Get Current Location in Android

This android tutorial is to help learn location based service in android platform. Knowing the current location in an android mobile will pave the way for developing many innovative Android apps to solve peoples daily problem. For developing location aware application in android, it needs location providers. There are two types of location providers,

  1. GPS Location Provider
  2. Network Location Provider

currentLocation

Any one of the above providers is enough to get current location of the user or user’s device. But, it is recommended to use both providers as they both have different advantages. Because, GPS provider will take time to get location at indoor area. And, the Network Location Provider will not get location when the network connectivity is poor.

Network Location Provider vs GPS Location Provider

  • Network Location provider is comparatively faster than the GPS provider in providing the location co-ordinates.
  • GPS provider may be very very slow in in-door locations and will drain the mobile battery.
  • Network location provider depends on the cell tower and will return our nearest tower location.
  • GPS location provider, will give our location accurately.
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Steps to get location in Android

  1. Provide permissions in manifest file for receiving location update
  2. Create LocationManager instance as reference to the location service
  3. Request location from LocationManager
  4. Receive location update from LocationListener on change of location

NetworkProvider

Provide permissions for receiving location update

To access current location information through location providers, we need to set permissions with android manifest file.

<manifest ... >
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION" />
   <uses-permission android:name="android.permission. ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION" />
   <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
</manifest>

ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION is used when we use network location provider for our Android app. But, ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION is providing permission for both providers. INTERNET permission is must for the use of network provider.

Create LocationManager instance as reference to the location service

For any background Android Service, we need to get reference for using it. Similarly, location service reference will be created using getSystemService() method. This reference will be added with the newly created LocationManager instance as follows.

locationManager = (LocationManager) getSystemService(Context.LOCATION_SERVICE);

Request current location from LocationManager

After creating the location service reference, location updates are requested using requestLocationUpdates() method of LocationManager. For this function, we need to send the type of location provider, number of seconds, distance and the LocationListener object over which the location to be updated.

locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER, 0, 0, this);

Receive location update from LocationListener on change of location

LocationListener will be notified based on the distance interval specified or the number seconds.

Sample Android App: Current Location Finder

This example provides current location update using GPS provider. Entire Android app code is as follows,

package com.javapapers.android.geolocationfinder;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Context;
import android.location.Location;
import android.location.LocationListener;
import android.location.LocationManager;
import android.widget.TextView;

import android.util.Log;

public class MainActivity extends Activity implements LocationListener{
protected LocationManager locationManager;
protected LocationListener locationListener;
protected Context context;
TextView txtLat;
String lat;
String provider;
protected String latitude,longitude; 
protected boolean gps_enabled,network_enabled;

@Override
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
txtLat = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.textview1);

locationManager = (LocationManager) getSystemService(Context.LOCATION_SERVICE);
locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER, 0, 0, this);
}
@Override
public void onLocationChanged(Location location) {
txtLat = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.textview1);
txtLat.setText("Latitude:" + location.getLatitude() + ", Longitude:" + location.getLongitude());
}

@Override
public void onProviderDisabled(String provider) {
Log.d("Latitude","disable");
}

@Override
public void onProviderEnabled(String provider) {
Log.d("Latitude","enable");
}

@Override
public void onStatusChanged(String provider, int status, Bundle extras) {
Log.d("Latitude","status");
}
}

XML files for layout and android manifest are as shown below

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    tools:context=".MainActivity" >

    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/textview1"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_centerVertical="true"
        android:text="@string/hello_world" />

</RelativeLayout>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="com.javapapers.android.geolocationfinder"
    android:versionCode="1"
    android:versionName="1.0" >

    <uses-sdk
        android:minSdkVersion="8"
        android:targetSdkVersion="17"        />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION" />
    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@drawable/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:theme="@style/AppBaseTheme" >
        <activity
            android:name="com.javapapers.android.geolocationfinder.MainActivity"
            android:label="@string/app_name" >
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
    </application>
</manifest>

Android Output

AndroidLocationOutput

Note: If you are running this Android app with emulator, you need to send the latitude and longitude explicitly for the emulator.

How to send latitude and longitude to android emulator

  • Open DDMS perspective in Eclipse (Window -> Open Perspective)
  • Select your emulator device
  • Select the tab named emulator control
  • In ‘Location Controls’ panel, ‘Manual’ tab, give the Longitude and Latitude as input and ‘Send’.

This Android tutorial was added on 06/05/2013.

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81 comments on “Get Current Location in Android

  1. Hi Sir,

    I am a java developer but not a Android developer. I would like to develop one simple contact save application in android. Could you please publish step by step development procedure for contact book application with sqlite db interaction.

    Thanks,
    s.selvakumar

  2. What are all requirement to run anroid applicatio

    • very simple dear
      1-install eclipse.
      2-After debug the program u will the .apk file
      inside Bin folder.
      3-Copy the .apk file and put inside ur mobile and run it…

  3. Very nice article. Steps are nicely explained. Thank you Sir

  4. Hi,
    How can i scan barcodes in android application!

    • yes u can use barcode scan u will find source code for barcode scan check it in github repository once i used zxing(a barcode scanner Engine)

  5. Pingback: Show Map in Android

  6. Does this app need any type of internet ???

  7. I run the above code.but only hello world is displayed.no location data.Please specify the code for activity main.xml to display the location

    • I think you are testing code by emulator. If yes, you need to set lattitude and longtitude manually. Its also said by author at the end of this tutorial. Please look at that and then try. Its running good for me.

  8. i am new to android ,i tried the same but when i run it shows me “unfortunately app has stopped working” please help me fix this.

  9. Very nice tutorial.Please tell me how can we use these coordinates to locate this position in the map .thank you

  10. hi..!!!
    its working fine when im using emulator,but it is showing nothing when im uing it in my phone..!!
    just hello world is outputed on the screen..!!

  11. Hi,
    How can i get output in phone instead of emulator because it works in emulator.

  12. i am new to android ,i tried the same but when i run it shows me “unfortunately app has stopped working” please help me fix this

    • I’m new to android as well and was getting the same error. What solved it was that I tried it on device and not the emulator. The emulator kept giving me error even after sending values through DDMS.

      second mistake i made was i changed the name of the package and forgot to change the names in manifest. Just make sure you are not doing the same.

      • hello sir,
        i m getting error nullpointer exception on location service plese can u help mi

  13. thanks alot for helping by this tutorial..
    can u tell me hopw to find the direction and KMS using android google maps

  14. Worked instantly.. Thanks for the tutorial..

  15. how to get date and time from internet in android

  16. Hi,
    The latitude and longitude is shown, can you add the direction to the latitude and longitude like

    Latitude 37.42 North
    Longitude 122.56 East

    Because i needed this for astrology app

  17. Thanks Joe,for the post and for GPS Location Provider is works perfectly.

  18. how to develop a music player stand alone application in java……?

  19. its working fine in emulator kindly intimate how to display in tab

  20. dear Joe when i install apk file in Phone only
    hello world message is display not lat n long find

    i an new in android apps please help and suggest how to call .NET web service in this with post and get method

  21. great job amazing work simple easy yet effective

  22. Nice one.
    But This one is not working inside the room.we need the display the current location using network provider.

  23. Thanks, great tutorial, best i found and works like a charm.
    Can you publish one explaning GoogleMaps ?

    Regards

    L

  24. hi , i manually added langitute and logitute .but nothing showing on my emulator..
    it says only
    latitute=Location not available
    longitude=Location not available

  25. This code is not working inside the room.we need the display the current location using network provider.

  26. Great tutorial. I keep having the same problem with certain apps I write – in that they work on the emulator, but give an error on my cell phone.

    App starts up then suddenly gives the message “Unfortunately, GPSapp has stopped”

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated

    Galaxy S4 cell, 4.2.2

  27. Apologies – I see this question has been raised a few times before. I have tried the suggestions above (eg make sure package name is same in program and manifest etc) but still no joy. Thanks Bryn

    • Bryn,

      There can be numerous reasons to a crash. Best way to find the reason is to get the LogCat logs when it crashes. Plug the phone in USB and set it as target device. Then launch the app in phone and you can get the logs on this error.

  28. For anyone who shows “Hello World” on the mobile phone instead current location change MainActivity.java to following:

    package com.javapapers.android.geolocationfinder;

    import android.os.Bundle;
    import android.app.Activity;
    import android.content.Context;
    import android.location.Location;
    import android.location.LocationListener;
    import android.location.LocationManager;
    import android.widget.TextView;

    import android.util.Log;

    public class MainActivity extends Activity implements LocationListener {
    // The minimum distance to change Updates in meters
    private static final long MIN_DISTANCE_CHANGE_FOR_UPDATES = 10; // 10 meters
    // The minimum time between updates in milliseconds
    private static final long MIN_TIME_BW_UPDATES = 1000 * 60 * 1; // 1 minute
    protected LocationManager locationManager;
    protected Context context;
    protected boolean gps_enabled, network_enabled;
    TextView txtLat;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
    txtLat = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.textview1);

    locationManager = (LocationManager) getSystemService(Context.LOCATION_SERVICE);
    // getting GPS status
    gps_enabled = locationManager
    .isProviderEnabled(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER);
    // getting network status
    network_enabled = locationManager
    .isProviderEnabled(LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER);

    if (gps_enabled) {
    locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(
    LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER, MIN_TIME_BW_UPDATES,
    MIN_DISTANCE_CHANGE_FOR_UPDATES, this);
    } else if (network_enabled) {
    locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(
    LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER, MIN_TIME_BW_UPDATES,
    MIN_DISTANCE_CHANGE_FOR_UPDATES, this);
    };
    }

    @Override
    public void onLocationChanged(Location location) {
    txtLat = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.textview1);
    txtLat.setText(“Latitude:” + location.getLatitude() + “, Longitude:”
    + location.getLongitude());
    }

    @Override
    public void onProviderDisabled(String provider) {
    Log.d(“Latitude”, “disable”);
    }

    @Override
    public void onProviderEnabled(String provider) {
    Log.d(“Latitude”, “enable”);
    }

    @Override
    public void onStatusChanged(String provider, int status, Bundle extras) {
    Log.d(“Latitude”, “status”);
    }
    }

  29. In my code, onLocationChanged() method is not getting called while I am running my app on mobile. What may be the reason behind it?

  30. How to send latitude and longitude to android emulator

    Open DDMS perspective in Eclipse (Window -> Open Perspective)
    Select your emulator device
    Select the tab named emulator control
    In ‘Location Controls’ panel, ‘Manual’ tab, give the Longitude and Latitude as input and ‘Send’.

    For this steps we simple load a .kml file to emulator that will take a automatically from the LOCATION CONTOLS…

  31. Thanks for a nice tutorial.Kindly help me on how to serve the obtained coordinates(latitudes&longitudes) to MySQL database.

  32. Thank you sir…
    this is very important to me. Pleas carry on your tutorials ahead.

  33. I have seen some applications being able to retrieve the VLR Global title , something like the Node Number you are latched on , for example in Jordan it will be something like 96279123456 , but from the API i am not able to get to that level , any idea how could that have been done ?

  34. Can anyone please help me on automatic storage of the obtained coordinates (latitude &longitude…from this tutorial)in mySQL database, this should be done without requiring the phone user to press a send button.
    May God bless you for your kind assistance.
    Happy coding!!

    • Friends,is there no one who can give a hint on this??? Plz your assistance or some links/books to refer to will help me a lot.

  35. Hi Sir

    I want to find my friend location trough googlemap
    So what kind of permission i have to use in my manifest file ,is this possible??

    i am working on one friend Find locater .
    reply

  36. Sir this code running well in emulator but not in phone device and itz by default shows hello world.. how can i fix it?and as like many people are geeting same problem.. pls gv us proper solution.

  37. Its is really awesome tutorial Thank You :-)

  38. Sir,
    i am using GPS Location find in my application and how to store in sqlite database so i am confuesd please help me sir.

    i need source code

  39. Pingback: Android Location using GPS, Network Provider

  40. gives me error saying “textview1 cannot be resolved or is not a field”.
    thanks.

  41. hello
    nice tutorial
    you put all your code but why you did not put android project here? thanks alot

  42. Hi,
    I want to put a marker to the current location and keep updating the marker to new position.i am using
    marker1 = mGoogleMap.addMarker(new MarkerOptions()
    .position(latLng)
    .title(“San Francisco”)
    .snippet(“Population: 776733″));

    using this everytime a new marker is added rather updating the same marker to the new location.please help me achieve this

  43. hi,, i tried ur code.but i was confused in output.
    the output shows nothing (blank screen).wat to do??
    plzz help me.

  44. Pingback: Markers–Google Maps Android API v2

  45. Nice Tutorial , it really helps me …thanks.

  46. Can i try ready code from you?

    or if I can contact you to help me to discover the error in my code

  47. We need physical android mobile to read the position or AVD is enough?

  48. i am new to android ,i tried the same but when i run it shows me only simple map.But i want to show also marker co-ordinate..

  49. Hi, I am new to android development and was looking for a simple way to get the device location. The official google example is complete overkill, and your example if perfect – nice and easy to follow and understand without loads of code bloat! – Thanks for sharing

  50. WOW!!! It really works! Thanks man!

    VEry good job!

  51. i need to develop android-app user activate gps and we get user address and we have store list and search nearest

    location of user and show result.can some one tell me for this app what step i have to do.

  52. hi sir nice tutorial its working but sir i want to get current location name as well .how it could be possible

  53. hi sir i need current location name to be shown if it gets current longitude and latitude. how it is possible???

  54. hi i need to implement OnclickListener along with locationlistner.i am a newbie.i am getting the following error when i try to run:

    Error:(23, 8) java: com.example.sid.MainActivity is not abstract and does not override abstract method onProviderDisabled(java.lang.String) in android.location.LocationListener

    my syntax:public class MainActivity extends Activity implements OnClickListener,LocationListener

    can anyone please help??
    thanks in advance.

  55. Its working fine,but we need only city list within 100km from current location. So how to get that. Can u help me????

  56. the application is stopped its not even opening

  57. nice tutorial sir
    it will help me lot

  58. I could not get the 2 parameters (time and distance) used in requestLocationUpdates method. What I could understand is that after x time or x meters request for the user location but why both?
    And if we are giving both parameter then, which would be used(time interval or distance)?

    Also OnLocationChanged method would be called only when we requestLocation or will it be triggered every time user changes his location without even calling requestLocation method?

    Please clarify my doubts.

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