Android Location API to track your current location

Filed Under: Android

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="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://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.

Comments

  1. Karthik says:

    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)

  2. Ashu says:

    hi,

    When my app is in background i did’t recieve geo position can you help me

  3. Jay says:

    Your tutorial is great. One thing you need to fix on your site is that the tutorial menu of your site is being covered by Ads view when your website is being opened in mobile device. This can be in some mobile device. Just to let you know that needs your attention. Thanks

    1. Anupam says:

      Check out our android application which is available on play store in the mean time!

  4. Alex P. says:

    This app displays the current location whenever the button is pressed, what if I want to display and update the current location in a textview. By just setting the text for the textview in the onCreate() method, does not work.

    Tried to do it using BroadcastManager, didn’t manage to make it work.

    Do you have any examples for this, if not, can you make a tutorial for this?

  5. Saim Anwer says:

    Hi..
    I am getting location 0.0 at my smart phone.
    loc = locationManager
    .getLastKnownLocation(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER);
    loc is always null, i tried by getting last location from google map as well.
    Thanks for the code.

    1. Shani Maurya says:

      Sir your comment box requires a margin of ‘-5px’ which was ‘-15px’. This is because whenever a new line gets added in the comment section, the ‘Reply’ gets overlapped on the comments.
      Also, there is no difference between small alphabet ‘i’ and ‘l’.
      Thank you.
      A Great Website to learn for Beginners!. 🙂

  6. shubhi says:

    I want to create background services for android to get the user location, SMS, call logs, contacts etc. on my desktop. How to do that?

  7. Abhilash Karanth says:

    I am getting my current location in Nougat 7.1.1(API level is 25) but i Can’t get current location in Oreo 8.1(API level is 27). compileSdkVersion and targetSdkVersion is 27.

    Please give suggestions…

    Thanks in advance

  8. Abhilash Karanth says:

    How to get the latitude and longitude of desired location.?

  9. Dheeraj Vaid says:

    showing no location 0.0

    1. Sri Krishna says:

      Its due to the fact the App is being run on an emulator, whose default Location values are set to Coordinates (0,0). You can use the options of the emulator and set a particular location, then that will reflect in the output.
      The Same won’t happen in a Real Device, where the GPS Radio has the Previously Known Location Details obtained from a Location Provider.

  10. nikhil says:

    hi sir,
    how to get the latlng without using gps and can i get the latlng values using mobile networks .can you upload the sample code

  11. rahul patel says:

    my gps is on still it gives the dialog box please help

  12. Vijay says:

    Hi. May I know why you are save the permissions in array list??

  13. Sandeep Padhi says:

    still not working

  14. Rishav says:

    Not Working!! Gives latlng 0.0

  15. Gunjan Sharma says:

    Sir I want to send these latitude and longitude to the server(on a defined time using alarm manager) and need to compare these values with the location values already given on the server. how can i achieve this ???please help me to achieve that

  16. abhishek phalke says:

    sir this code run and show current location in my genymotion device but i install app in my mobile but problem is that latiude and longitude take 0.0 i dont know why this 0.0 please help me sir what i do?

  17. Sana Baig says:

    Hi , I am getting errors in the MainActivity
    1. requestPermissions(permissionsToRequest.toArray(new String[permissionsToRequest.size()]), ALL_PERMISSIONS_RESULT);
    It says wrong first argument type.
    2.for (String perms : permissionsToRequest)
    Incompatible types: Required object found String

    1. Anupam says:

      Hi Sana,
      Use :
      private ArrayList<String> permissionsToRequest;
      private ArrayList<String> permissionsRejected = new ArrayList<>();
      private ArrayList<String> permissions = new ArrayList<>();

      Instead of :
      private ArrayList permissionsToRequest;
      private ArrayList permissionsRejected = new ArrayList();
      private ArrayList permissions = new ArrayList();

      Thanks

      1. Sana Baig says:

        Thanks Anupam, I am able to run the app without any errors but the coordinates are coming to 0,0 on my smartphone.
        I have enabled location on my phone.
        Can you help me understand what the issue could be?

        1. Anupam says:

          Open Google Maps app and click button on map to get current location.
          Now come back to your application and try to get current location and it will work.

          1. Alam says:

            It still shows 0,0 after clicking map on google map.
            What to do now?

          2. Sana Baig says:

            yes, Even for me the location is still coming up as 0,0

          3. Sana Baig says:

            Its working for me now…
            i just debugged the code and found that i am getting loc as null in the below snippet

            loc = locationManager
            .getLastKnownLocation(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER);

            i tried uncommenting the below snippet in the LocationTrack Class
            /*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();
            }
            }*/

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