Geo-tracing my life

On Sunday I stumbled across a post by Aaron Parecki in which he describes how he’s been tracking his movement for the last couple of years. For many years I’ve been using Swarm/Foursquare to at least keep track of places I visit when I’m a tourist. Quite often, though, I wanted a way to visualise also my daily paths without having to rely on third-party services and in the process potentially expose my location to someone else.

While our use-cases for wanting this data may differ, luckily Aaron also wrote a little app for iOS that collects location data and then submits it to a server that can be defined by the user. About an hour after discovering Overland I had created a simple HTTP server in Go that writes the received coordinates into a CSV file. Another 30 minutes later I had that service deployed on one of my servers and storing the data onto an encrypted volume. I just love Digital Ocean Volumes 😍

Just in case this sounds interesting to you, check out zerok/geotrace on GitHub. Right now, geotrace only supports appending data to a CSV file but in the next couple of days I also want to add SQLite support to it!

As for actually using the collected data: Once SQLite support is in there I want to write a little exporter that creates GPX files which I can then use with OpenStreetMap et al. or just use it to attach proper coordinates to the pictures I take with my Sony camera. I probably have far too many things I want to do with that data to actually start doing any of them… 🤯