" button at bottom right of every page), go to your user menu (click on the Welcome...), then click Edit Self. Fill in the Phone Number and Phone Email fields there and save. Future texts from your phone should then be associated with your login. Emails and Twitter can also be configured there.

MAKE SURE you're posting to the right mass
Your selected mass name is displayed on many pages, or use the OTHER MASSES page to confirm or change.
WHENEVER POSTING from the web or WebApp make sure you're on the right mass. Auto-GPS in particular can generate lots of stray postings. Posting to the wrong mass at best confuses people and plots, may simply be deleted, and at worst will get you blocked. When using auto-GPS for personal logging use the direct URL to post to the default mass. Frequent riders, mass organizers, and highly social people may request your own mass and use that.

Power Conservation Hints
Phone battery life (and hence the maximum length of ride one can continuously record) can be maximized with a few simple steps:
1. Turn off bluetooth. 2. Set brightness low. 3. Turn off WiFi. 4. Turn off phone on long straight stretches.
Set and used optimally, a phone can record a full day's ride. WiFi is especially important, as a big power user, and causes the phone to constantly seek and try new connections as one passes them in cities. If you can spare the power, turn ON WiFi for better GPS accuracy. One could also disable 3/4G, but the speed loss is too significant. The site's black background and other aspects are designed to minimize power use.

No MMS to Hotline!
Photos MMS'd to the hotline # are simply not received at all, a current limitation of GoogleVoice which may someday change. See PHOTOS note above.

Late Messages
Messages are sometimes received hours late, various carriers. This is a widespread phone consumer complaint, presumed to be delays in carriers' (or possibly any intermediate) email servers. If you don't get a reply, try texting the Hotline instead. Duplicate messages have also been seen. logs show proper sends, they just sometimes don't go to the phone promptly. Notifications to actual emails in contrast always work. Checking carriers, no indication of customer configurable filtering or time ranges found. 90% of the time all is fine, but one day every few weeks messages may be delayed, sometimes more than a day. Ultimately I feel this is an under recognized shoddiness in carriers' infrastructures, and customer should expect better. 2011.01.30

NEARBY Shortcuts has special shortcut URLs for finding your nearby needs.
The shortcuts go directly to the Find Nearby page, where a user can quickly first find themself, then overlay any of the many datasets of important local sites, services, events and info.
Just remember where ID is art, beach, crime, fire, fun, ghosts (Ghost Bikes), graffiti, landmark, library, llbb (Lonely Locked Bits of Bikes), market (farmers'), park, photos, photobooth, police, rack, senior, service (bike shops), train, ward.
For example, bookmark (add to your home screen) for quick access to nearby bike shops as is it was a dedicated app. Bookmark for the amazing events feed.

  1. On a PC or smartphone login to using Facebook Connect.
  2. To add a new mass complete the mass request form.
    Carefully fill in as much as possible, the more the better. Every field has help available on mouseover or click. Submit, then once approved and created your short new URL will be sent to the contact provided.
  3. From your User Menu click Edit Self to finish associating your phone and email and Twitter (as applicable).
  4. Select your mass by URL or from the OTHER MASSES tab.
  5. Still logged in, post a message such as "please make me the admin" to the mass from the POST tab.
  6. After admin review you'll be given the ability to edit your mass and manage its messages and users.
  7. Advanced features such as embedding plots and chat feeds offsite are available. Contact for details when ready.
  8. Heavy users should reciprocally link such as:
    <a href=""><img src="" border=0> Mobile broadcast on</a>
    (or similar text as you see fit, linked to your mass rather than /now)
     Mobile Broadcast: 
     Text ? to


iPhone: Everything works perfectly always (except for occasional message delays, noted below). 2011.01.30
To add App to home screen simply open in browser, then menu and "Add to Home Screen"

T-Mobile: All basic texting functions fine, could even receive images.
All text operations work fine. Map graphic receive works fine. Uploading photos works fine. No GPS info on received photos if phone has no Internet. 2011.01.30

Motorola Razor: Little testing.
Map graphic receive failed, but only tested once, carrier and plan unknown. 2011.01.30

Motorola Droid on Verizon: Web functions fine, photo upload and SMS fine, but map receive failed.
1. Stripped received map. 2. Opened browser wrong size. 3. Did not include GPS info in photo, couldn't find settings. 4. Facebook Connect and GPS posting and all webpages worked perfectly. 2011.01.30

Adding WebApp to home screen on Droid:
User report: Open in the browser, then bookmark it. After Bookmarking it, go to ALL Bookmarks, then open the popup-menu and "Add shortcut to Home"
Would be nice to add the shortcut directly without first bookmarking it, but no method obvious. 2011.02.22

GPS location sharing on Droid:
User report on Motorola: When in camera mode, the second icon down on the right allows enabling/disabling of location. Enable it before shooting. Other procedures apply for 3rd party photo apps. 2011.02.22

Also see Details and Testing


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