Playing with Ionic, Lumen, Firebase, Google maps, Raspberry Pi and background geolocation

I wanna do a simple pet project. The idea is to build a mobile application. This application will track my GPS location and send this information to a Firebase database. I’ve never play with Firebase and I want to learn a little bit. With this information I will build a simple web application hosted in my Raspberry Pi. This web application will show a Google map with my last location. I will put this web application in my TV and anyone in my house will see where I am every time.

That’s the idea. I want a MVP. First the mobile application. I will use ionic framework. I’m big fan of ionic.

The mobile application is very simple. It only has a toggle to activate-deactivate the background geolocation (sometimes I don’t want to be tracked :).

            Ionic Blank

    <ion-toolbar [color]="toolbarColor">
        <ion-buttons end>
            <ion-toggle color="light"

<ion-content padding>

And the controller:

import {Component} from '@angular/core';
import {Platform} from 'ionic-angular';
import {LocationTracker} from "../../providers/location-tracker/location-tracker";

    selector: 'page-home',
    templateUrl: 'home.html'
export class HomePage {
    public status: string = localStorage.getItem('status') || "-";
    public title: string = "";
    public isBgEnabled: boolean = false;
    public toolbarColor: string;

    constructor(platform: Platform,
                public locationTracker: LocationTracker) {

        platform.ready().then(() => {

                if (localStorage.getItem('isBgEnabled') === 'on') {
                    this.isBgEnabled = true;
                    this.title = "Working ...";
                    this.toolbarColor = 'secondary';
                } else {
                    this.isBgEnabled = false;
                    this.title = "Idle";
                    this.toolbarColor = 'light';

    public changeWorkingStatus(event) {
        if (event.checked) {
            localStorage.setItem('isBgEnabled', "on");
            this.title = "Working ...";
            this.toolbarColor = 'secondary';
        } else {
            localStorage.setItem('isBgEnabled', "off");
            this.title = "Idle";
            this.toolbarColor = 'light';

As you can see, the toggle button will activate-deactivate the background geolocation and it also changes de background color of the toolbar.

For background geolocation I will use one cordova plugin available as ionic native plugin

Here you can see read a very nice article explaining how to use the plugin with ionic. As the article explains I’ve created a provider

import {Injectable, NgZone} from '@angular/core';
import {BackgroundGeolocation} from '@ionic-native/background-geolocation';
import {CONF} from "../conf/conf";

export class LocationTracker {
    constructor(public zone: NgZone,
                private backgroundGeolocation: BackgroundGeolocation) {

    showAppSettings() {
        return this.backgroundGeolocation.showAppSettings();

    startTracking() {

    stopTracking() {

    private startBackgroundGeolocation() {

The idea of the plugin is send a POST request to a url with the gps data in the body of the request. So, I will create a web api server to handle this request. I will use my Raspberry Pi3. to serve the application. I will create a simple PHP/Lumen application. This application will handle the POST request of the mobile application and also will serve a html page with the map (using google maps).

Mobile requests will be authenticated with a token in the header and web application will use a basic http authentication. Because of that I will create two middlewares to handle the the different ways to authenticate.

require __DIR__ . '/../vendor/autoload.php';

use App\Http\Middleware;
use App\Model\Gps;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Debug\ExceptionHandler;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use Laravel\Lumen\Application;
use Laravel\Lumen\Routing\Router;

(new Dotenv\Dotenv(__DIR__ . '/../env/'))->load();

$app = new Application(__DIR__ . '/..');
$app->singleton(ExceptionHandler::class, App\Exceptions\Handler::class);
    'auth'  => Middleware\AuthMiddleware::class,
    'basic' => Middleware\BasicAuthMiddleware::class,

$app->router->group(['middleware' => 'auth', 'prefix' => '/locator'], function (Router $route) {
    $route->post('/gps', function (Gps $gps, Request $request) {
        $requestData = $request->all();
        foreach ($requestData as $poi) {
                'date'             => date('YmdHis'),
                'serverTime'       => time(),
                'time'             => $poi['time'],
                'latitude'         => $poi['latitude'],
                'longitude'        => $poi['longitude'],
                'accuracy'         => $poi['accuracy'],
                'speed'            => $poi['speed'],
                'altitude'         => $poi['altitude'],
                'locationProvider' => $poi['locationProvider'],

        return 'OK';

return $app;

As we can see the route /locator/gps will handle the post request. I’ve created a model to persists gps data in the firebase database:


namespace App\Model;

use Kreait\Firebase\Factory;
use Kreait\Firebase\ServiceAccount;

class Gps
    private $database;

    private const FIREBASE_CONF = __DIR__ . '/../../conf/firebase.json';

    public function __construct()
        $serviceAccount = ServiceAccount::fromJsonFile(self::FIREBASE_CONF);
        $firebase       = (new Factory)

        $this->database = $firebase->getDatabase();

    public function getLast()
        $value = $this->database->getReference('gps/poi')

        $out                 = array_values($value)[0];
        $out['formatedDate'] = \DateTimeImmutable::createFromFormat('YmdHis', $out['date'])->format('d/m/Y H:i:s');

        return $out;

    public function persistsData(array $data)
        return $this->database

The project is almost finished. Now we only need to create the google map.

That’s the api

$app->router->group(['middleware' => 'basic', 'prefix' => '/map'], function (Router $route) {
    $route->get('/', function (Gps $gps) {
        return view("index", $gps->getLast());

    $route->get('/last', function (Gps $gps) {
        return $gps->getLast();

And the HTML

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta name="viewport" content="initial-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
        #map {
            height: 100%;

        html, body {
            height: 100%;
            margin: 0;
            padding: 0;
<div id="map"></div>

    var lastDate;
    var DELAY = 60;

    function drawMap(lat, long, text) {
        var CENTER = {lat: lat, lng: long};
        var contentString = '<div id="content">' + text + '</div>';
        var infowindow = new google.maps.InfoWindow({
            content: contentString
        var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map'), {
            zoom: 11,
            center: CENTER,
            disableDefaultUI: true

        var marker = new google.maps.Marker({
            position: CENTER,
            map: map
        var trafficLayer = new google.maps.TrafficLayer();

        trafficLayer.setMap(map);, marker);

    function initMap() {
        lastDate = '{{ $formatedDate }}';
        drawMap({{ $latitude }}, {{ $longitude }}, lastDate);

    setInterval(function () {
        fetch('/map/last', {credentials: "same-origin"}).then(function (response) {
            response.json().then(function (data) {
                if (lastDate !== data.formatedDate) {
                    drawMap(data.latitude, data.longitude, data.formatedDate);
    }, DELAY * 1000);
<script async defer src="">

And that’s all just enough for a weekend. Source code is available in my github account


About Gonzalo Ayuso

Web Architect. PHP, Python, Node, Angular, ionic, PostgreSQL, Linux, ... Always learning.

Posted on February 19, 2018, in js, php, Technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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