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 is for the AlertTraveler® mobile app version released in January 2022. For support for the previous version of the app, see "Using the AlertTraveler® Mobile App (Legacy Version)".
This article details usage of the AlertTraveler® mobile app with the following topics:
- Safety Map
- Safety Feed
- Additional Features
The Safety Map is an interactive map that provides an overview of the safety in the traveler's current location and around the world. This page includes City Scores and any nearby Incidents (see "Incidents" below for more explanation), as well as color-coded Neighborhood badges (for institutions that subscribe to this service).
The magnifying glass icon allows users to search for countries and cities. The GPS icon centers the map on the user's current location.
Users can hone in on finding detailed information within a particular city. To assist with map visibility, City Scores show only the number by default. Tapping on a city score expands the label to display the name of the location and how many new alerts there are for the location in the last 24 hours.
By tapping on a city score, the traveler has access the City Scorecard. The City Scorecard consists of an overall city safety score as well as city-wide situational safety scores. The situational score categories include:
- Nighttime Safety
- Physical Safety
- Women's Safety
- Basic Freedoms
- Health & Medical
- LGBTQ+ Safety
For institutions that subscribe to Neighborhood Scorecards, overall scores and sub-scores are available for in cities around the world as well.
Location Intelligence pages begin with any applicable city or neighborhood intelligence, followed by the associated Country Intelligence below:
- Name of the location and any applicable
- Subscription status, and the option to subscribe or unsubscribe
- City or Neighborhood Intelligence:
- Composite safety score
- Number of alerts currently active for the location; tapping this button opens the Safety Feed filtered to show alerts related to the city or neighborhood
- Detailed Safety Scorecard for the location
- "How safe do you feel here?" button (see "Share Experience" below for more information)
- Country Intelligence:
- Country flag
- DOS, CDC, and CDC COVID scores
- Number of alerts currently active for the location; tapping this button opens the Safety Feed filtered to show alerts related to the country
- "SOS Contacts" button to view a list the emergency contact numbers in this country
- Overview of the location safety
- More Topics You May Like, including topics such as Political Conditions; Security Issues; Crime, Law & Corruption; Personal Safety; and Health Advisory
In order to help keep everyone safe, travelers have the opportunity to contribute to the data that drives the city/neighborhood scorecards. From a city or neighborhood intelligence page, travelers can tap on the "How safe do you feel here?" to indicate their impression of safety conditions in a neighborhood or city.
At the conclusion of an itinerary, travelers will also be prompted via a push notification to share their input.
- 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 (for more information, see "Help Requests" below).
- A - Severity Level
- B - Alert Sub-Category
- C - Zoomable Map of the impacted area. If GPS is enabled, the traveler's location will also be displayed on the alert map, and the GPS button can be used to center the map on current traveler location.
- D - Alert Headline
- E - Alert Category
- F - Details offers an overview of the incident for which the alert was issued.
- G - Required Check In button, if one has been requested
- H - Start Date and End Date for the Alert
- I - Advice provides advice for impacted travelers.
- J - Locations impacted by the Alert are listed if an Alert applies to specific cities. If an Alert is for the entire country, then this field will not show.
- K - Coordinates for the locations impacted by the Alert are listed if an Alert applies to specific cities. If an Alert is for the entire country, then this field will not show.
- If push notifications are allowed for the AlertTraveler® app, a notification will be pushed to the traveler's device. Notification preference settings within the app (see "Subscriptions" below) do not affect check-in request notifications. 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.
- Travelers will also receive the check-in request notification by email. This email includes information about the alert and instructions on how to access the Alert and check in using the AlertTraveler® app.
- If the Admin has chosen to send the Alert out via SMS, then travelers who have a texting plan for the phone number on their profile will receive a notification by SMS.
- On the Safety Map in the AlertTraveler® app, a red badge will appear that reads "[#] new required check-in(s)". If there is only one check-in requested, then tapping this badge will take the traveler to the Alert details page. If multiple check-ins are requested, then tapping this badge will take the traveler to the Safety Feed where the Alerts with check-ins will be sorted to the top of the feed.
- On the Safety Feed in the AlertTraveler® app, the check-in button will appear within the corresponding alert. Once a Check-in Request has been completed, this button changes to either a green "Checked in" button or a red "Help Requested" button. Tapping on any of these three versions of the button opens the Checkin page to submit or update the response.
There are two ways to see more information about an Incident, including the Incident type, date, location, and a map:
- On the Safety Map, tap on the pin for the Incident
- On the Incidents tab of the Safety Feed, tap on the "View on Map" label on card for the Incident
Incidents automatically expire after a period of time that is automatically set for that category. Users can use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons on the Incidents tab of the Safety Feed or on an individual Incidents detail page to either indicate that the Incident is no longer there (circle with a slash line) or acknowledge the report (circle with a check mark).
Share an Incident
To share an Incident, tap the "Report Incident" button the Incident tab of the Safety Feed (note: the "Report Incident" button will only appear if the user has GPS enabled and the app has determined location coordinates). This will open the "Report Incident" page, where you can select the category, sub-category, and severity of the Incident. Categories and related sub-categories include:
- Transportation: Traffic jam, car accident, road hazard, road construction, rail accident, aviation accident, airport delays/closure, other
- Safety: Armed conflict, theft, police presence, assault/physical threat, LGBTQ harassment, unruly crowd, other
- Civil Unrest: Protest/demonstration, strike, riot, other
- Service Disruption: Gas leak/explosion, power outage, water outage, construction
The severity options include Extreme, High, Medium, Low, and Minimal. Tap the "Submit" button to share the Incident with other travelers.
Travelers who have submitted an Incident will not receive a notification about the Incident but will be able to see the pin on the Safety Map and the card on the Incidents tab of the Safety Feed. Institutional administrators are not notified about Incidents that have been shared by their travelers. Any user (traveler or admin) can use the Safety Map to zoom into locations to view all Incidents that are currently active in a particular location.
The Messages section of the app holds current and past conversations with admins from your institution.
Note: The Messages page is enabled and managed by administrators in AlertTraveler > Settings > Admin tab. If this section does not appear in the app, then this feature has not been enabled by your institution.
If a traveler responds "I need help" to a Check-in Request, a message conversation will be automatically started in this area containing the name of the related Alert and any text and/or photos attached to Help Request. This section can also be used to initiate a new Help Request if one is not currently active (see "Help Requests" below).
Each conversation on the Messages page will be labeled with one of three statuses:
- Started (in red) - A Help Request has been initiated, but has not yet been responded to by an admin from the institution.
- In Process (in orange) - An admin has responded but the status of the traveler remains as "Needs Help".
- Resolved (in green) - The traveler's status has been changed to "Safe", either by the traveler editing their response from the Safety Feed or by manually by an Admin.
Tapping on the name of the conversation opens the contents in a new screen.
- A - The "Contact Local Authority" button opens a page showing the Police emergency contact information based on GPS location (see "SOS" below).
- B - The phone icon opens a page showing the institution emergency contact phone number and information as designated by admins (see "SOS" below).
- C - The contents of the conversation show in the middle section of this page. Institutions can allow multiple admins to respond conversations, so participants in the conversation are identified by photos pulled from a user's profile or, for users with no profile image set, colored circles with person's initials.
- D - Take a photo to share
- E - Select a photo from the device's photo album
From the Messages page, a traveler can initiate contact with their institution's travel administrators independent of an Alert or Check-in Request if an issue arises. Note: If immediate help is needed, travelers should contact local emergency services first (see "SOS" below for more information on accessing emergency services).
Tapping the "Contact Administrator" button offers two options: "By Call" or "By Message".
Selecting "By Call" prompts the mobile phone to dial the number configured in AlertTraveler > Settings on the administrative side in Terra Dotta. Selecting "By Message" either takes the traveler to a currently open message thread (if one exists), or opens a new message thread with administrator(s) designated by the institution (if there are no message threads in either "Started" or "In Process" status).
Travelers can also initiate a Help Request from the hamburger menu > My Profile > Contact Admin button.
Once a Help Request is initiated, a traveler can message back and forth with an admin on the Messages page. A traveler can also view current and past Help Requests messages.
Tapping the SOS icon in the tab bar opens a menu of emergency contacts for the traveler’s current location based on GPS, including police, fire, ambulance, and emergency, and institution emergency contacts. A long press on the SOS icon brings up a prompt for the mobile phone to call the number listed under the "Police" option.
Tapping any of the icons from the SOS menu opens a page with the appropriate emergency service phone number for the current GPS location and any related notes.
The institution emergency contact phone number and information is configured in AlertTraveler > Settings on the administrative side in Terra Dotta. If no institutional emergency contact phone number has been entered by administrators, then the system will default to displaying the Police number on the Institution page.
- GPS-based - The top of the page displays the country of the user’s current location based on GPS. Users are automatically subscribed to alerts while in a specific location (see "GPS Tracking" above for more information on when the GPS location updates).
- Itinerary-based - If a user has a program(s) (for study abroad clients) or trip(s) (for Travel Registry clients) associated with their profile, subscriptions are automatically created for the locations and dates from their itineraries. Current and future itineraries will be displayed, but alerts will only be received for currently active itineraries.
- Opt-in Subscriptions - If a user has manually subscribed to any locations from the Location Intelligence page or using the + sign on this page, those subscriptions will appear here . Users can create an opt-in subscription by opening a location intelligence page, and tapping the "Subscribe" button (see "Location Intelligence" above). Opt-in subscriptions can also be removed on the Subscriptions page by tapping on the gear icon to open the options, and tapping on the circle with a line through it.
- GPS-based and Itinerary-based - Users can tap the bell icon to manage Alert preferences.
- Opt-in Subscriptions - Users can tap the bell icon to manage Alert preferences. Additionally, a "circle with a line" icon can be used to remove an opt-in subscription (such as for Brisbane in the image below).
For GPS-based and Itinerary-based subscriptions, users can adjust the when they will be alerted, the method, and the categories of alerts to receive.
The following settings are available on the subscription settings page:
A. Start and End Date - The user can set a start and end date for Opt-in Subscription (image of Brisbane on the right above). Note: GPS-based subscriptions do not have start and end dates. Itinerary-based subscriptions have start and end dates determined by the travel dates, and cannot be edited in the app. In order to edit itinerary-based subscriptions, users need to edit the appropriate itinerary in the Terra Dotta software. (The subscriptions page for GPS-based and itinerary-based subscriptions will look like the image of Istanbul on the left above.)
B. Alert Preferences - The user can decide whether to be alerted via mobile-device push notification and/or email for each level of alert severity by checking the appropriate boxes. Note: Preferences for email alerts are overridden by the alert threshold set by Administrators in Terra Dotta (AlertTraveler > Settings) for GPS and itinerary-based subscriptions.
- C. Categories - Tapping "Select Categories" opens a menu in which the user can enable/disable alerts for specific categories by selecting/deselecting the appropriate categories.
Tapping a folder will show the content within.
Tapping the name of an item will open it, allowing it to be read and completed/signed.
Information about how to organize content accessible to travelers is available in the AlertTraveler®: Content Organizer article.
- Location Service - This setting is on by default to assist with safety notifications. Location data is shared with institution admins only.
- Institution Alerts - This setting allows users to opt into SMS notifications for all Institution Alerts. Note that when creating these Alerts, admins can opt to send SMS notifications for a specific Alert even if this setting is disabled.
- Subscription Alerts - These settings allow users to designate if they want to receive push notifications and/or email notifications when impacted by an alert.
- Incidents - This setting allows users to opt into receiving push notifications when near an Incident.
- Map Preferences - This setting increases the range of incidents to 30 miles from current location.
Tap on this menu item to log out of the AlertTraveler® mobile app. See "Downloading and Activating AlertTraveler" for details on logging back into 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