Publishing realtime location of multiple people on one google map
July 10, 2020 9:49 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be participating in an event involving multiple groups of moving people, and we'd like to put up a public webpage showing the realtime location of all of these groups at once.

If necessary I can dust off my Javascript and try to do something with the Google maps API, but I figure there's probably an easier way to do it (maybe even just a google location services button that I've overlooked?) This is one of those "this seems trivial and I'm embarrassed I have to ask it" questions, but...
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Cursory web search got this. I don't know anything about it personally. There seems to be several options in this area. Dunno bout a website integration.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:14 AM on July 10, 2020

Response by poster: yeh, the website integration part is what's tripping me up. It looks like a bespoke implementation is like 100 lines of Javascript... but I haven't worked in Javascript in like a decade and don't have significant amounts of time/brainspace to devote to this project.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:43 AM on July 10, 2020

Best answer: One app I've used before is Glympse, they have a feature where if you share your location with a tag (say !test) they will all show online at!test. The only live example I could find is some ice cream trucks at!hyppotrucks

Or if you want a bit more control you could set up a Traccar server (and here's a way to embed a public map). It's free if you host the server yourself.
posted by samj at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, the tool built in to Google Maps is only useful for sharing locations with one or more predefined people. If you just need everyone in the group(s) to be able to find each other, location sharing can be made to work for you. If you need to share each group's location publicly, I don't believe that can be done easily.

You can share a public link that can be viewed by anyone, but I believe it will only show the location of the individual that shared the link, so you'd have to have a page full of individual links, each taking the user to a map showing a single location.
posted by wierdo at 3:10 PM on July 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It looks like the Glympse thing is going to work for our group for this time. And if we end up needing to do the thing on the regular I’ll put some time into setting up a Traccar server. Thanks, samj!

[also, thanks wierdo for confirming that this is in fact not easy with google maps. I felt like I was taking crazy pills when I dove into the API reference and didn’t immediately find anything helpful...]
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 3:57 PM on July 10, 2020

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