Build a Real-time Bicycle Location Tracking Map App

2 min readJoe Hanson on Oct 6, 2015
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How to build a real-time bicycle tracking app that displays live location from GPS on a real-time map, powered by MediaTek LinkIt ONE and PubNub.

With today's mobile and IoT applications, users have come to expect real-time location tracking, the ability to watch the location of a vehicle or person on a live-updating map, with smooth, up-to-the-millisecond accuracy. It's a defining feature driving the rise of ride share apps like Uber and Lyft, and the functionality has found its way into manufacturing, delivery and freight, and consumer connected car. It's safe to say that location tracking is becoming more accessible, and more powerful.

mediatek bicycle tracking app

The LinkIt ONE Development Platform from MediaTek packs incredible power into a small, $59 board. The platform makes prototyping and deploying IoT and wearable applications easy, and includes some great GNSS features as well, which is exactly what our tutorial is based on.

Our tutorial will show you how to build a real-time bicycle tracking application that collects position of a bicycle in real time using the LinkIt ONE development board's GNSS features, and streams the data via PubNub to a live-updating map (using the EON framework). By the end of the tutorial, you'll have a fully functioning IoT prototype.

The full tutorial is available on the MediaTek Developer Blog here, and a full GitHub repository is here.

Want to see it in action? The project creators give a live demonstration, and talk about the app in more detail in the video below.

Real-time Location Tracking Tutorial Overview

Looking a little deeper into the tutorial, we'll cover:

  • Building the prototype, with details of the hardware requirements and how to put them together to create the real-time bicycle tracking app.
  • Creating the software to provide the interfaces with the GNSS receiver on the LinkIt ONE development board to collect the data and implement data communications to send that data to the EON dashboard.
  • Creating publish and subscribe channels using the PubNub API and PubNub LinkIt ONE library to communicate the data with the PubNub Data Stream Network, using the GPRS features of the LinkIt ONE development board.
  • Sending your Bike Tracker location data to the EON real-time dashboard to create a live map.
real-time maps

Data Stream Network for Location Tracking

The application uses PubNub to stream the data from the LinkIt board to the live-updating map in real time. The tracker uses basic publish and subscribe messaging over the PubNub Data Stream Network, delivering updated location data with millisecond accuracy. The GNSS functionality of the LinkIt ONE environment works great with the PubNub API.

We hope you enjoy the tutorial, and feel free to tweet us @PubNub if you have any questions, or want to share your finished app!

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