A simple recipe for geolocation automation

Following on from my blog about Safeguards and the move towards increased automation, in this post I will demonstrate how easy it is to set up a recipe from IFTTT (If This Then That) to use the location service to send a text to someone when I have left a Geolocation zone.

There are other automation tools you can use on your mobile such as Tasker, Zapier and Automate, however for this example I have chose IFTTT.

The actual configuration of this task is very easy using either the web or mobile tool.

Using the tool in this example, I chose the recipe ingredients that related to my mobile. In this case, an Android phone.

The interface takes you through the process by clicking the relevant icons and entering some simple information. I have outlined the process below in a flow chart:

IFTTT

You can install the application on your mobile and sign in so that it knows about the tool. It’s also important that, when using location recipes, that you turn on the Location/GPS function on your device.

This set up uses Android, IFTTT, Google maps and the GPS function of the mobile. These should be kept up to date with any updates that come out on a regular basis.

The text message itself can contain a number of parameters “I exited an area {{OccurredAt}} via Android {{LocationMapUrl}}” which did put some context into the text message.

{{OccurredAt}} provided a date and time

{{LocationMapUrl}} provided a location in google maps

You can remove these from the message if they are not needed.

There are lots of sample recipes and ones created by others that you can reuse, or the site has the ability to create your own. Get creative and explore!

What IFTTT recipes are you using to simplify or automate your life?

This entry was originally posted in Max’s blog.


Max Hemingway — Senior Architect

Max is a senior architect for DXC in the United Kingdom. With more than 25 years of experience, he has a broad and deep range of technical knowledge and is able to translate business needs into IT-based solutions. Currently the chief architect of the BAE Systems account in the UK, Max has a proven track record acquired through continual client engagement and delivery of leading edge infrastructures, all of which have delivered positive results for end-clients, including IT cost reduction, expansion of service capability and increased revenues.

Comments

  1. Great tips and advice. Thanks Max. This action is very useful for arranging pick ups and drop offs of family members automatically. For example set the IF statement for your child If they arrive within set distance of location XYZ. Another alternative would be to set the IF statement to If they go outside of boundary XYZ to alert you. A text message will then alert you or other family members of this event occuring. You can also set it up using a nearby statement that If you set the distance to say 1km if nearby. You could arrange to have an impromptu lunch date with your partner 🙂 it’s amazing the little differences technology can make our lives easier.
    You call also set up similar services for awarness of events which could effect your family fire and emergency DFES here in Australia and also for other emergencies IF within a certain distance then message. Can also do it with weather data for awareness of rain coming to XYZ location If at certain level of rainfall. So many ways in which it can help us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sarah. IFTTT is only one of many automation tools available and as you have illustrated the possibilities of adding additional statements opens a lot of possibilities. There are also additional apps you can link to IFTTT if you purchase the premium subscription, perhaps getting automation to check your calendar before it sends the text message for a lunch date with your partner to ensure your free. The power these type of automation apps is rich is capability and opportunity to cover lots of things and is growing daily, Thats what makes them even more exciting.

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