// Tutorial //

Android Location API to track your current location

Published on August 3, 2022
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By Anupam Chugh
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
Android Location API to track your current location

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Android Location API can be used to track your mobile current location and show in the app. In this tutorial, we’ll develop an application that fetches the user’s current location programmatically.

Android Location API

There are two ways to get a users location in our application:

  • android.location.LocationListener : This is a part of the Android API.
  • com.google.android.gms.location.LocationListener : This is present in the Google Play Services API. (We’ll look into this in the next tutorial)

Android Location Services is available since Android API 1. Google officially recommends using Google Play Location Service APIs. Android Location Services API is still used to develop location-based apps for devices that don’t support Google Play Services.

LocationListener

The LocationListener interface, which is part of the Android Locations API is used for receiving notifications from the LocationManager when the location has changed. The LocationManager class provides access to the systems location services. The LocationListener class needs to implement the following methods.

  • onLocationChanged(Location location) : Called when the location has changed.
  • onProviderDisabled(String provider) : Called when the provider is disabled by the user.
  • onProviderEnabled(String provider) : Called when the provider is enabled by the user.
  • onStatusChanged(String provider, int status, Bundle extras) : Called when the provider status changes.

The android.location has two means of acquiring location data:

  • LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER: Determines location using satellites. Depending on the conditions, this provider may take a while to return a location fix
  • LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER: Determines location based on the availability of nearby cell towers and WiFi access points. This is faster than GPS_PROVIDER

In this tutorial, we’ll create a Service that implements the LocationListener class to receive periodic location updates via GPS Providers or Network Providers.

Android Location API Project Structure

android location api, android gps location The project consists of a MainActivity.java class which displays a Get Location and a LocationTrack.java Service class.

Android Location APICode

The activity_main.xml layout is defined below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="https://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:id="@+id/activity_main"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    tools:context="com.journaldev.gpslocationtracking.MainActivity">

    <Button
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:id="@+id/btn"
        android:layout_centerInParent="true"
        android:text="GET LOCATION" />
</RelativeLayout>

The MainActivity.java class is defined below.

package com.journaldev.gpslocationtracking;

import android.annotation.TargetApi;
import android.content.DialogInterface;
import android.content.pm.PackageManager;
import android.os.Build;
import android.support.v7.app.AlertDialog;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.Toast;

import java.util.ArrayList;

import static android.Manifest.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION;
import static android.Manifest.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {


    private ArrayList permissionsToRequest;
    private ArrayList permissionsRejected = new ArrayList();
    private ArrayList permissions = new ArrayList();

    private final static int ALL_PERMISSIONS_RESULT = 101;
    LocationTrack locationTrack;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        permissions.add(ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION);
        permissions.add(ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION);

        permissionsToRequest = findUnAskedPermissions(permissions);
        //get the permissions we have asked for before but are not granted..
        //we will store this in a global list to access later.


        if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.M) {


            if (permissionsToRequest.size() > 0)
                requestPermissions(permissionsToRequest.toArray(new String[permissionsToRequest.size()]), ALL_PERMISSIONS_RESULT);
        }


        Button btn = (Button) findViewById(R.id.btn);


        btn.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onClick(View view) {

                locationTrack = new LocationTrack(MainActivity.this);


                if (locationTrack.canGetLocation()) {


                    double longitude = locationTrack.getLongitude();
                    double latitude = locationTrack.getLatitude();

                    Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), "Longitude:" + Double.toString(longitude) + "\nLatitude:" + Double.toString(latitude), Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
                } else {

                    locationTrack.showSettingsAlert();
                }

            }
        });

    }


    private ArrayList findUnAskedPermissions(ArrayList wanted) {
        ArrayList result = new ArrayList();

        for (String perm : wanted) {
            if (!hasPermission(perm)) {
                result.add(perm);
            }
        }

        return result;
    }

    private boolean hasPermission(String permission) {
        if (canMakeSmores()) {
            if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.M) {
                return (checkSelfPermission(permission) == PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED);
            }
        }
        return true;
    }

    private boolean canMakeSmores() {
        return (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT > Build.VERSION_CODES.LOLLIPOP_MR1);
    }


    @TargetApi(Build.VERSION_CODES.M)
    @Override
    public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode, String[] permissions, int[] grantResults) {

        switch (requestCode) {

            case ALL_PERMISSIONS_RESULT:
                for (String perms : permissionsToRequest) {
                    if (!hasPermission(perms)) {
                        permissionsRejected.add(perms);
                    } 
                }

                if (permissionsRejected.size() > 0) {


                    if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.M) {
                        if (shouldShowRequestPermissionRationale(permissionsRejected.get(0))) {
                            showMessageOKCancel("These permissions are mandatory for the application. Please allow access.",
                                    new DialogInterface.OnClickListener() {
                                        @Override
                                        public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
                                            if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.M) {
                                                requestPermissions(permissionsRejected.toArray(new String[permissionsRejected.size()]), ALL_PERMISSIONS_RESULT);
                                            }
                                        }
                                    });
                            return;
                        }
                    }

                }

                break;
        }

    }

    private void showMessageOKCancel(String message, DialogInterface.OnClickListener okListener) {
        new AlertDialog.Builder(MainActivity.this)
                .setMessage(message)
                .setPositiveButton("OK", okListener)
                .setNegativeButton("Cancel", null)
                .create()
                .show();
    }

    @Override
    protected void onDestroy() {
        super.onDestroy();
        locationTrack.stopListener();
    }
}

In the above code, we’re implementing runtime permissions that are used in Android 6.0+ devices. We’ve added the ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION and ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION permissions in the AndroidManifest.xml file. Clicking the button invokes the LocationTrack.java service class. If the location returned is NULL in the case of GPS Provider, we call the showSettingsAlert() method from the LocationTrack.java class that we’ll be seeing shortly. When the activity is destroyed stopLocationTrack() method is called to turn off the location updates. The LocationTrack.java class is defined below.

public class LocationTrack extends Service implements LocationListener {

    private final Context mContext;


    boolean checkGPS = false;


    boolean checkNetwork = false;

    boolean canGetLocation = false;

    Location loc;
    double latitude;
    double longitude;


    private static final long MIN_DISTANCE_CHANGE_FOR_UPDATES = 10;


    private static final long MIN_TIME_BW_UPDATES = 1000 * 60 * 1;
    protected LocationManager locationManager;

    public LocationTrack(Context mContext) {
        this.mContext = mContext;
        getLocation();
    }

    private Location getLocation() {

        try {
            locationManager = (LocationManager) mContext
                    .getSystemService(LOCATION_SERVICE);

            // get GPS status
            checkGPS = locationManager
                    .isProviderEnabled(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER);

            // get network provider status
            checkNetwork = locationManager
                    .isProviderEnabled(LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER);

            if (!checkGPS && !checkNetwork) {
                Toast.makeText(mContext, "No Service Provider is available", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
            } else {
                this.canGetLocation = true;

                // if GPS Enabled get lat/long using GPS Services
                if (checkGPS) {

                    if (ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(mContext, Manifest.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED && ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(mContext, Manifest.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
                        // TODO: Consider calling
                        //    ActivityCompat#requestPermissions
                        // here to request the missing permissions, and then overriding
                        //   public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode, String[] permissions,
                        //                                          int[] grantResults)
                        // to handle the case where the user grants the permission. See the documentation
                        // for ActivityCompat#requestPermissions for more details.
                    }
                    locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(
                            LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER,
                            MIN_TIME_BW_UPDATES,
                            MIN_DISTANCE_CHANGE_FOR_UPDATES, this);
                    if (locationManager != null) {
                        loc = locationManager
                                .getLastKnownLocation(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER);
                        if (loc != null) {
                            latitude = loc.getLatitude();
                            longitude = loc.getLongitude();
                        }
                    }


                }


                /*if (checkNetwork) {


                    if (ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(mContext, Manifest.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED && ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(mContext, Manifest.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
                        // TODO: Consider calling
                        //    ActivityCompat#requestPermissions
                        // here to request the missing permissions, and then overriding
                        //   public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode, String[] permissions,
                        //                                          int[] grantResults)
                        // to handle the case where the user grants the permission. See the documentation
                        // for ActivityCompat#requestPermissions for more details.
                    }
                    locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(
                            LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER,
                            MIN_TIME_BW_UPDATES,
                            MIN_DISTANCE_CHANGE_FOR_UPDATES, this);

                    if (locationManager != null) {
                        loc = locationManager
                                .getLastKnownLocation(LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER);

                    }

                    if (loc != null) {
                        latitude = loc.getLatitude();
                        longitude = loc.getLongitude();
                    }
                }*/

            }


        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

        return loc;
    }

    public double getLongitude() {
        if (loc != null) {
            longitude = loc.getLongitude();
        }
        return longitude;
    }

    public double getLatitude() {
        if (loc != null) {
            latitude = loc.getLatitude();
        }
        return latitude;
    }

    public boolean canGetLocation() {
        return this.canGetLocation;
    }

    public void showSettingsAlert() {
        AlertDialog.Builder alertDialog = new AlertDialog.Builder(mContext);


        alertDialog.setTitle("GPS is not Enabled!");

        alertDialog.setMessage("Do you want to turn on GPS?");


        alertDialog.setPositiveButton("Yes", new DialogInterface.OnClickListener() {
            public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
                Intent intent = new Intent(Settings.ACTION_LOCATION_SOURCE_SETTINGS);
                mContext.startActivity(intent);
            }
        });


        alertDialog.setNegativeButton("No", new DialogInterface.OnClickListener() {
            public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
                dialog.cancel();
            }
        });


        alertDialog.show();
    }


    public void stopListener() {
        if (locationManager != null) {

            if (ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(mContext, Manifest.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED && ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(mContext, Manifest.permission.ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION) != PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
                // TODO: Consider calling
                //    ActivityCompat#requestPermissions
                // here to request the missing permissions, and then overriding
                //   public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode, String[] permissions,
                //                                          int[] grantResults)
                // to handle the case where the user grants the permission. See the documentation
                // for ActivityCompat#requestPermissions for more details.
                return;
            }
            locationManager.removeUpdates(LocationTrack.this);
        }
    }

    @Override
    public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
        return null;
    }

    @Override
    public void onLocationChanged(Location location) {

    }

    @Override
    public void onStatusChanged(String s, int i, Bundle bundle) {

    }

    @Override
    public void onProviderEnabled(String s) {

    }

    @Override
    public void onProviderDisabled(String s) {

    }
}

Few inferences drawn from the above code are:

  • In the above code isProviderEnabled(String provider) is called upon the locationManager object and is used to check whether GPS/Network Provider is enabled or not.

  • If the Providers aren’t enabled we’re calling the method showSettingsAlert() that shows a prompt to enable GPS.

  • requestLocationUpdates(String provider, long minTime, float minDistance, LocationListener listener) method of the LocationManager class is used to register the current activity to be notified periodically by the named provider.

  • onLocationChanged is invoked periodically based upon the minTime and minDistance, whichever comes first.

  • Location class hosts the latitude and longitude. To get the current location the following code snippet is used.

    Location loc = locationManager.getLastKnownLocation(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER);
    

    On the above Location object, getters are called to store the double values of latitude and longitude. These double values are then disabled as a Toast message on the screen.

  • To stop location updates removeUpdates method is called on the LocationManager instance.

The output of the above application in action on an emulator is: android location api, android location tracking Our emulators can’t fetch locations, hence it’s returning 0.0 for lat/lng. You can connect your smartphone and run the application in debug mode to check your current location. To emulate GPS Locations in an emulator we can pass fixed Latitude and Longitude values from Android Studio. Besides the emulator window, you can see a list of options. The one at the bottom (which has three dots) is our Extended Controls options. Open that and send a dummy location. Your application should look like this: android location manager This brings an end to this tutorial. We’ll be implementing Location API using Google Play Services in a later tutorial. You can download the Android GPSLocationTracking Project from the link below.

Download Android Location API Project


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About the authors
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Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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Was this helpful?

This stuff works very fine for me. I add this into a timer instead of a button click, so that i can control when to get the location coordinates to be pass into google mapviewer in real time.

- amado tabasa

    sir can i get android code for friends location logi/lati?

    - satish

      Youor code work but real device not show logiture/latiture?

      - satish

        What about the commented code? You are only using GPS service to get the location. For a real application, the commented lines should be uncommented and before the GPS part?

        - Jaime

          Hi, I’m always getting lat and lon 0.0, even on real devices. Any ideas with that?

          - Sam Zhang

            Hello sir.is there any program which pick the current address of user with latitude and longnitude.

            - abdul moiz

              In Android version 10 Location tracking not working and i am using transport tracker googleapi for getting the latlong to tracking the location. please kindly help me to resolve from this .

              - pugazenthi

                Hi Anupam Ur code was nice I want to get gps location automatically in time interval until I close r click a button like stop,and also is there a way to upload it to google sheets.

                - Shyam

                  Hey Anupam Chugh, I’m getting lat 0.0,long 0.0 can you look into it.

                  - Chethan

                    java.lang.RuntimeException at android.location.LocationManager.requestLocationUpdates(LocationManager.java:1013) at android.location.LocationManager.requestLocationUpdates(LocationManager.java:562) at com.journaldev.gpslocationtracking.LocationTrack.getLocation(LocationTrack.java:82) at com.journaldev.gpslocationtracking.LocationTrack.(LocationTrack.java:48) at com.journaldev.gpslocationtracking.MainActivity$1.onClick(MainActivity.java:58) at android.view.View.performClick(View.java:6608) at android.view.View.performClickInternal(View.java:6585) at android.view.View.access$3100(View.java:782) at android.view.View$PerformClick.run(View.java:25945) at android.os.Handler.handleCallback(Handler.java:874) at android.os.Handler.dispatchMessage(Handler.java:100) at android.os.Looper.loop(Looper.java:198) at android.app.ActivityThread.main(ActivityThread.java:6729) at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Native Method) at com.android.internal.os.RuntimeInit$MethodAndArgsCaller.run(RuntimeInit.java:493) at com.android.internal.os.ZygoteInit.main(ZygoteInit.java:858)

                    - Karthik