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Tracking and sharing your location online

After Google turning off Latitude, a bunch of people are looking for an easy solution to sharing their current location online. While I never used that service, because I didn't want a gross Google app on my phone, I wanted to do that for a while, too. This post describes a simple way to do that with your iOS device, without the need for a dedicated app.

Tyler Hall has build a tool for getting the location from your MobileMe Apple account, or rather the Find My iPhone part of it. Helmut Poppen created a Ruby version of it, called rosumi, which I am using for my solution.

The other bit I needed was rendering the location on your map, but I am lazy so GitHub's recently introduced support for GeoJSON in Gists solved this for me.

Sticking those bits together, I made a Ruby script using rosumi which writes a GeoJSON file with my current location. This gets commited to a Gist every ten minutes via a Cronjob. That can be embedded into a webpage pretty easily, you can see the result here. The pretty minimal code and a short usage description is up on GitHub here.

Using the Gist API, I also build a minimal iPhone app. Currently, the credentials are hard-coded in that, so it is only a proof-of-concept.