I am starting to degoogle my phones and apps I use and looking for alternatives to some of the things. A lot of google can be replaced with the https://e.foundation/ /e/OS on many phones I set one up for my wife. But one thing we miss is sharing location on a google map which google handled invisibly and easily for us. It was Just There.
So I am looking for alternatives and thinking of rolling my own even. I came across Owntracks and Traccar where Owntracks is an open source Android (and other?) app to push your location primarily over MQTT but also HTTP and other formats. Traccar is a server for for sinking locations from devices and showing it on a web page and can receive many different input types. Should be perfect?
Well not really. They both have a ton of features and I was able to set up a traccar server on my poor little Raspberry Pi (Traccar unfortunately runs on java and is a huge pig). It was a bit difficult to match up all the options and ports on one with the other but I got it working. But, and here’s the showstopper, with the Traccar interface Owntracks can’t show your friend’s location. It shows them on the web page but that’s not as convenient as the app.
So options from here are see if I can get mqtt server set up which might be light weight for the pi and allow me to share locations on the app. Traccar is really nice to use though and works well and does a good job on the web map.
Another plan is to roll my own which would be a zero saved data python app server and a super simple android app to push location and get friend’s locations. Then click a friend and use a URL method on Android to display on Magic Earth which is the default map app on /e/. I would do this but I don’t think anything is super simple for android as I am a complete n00b there.
Any other ideas? send me email at newts at e dot email.
The final solution was Owntracks and a mosquitto MQTT on a raspberry pi at home. No storage of location. The MQTT is not TLS but the payload is encrypted in the app. It has been working great for several months now.