The University of Auckland

Project #115: Search and Rescue Application



Search and Rescue personal are often in remote places where communication methods may be limited or non-existent. Co-ordinating search operations are traditionally done through map grids with teams assigned an area to search. While this method is tried and true, we propose using technology to improve its effectiveness.

Mobile devices are commonplace in our modern society as everyone owns one. Our idea is to use the GPS receiver in mobile devices to track and record a search operator’s movements as they are searching. They can then upload their search data when they have internet connection to a central service which collates everyone’s data. The central service then can generate a map which plots the searchers path during the day. We can then estimate depending on the visibility of the area or weather, the area a person has searched, and which zones have not been searched. This can provide useful data to a search coordinator.

Additional functionality could include marking locations where the missing person has left a ‘clue’ to their whereabouts, this is improved with our application as we get an accurate location fix and can view this later. If network connectivity is available, you could send real time updates so the search coordinator can more effectively direct search teams.

Research Components

  • Research the most effective ways to record accurate location data while maintaining battery life

  • Research how to accurately represent a ‘searched’ area from the location data, accuracy of location data, weather, environment and other visibility factors










Allocated (Not available for preferences)


Lab allocations have not been finalised