AlertTraveler® is an add-on subscription service from Terra Dotta. It features an app for iOS and Android devices and utilizes GPS and the itineraries that are already stored in your Terra Dotta software. AlertTraveler® provides travelers with country and city intelligence, safety and security alerts, and an instant check-in option. Administrators have access to AlertTraveler® through a plug-in to their Terra Dotta software. They have the ability to view alerts, view and act on impacted travelers, and issue check-in requests. Administrators also have access to country and city intelligence.
This article details usage of the AlertTraveler® mobile app.
Installing AlertTraveler® (iOS devices)
Travelers should go to the Apple App Store on an iOS device and search for AlertTraveler® by name or follow this direct link.
Once they find the app, they should download and install it on their iOS device. Users will need to obtain an AlertTraveler® password before configuring the app (See “Registering AlertTraveler®” below).
In order for AlertTraveler® to be fully functional, users should allow Notifications, Location Services, and Health and Motion Services. In order to enable these services, users should respond as indicated below to the following messages during initial activation:
“AlertTraveler Would Like to Send You Notifications” - Tap “Allow”
“AlertTraveler Would Like to Access your Motion & Fitness Activity” - Tap “OK”
- “Allow “AlertTraveler” to access your location while you use the app” - Tap “Allow”
- “Background location is not enabled” - Tap “Settings then tap “Location” and then select “Always.”
Allow AlertTraveler to access this device’s location? - Tap “Allow”
Using a Password Generated Through Your Terra Dotta Site
Eligible travelers (see Traveler Activation Statuses in the article titled "AlertTraveler® License Manager" will be presented with a “AlertTraveler® Registration” panel on their Applicant Home in the classic UI of the Terra Dotta software.
If you're using the Modern UI, the user must click on the 'AlertTraveler®' menu.
The left sides shows the activation information while the right side shows the country intelligence options based on the user's itinerary record.
In order to activate AlertTraveler®, a user must create an AlertTraveler® password using this panel. Clicking “Generate” in this panel will create a password. that is valid for 48 hours. The user will then enter their Terra Dotta email address and generated AlertTraveler® password, as shown on that panel, to log in to the AlertTraveler® mobile app. This panel can also be used to generate an email for a forgotten password using the "Email me my password" link.
With the Modern Applicant UI, the user can email themselves their password to activate the app.
Automatic Registration by Logging in With Mobile Device
An alternative way for a traveler to register is by logging into your Terra Dotta site with the mobile device on which they have installed the AlertTraveler® app. They can then tap the "Login to AlertTraveler" button to automatically register without the need to generate a code. Note: If the AlertTraveler® app has not been installed, this button will take the traveler to their respective app store in order to install it.
Note: GPS data updates occur as follows:
- Every 8 hours
- Any time a traveler moves more than 5 KM
- Continuously when a traveler initiates the Help Request function until the Help Request is resolved
- Continuously when a 'Needs Help' response is submitted for a Check-in Request until the traveler is marked as safe
The Location Info page displays the flag of the country, the current risk rating for the country from WorldAware (left) or the U.S. Department of State (right - also includes link to DOS web page) depending on admin settings, and the number of active alerts for the country across the top. There are two tabs below: Overview and Risk Details. The Overview tab provides a description of the safety and security profile of the country. Tapping "Read More" expands this section. The Risk Details tab provides a dashboard-like view of six factors that contribute to the country's overall risk rating. Tapping "Show full assessment" expands this section to fill in more details.
The Subscriptions page allows a user to view and configure the subscriptions that determine the notifications and alerts they receive through AlertTraveler®. This section lists the different types of subscriptions and how they are managed.
- Tapping the Alerts icon will take a user to a page that displays all active alerts for that country sorted by the the time they were issued (see "My Alerts" below for more information about alerts).
- The Contacts button at the top of the screen takes the user to a page that displays Emergency Contact information for the country displayed, including icons programmed to call police, fire, ambulance, and emergency numbers. Tapping any of the icons displays the appropriate emergency service phone number for that location at the bottom of the screen. Tapping that number causes the mobile phone to call that number. This page also displays the Institution Emergency Contact phone number and information configured in AlertTraveler > Settings on the administrative side in Terra Dotta. Finally, links to information for select diplomatic embassies are provided at the bottom of this page. See also: "Emergency Contact" below.
The Subscribe button on the Country Intelligence page allows a user to create an opt-in subscription to alerts for that country. See information on configuring subscriptions below.
The bottom of the Country Intelligence page displays icons that allow the user to tap and access further information about the political conditions, security issues, travel logistics, cultural factors, health advisories, and other security and practical travel information about the given location.
- The magnifying glass at the top of this page allows a user to search for other Countries, Cities, and Territories, and view the Country Intelligence pages for those locations.
The top of the page displays the country of the user’s current location based on GPS. Users will automatically be subscribed to alerts for this location unless this setting is disabled by tapping the slider in the “My Location” heading.
The subscriptions under the “My Itinerary” panel are based on the user’s travel itinerary as stored in the Terra Dotta software (Terra Dotta) site, and will include any locations included in any Terra Dotta itinerary. Current and future itineraries will be displayed, but alerts will only be received for currently active itineraries.
The "My Subscriptions" section will display any opt-in subscriptions the user has created.
A user can create an opt-in subscription by tapping the green “plus" (+) icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
A user can unsubscribe from a subscription under "My Subscriptions” by tapping the arrow to the right side of the subscription box, tapping “Unsubscribe," and then confirming.
The user is presented with a search screen where they can type the location to which they wish to subscribe. As the user types, suggested locations will populate on the screen, accompanied by a “Subscribe” button. Tapping the “Subscribe” button will bring the user to a screen where they can configure their subscription settings (refer to “Subscription Settings” below).
Subscription SettingsThe settings for any subscription on the Subscriptions page can be accessed by tapping the arrow on the right side of the subscription box and tapping “Settings."
The following settings are available on the subscription settings page:
Changes on this page are saved by tapping “Submit” at the bottom of the screen.
A. Start and End Date - the user can set a start and end date for their subscription to alerts for this location. Note: GPS-location-based subscriptions do not have start and end dates. Itinerary-based subscriptions show start and end dates, but they cannot be edited in the app. In order to edit itinerary-based subscriptions, you need to edit the appropriate itinerary in the Terra Dotta software.
- B. Alert Preferences - the user can decide whether to be alerted via mobile-device notification and/or email for each level of alert severity by checking the appropriate boxes. Note: preferences for email alerts are overridden by the Threshold set by Administrators in Terra Dotta (AlertTraveler > Settings) for GPS and itinerary-based subscriptions.
- C. Categories - tapping "Select Categories" opens an interface in which the user can disable alerts for specific categories by selecting/deselecting the appropriate categories and tapping “OK.”
My AlertsThe My Alerts page displays any alerts impacting the user, based on their GPS, Itinerary, and opt-in subscriptions (See “Subscriptions” above). Newer alerts will appear on the top. Alerts will be displayed with their incident type, severity level, the alert headline, and the time the alert was issued (in UTC). If a check-in request has been issued, a “Check-in” button will also be displayed with the associated alert (see “Check-in Requests” below).
Tapping an alert takes the user to the full details of the alert. A zoomable map of the impacted area, the severity level, and the alert headline are displayed, as well as four tabs: General, Detail, Advice, and Analysis. Note: Some alerts will not have all four tabs.
The General tab displays the start and end date and time of the alert, the alert category (e.g. Natural Hazard, Travel Transport, etc.), links to sources of information about the incident, and a link to the Country Intelligence pages of impacted countries.
The Detail tab provides a detailed synopsis of the incident for which the alert was issued.
The Advice tab provides advice for impacted travelers.
The Analysis tab provides a broader view of the incident and insight into potential for further disruptions.
If GPS is enabled, the traveler's location will also be displayed on the alert map.
The Help Request page allows a traveler to initiate contact with one of your institution's travel administrators independent of an alert or check-in request if an issue arises.
The traveler will have the option to place phone call to the institutional emergency contact number or send a message through the app.
Once a request is initiated, a traveler can message back and forth with an admin.
A traveler can then review current and past Help Requests messages.
The Help Request page is enabled and managed by administrators in AlertTraveler > Settings > Admin tab.
The Emergency Contact page displays emergency contact information for the traveler’s current location based on GPS. Across the top of the page are police, fire, ambulance, and emergency icons. Tapping any of the icons displays the appropriate emergency service phone number for that location at the bottom of the screen. Tapping that number causes the mobile phone to call that number. This page also displays the Institution Emergency Contact phone number and information configured in AlertTraveler > Settings on the administrative side in Terra Dotta. Finally, links to information for select diplomatic embassies are provided at the bottom of this page.
The Profile page displays the user's contact information and allows them to set or change the phone number associated with their AlertTraveler® profile. This is the number to which SMS messages will be delivered when initiated by an administrator. The user is also able to set their alert preferences for the institution-created alerts from this page. This functionality is the same as for regular subscription alerts configured through the Subscriptions page.
The Help page opens the device’s default web browser and directs travelers to an AlertTraveler® FAQ. There is a link at the bottom of the FAQ to a more in-depth online user guide.
When a check-in request is issued for an alert that impacts a traveler, a notification will be pushed to the traveler's device if push notifications are allowed for the AlertTraveler® app. Notification preference settings within the app (See "Subscriptions" above) do not affect check-in request notifications. Travelers will also receive the check-in request notification by email. If the traveler taps on the Check-in notification on their device's home or lock screen, the app will open directly to the check-in request. Otherwise, if they open the app after a check-in request has been issued, the user can navigate to My Alerts where the check-in button will appear within the corresponding alert. The check-in button will remain with the alert until the traveler checks in.
After opening the check-in page, the user will see the headline and severity level for the alert and the message provided by the university administrator when the request was generated. Tapping the “See Details” link, will allow them to see the full details page for the alert.
Two buttons are provided for the user to report their status: “I’m Safe” and “I Need Help.” A field is also provided so the user can provide further details about their status. Note: Travelers should contact local emergency services if immediate help is needed.
App Subscription & Expiration Details
Every traveler has 365 days to use the app from the date of eligibility. For those who activate the app, the 365 day subscription starts again on the date of activation.
Travelers using AlertTraveler® on a Terra Dotta Study Abroad site can only have their subscription revoked if the application is switched to withdrawn prior to the itinerary starting and the traveler does not activate the app.
Travelers using a Terra Dotta Travel Registry site are made eligible once they have a profile in the system, whether or not they have a trip registered.
One and done! No matter how infrequently you travel, you only need to activate the AlertTraveler® app one time to use for all future travel. Individual AlertTraveler® licenses are still good for a year, but will now automatically renew when a new trip is registered, eliminating the need to re-register the app.
- What Is AlertTraveler?
- Downloading and Activating AlertTraveler
- AlertTraveler Alerts and Check-in Requests
- AlertTraveler Subscription and Profile Settings
- AlertTraveler Location Information and Emergency Contact