I'm looking for a mobile app (preferably iOS, but Android is ok), which works as a GPS logger, and makes my current location available via an API that I can access, live, on the web, without me requiring to interfere (like having to 'check in').

Essentially so that I could, if I wanted to, create a tracker for multiple devices on a webpage, where I manage the webpage myself. So, like, say, Whatsapp's 'Share my location' feature, but not just functioning within Whatsapp.

I've found GPS loggers that allow me to export my location data, and 'Share my location' apps that work within the scope of the app in question, but I have not found an app that gives access to my location, live, outside of the scope of the app.

As an alternative, I could have the user on the mobile device keep a browser-tab open which continuously polls the user's location, and have that synch with a server, but background location polling is more desirable.

Am I just not looking in the right place? Does this not exist?

  • 1
    You could take a look at the Nextcloud Phonetrack application. There are at least a few Android Apps supporting it, and solutions for iOS seem to exist. Traccar (mentioned with both) has another (own) backend as well IIRC. I haven't tried any of those myself, though.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 0:05
  • Thanks. I've now been playing around with Phonetrack, Traccar, Owntracks, Overland, and php-tracks-recorder, but I am yet to get to a point where any mobile client actually is able to talk to any web-based client.
    – MastaBaba
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 15:04
  • My iOS Traccar client starting talking to a Traccar demo server. I don't yet see how I could get data out of that, outside of accessing the Traccar SQL database directly.
    – MastaBaba
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 15:26
  • 1
    Thanks. My comment was more like a general progress report, not so much directed at you :) I found that wiki, too, but it has not resulted in my getting it to work, yet.
    – MastaBaba
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 22:09
  • 1
    Ah, good to know :) I vaguely remember a complete tutorial, but can no longer find it unfortunately. There was someone using it for his mountain bike tracking, so his loved ones could see where about he was – and know his last position should he "get lost". Maybe those keys help you narrowing down your search (I had no luck). Fingers crossed! // PS: Looking at the screenshots, Phonetrack Android app uploads new location based on a.o. minimum distance & time – so maybe it doesn't work if you don't move enough?
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


As per @izzy's suggestion in the comments, I've now found a number of theoretical solutions, and one that works, enough, in a way that I need.

I managed to get the Traccar app send data to a Traccar server, but I do not see a straightforward way to then get data out of the Traccar server.

There's also php-tracks-recorder, a web-based package which is supposed to be able to receive payloads from Owntracks and Overland, both mobile apps available on iOS. At the moment, I only get Owntracks to push one point to php-tracks-recorder. But, Overland happily chugs away, pushing continuous updates to php-tracks-recorder, which dutifully records the data.

The above is not ideal, but should solve my most pressing need: background location tracking, pushed to the web.

I would still need to write code that allows me to export the locations from php-tracks-recorder via, say, JSON.

This is not an ideal solution for tracking multiple devices, as device identification depends on the user setting the device ID inside the tracker app, meaning multiple users easily can have the same ID.

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