Leave Geographical Breadcrumbs with Geofix

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Apr 20, 2015 GMT
Dmitri Popov

When I'm out and about, I often need to quickly record my current position. As an amateur photographer, I appreciate the ability to record the geographical coordinates of locations I plan to photograph later and spots I've already taken pictures of. The latter helps me to geotag my photos in digiKam. When I travel, I prefer to record the locations of good eateries, coffee shops, interesting places, etc. An Android device is perfect for this task, but none of the apps I tried fit my needs. So I cobbled together my own tool called Geofix. This relatively simple Python-based script can be used to obtain and store the geographical coordinates of the current location. The script uses both the network and GPS to obtain coordinates, and it stores the data in a text file and an SQLite database. This redundancy provides a fallback in case one of the sources is unavailable. The script also records the date and time for each entry and generates an OpenStreetMap link which can be used to preview the recorded location. There is also an option to take an accompanying snapshot.

Geofix comes with a simple web app based on the Python bottle framework. You can use the web app to view records in the SQLite database using a regular browser.

To deploy Geofix on your Android device, install the SL4A and PythonForAndroid APK packages from Android Scripting first. Copy then the geofix.py script to the sl4a/scripts directory on the internal storage of your Android device, and you are good to go. Open the SL4A app, and launch the script. For faster access, you can add to the homescreen an SL4A widget that links to the script.

Instead of using SL4A and Python for Android, which are all but abandoned by Google, you can opt for QPython. In this case, you need to use the geofix-qpython.py script. Copy it to the com.hipipal.qpyplus/scripts directory, and use the QPython app to launch the script.

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