Where in the world is ...

As you might have already seen on my facts page I have my current location printed on a map and since being asked how I do that I think it’s better to share here then answer more emails.


First I need some service to get my current location, for this I resorted to Openpaths they have an application for iOS and Android that tracks your location and updates the position on their site. At least part of the idea is to make those location data available for science, which is probably why they have a simple API to retrieve them.

Since I don’t actually need anything fancy I can simply use the python script openpath provides as an API example with the slide modification that I only want the last point and use {‘num_points’:1} as the parameter to the request.

#!/usr/bin/env python        

import oauth2, time, urllib, urllib2, json

URL = "https://openpaths.cc/api/1" 
def build_auth_header(url, method):
    params = {
        'oauth_version': "1.0",
        'oauth_nonce': oauth2.generate_nonce(),
        'oauth_timestamp': int(time.time()),
    consumer = oauth2.Consumer(key=ACCESS, secret=SECRET)
    params['oauth_consumer_key'] = consumer.key
    request = oauth2.Request(method=method, url=url, parameters=params)
    signature_method = oauth2.SignatureMethod_HMAC_SHA1()
    request.sign_request(signature_method, consumer, None)
    return request.to_header()

# GET data (last 24 hours)
now = time.time()
# params = {'start_time': now - 24*60*60, 'end_time': now}    # get the last 24 hours
params = {'num_points': 1 }
query = "%s?%s" % (URL, urllib.urlencode(params))
# print(query)
    request = urllib2.Request(query)
    request.headers = build_auth_header(URL, 'GET')
    connection = urllib2.urlopen(request)
    data = json.loads(''.join(connection.readlines()))
    print(json.dumps(data, indent=4))
except urllib2.HTTPError as e:

This script is run every 5 minutes via a cronjob on my server and it’s output is piped to a file in the folder served by the web server.

Since the file is already JSON, and provides lon and lat information as well as how long ago the last location change has been detected the rest was simple.

The map

For mapping I like leaflet especially since there is already an AngularJS directive. So I simply have to load the necessary css and javascript files.

<link href="/scripts/leaflet-0.6.4/leaflet.css" rel="stylesheet" media="screen">
<script type="text/javascript" src="/scripts/leaflet-0.6.4/leaflet.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/scripts/angular-leaflet-directive.js"></script>

And write a small Angular module. This is only the part of the script I use for my whole site, but I made it self contained so it should work by simply copying it and providing a file with the necessary data at location in the call to $http.get.

var app = angular.module('xinitrc', ["leaflet-directive"]);

var whereaboutCTRL = function ($scope, $http) {

    var calctime = function (t) {
        var now = new Date().getTime();

        var intervals = ['second', 'minute', 'hour'];
        var i = 0;
        var dist =  (now/ 1000) - t ;

        while (dist >= 60 && i < 2) {
            dist /= 60;
            i = i + 1;

        var str = "Last seen here about " + Math.floor(dist) + " " + intervals[i];
        if (Math.floor(dist) !== 1) {
            str += "s"
        str += " ago and mostly stationary since.";

        return str;

    $http.get('/data/location.json').success(function (data) {
        if (data && data[0] && data[0].lon && data[0].lat && data[0].t) {
            $scope.center.lng = data[0].lon;
            $scope.center.lat = data[0].lat;
            $scope.markers.whereabouts.lng = data[0].lon;
            $scope.markers.whereabouts.lat = data[0].lat;

            $scope.message = calctime(data[0].t);

        angular.extend($scope, {
        center: {
            lng: 8.176630973815918,
            lat: 53.143672943115234,
            zoom: 16
        markers: {
            whereabouts: {
                lat: 0, /*53.143672943115234,*/
                lng: 0, /*8.176630973815918,*/
                message: "Last seen here",
        defaults: {
            maxZoom: 16

whereaboutCTRL.$inject = ['$scope', '$http'];

app.controller('WhereaboutCTRL', whereaboutCTRL);

After getting the information via Ajax. I only need to provide them in the $scope where they can be picked up by the leaflet directive. Which looks as follows and is contained in the facts.html page.

	<div ng-controller="WhereaboutCTRL">
        <leaflet center="center" markers="markers" defaults="defaults"></leaflet>
		<div ng-bind="message"></div>


As with everything you copy from this site, do whatever you want with it, but think about what you are doing. In the end you are providing your location to the whole world all the time. At least this has the potential to do so.