Introducing Trackserver WordPress plugin
A while ago, I wrote a post titled “Self-hosted live online GPS tracking with Android“, in which I evaluated a few Android apps that can be used for, you guessed it, live online location tracking. The idea is, that you have your phone periodicially send your location to a web service while you’re on the go. The web service stores the location updates and optionally publishes them on a map.
While there are some apps that do this, there aren’t many (free) options for hosting your own server. That’s why I decided to write my own, and do it as a free and open source WordPress plugin, to make it as accessible as possible. Please meet Trackserver.
Trackserver is designed to work with TrackMe and OruxMaps. OsmAnd support is on the roadmap and I’m thinking about adding GpsGate support. All of these apps offer the possibility to periodically post location updates to a web URL that you can specify. Your own WordPress blog with the Trackserver plugin can ‘listen’ on such a URL to receive the updates and store them in a database. The plugin also offers a WordPress shortcode to include maps with your GPS tracks in your posts and pages, using the fantastic Leaflet library. Collecting and publishing your tracks has never been easier, at least not in a self-hosted website!
A short list of Trackserver’s features:
- Collect location updates using several mobile apps
- Publish your collected tracks on a map in your posts and pages
- Upload tracks via an upload form in the WordPress admin backend
- Upload tracks by sharing a GPX file from your mobile, using a sharing app like Autoshare
- View, edit, delete and merge your tracks in the WordPress admin backend
- Live tracking of your location, with automatic updates of the map view in your WordPress post
- Full-screen map views
Trackserver’s WordPress admin allows you to upload GPX files to add new tracks, view, delete and merge tracks and edit their properties (name, comment, etc.). Please take a look at the plugin page at wordpress.org or the source code repository at Github. Both pages have more information on Trackserver’s features. The current version is 1.0, which has all the basic features described above.
Getting started with Trackserver is quite easy:
- Install the plugin in your WordPress site
- Install TrackeMe and/or OruxMaps on your Android phone
- Configure the app(s) with your WordPress URL, username and password (HowTo with screenshots is included in the plugin)
- Start tracking!
Feel free to give it a go, and if you do, let me know what you think!