Looking for iOS app to broadcast my location
June 30, 2012 7:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an iOS app that will broadcast my current location to a page with an embedded map, so that I can share the URL with family and friends as I travel across the country.

Ideally the friends and family don't need to sign up for some other service just to view my location/progress. (I'm not concerned about security.) And they definitely shouldn't need to have another iOS app to see where I'm at (ala Find My Friends).

This app should also be able to run in the background; I don't want to have to keep it actively open at all times to continue updating.

Extra bonus points for a feature that would let me snap photos along the way and pin them to various spots along the route.
posted by nitsuj to Technology (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Trip journal
posted by HuronBob at 8:00 AM on June 30, 2012

May I suggest Glympse?
posted by browse at 8:01 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Google Latitude is a thing.
posted by nattyd at 8:11 AM on June 30, 2012

Seconding Glympse because it's designed precisely for this purpose, including public sharing. Geoloqi is another option, particularly interesting if you're a hacker type and want to get at your data later. Google Latitude can do this but I believe requires your friends have Google accounts.

I'd do the photo thing separately via Flickr or whatever image hosting service you favor. The iPhone will automatically geotag your photos and any competent photo site should be able to display it. I'm not aware of a single app that does a good job combining photos + GPS tracking into one good app. There are a few that try but none have done an adequate job yet (IMHO). Haven't tried Trip Journal though, it looks promising on the website.

Be aware that if you're not requiring logins, your location data will be fully public. Glympse gives you some privacy by having the URL you share be obscure; as long as no one shares it outside your circle you should have reasonable privacy. Also they remove the page after a time limit.
posted by Nelson at 10:53 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you are comfortable with their knowing your Apple password, the Find My iPhone feature will do it for you. Photos can go on iCloud. Both problems solved.
posted by PickeringPete at 10:58 AM on June 30, 2012

Further to my post, you could alternatively use Find My iPhone yourself, capture the screen (round button + sleep button) and email the picture of the map along with photo attachments.
Whatever works best.
posted by PickeringPete at 11:07 AM on June 30, 2012

Check out this feature if it seems more appropriate:
posted by PickeringPete at 11:28 AM on June 30, 2012

Trip Journal looks great.

Google Latitude could work as well.

Glympse oddly limits your tracking to four hours maximum. Weird.
posted by nitsuj at 12:38 PM on June 30, 2012

After toying with Trip Journal, I'm gonna need to retract my "looks great" statement. What a mess!
posted by nitsuj at 8:15 AM on July 1, 2012

Could you elaborate a bit on why you don't like Trip Journal?
I have not used it, but the screenshots on their site look great, and would love to get your feedback.

On another note, have you tried OpenPaths (by NYT). It's not that much a sharing app, but a supersimple background tracker, but you could upload the data yourself from time to time.
posted by Henrik at 12:50 PM on July 4, 2012

Sure. I couldn't figure out how to use it! I spent 10 minutes setting up a trip, adding points, taking photos, etc. but then couldn't figure out how to share it with others without them needing to import it into Google Earth or import it into their own instance of Trip Journal itself. If there was a way to share a URL with a map + media for each trip, I wasn't able to figure out how to find it.
posted by nitsuj at 1:04 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

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