How to Create a Location Based App? (Complete Guide)

Today, our phones have become the doors to connect with a convenient and comfortable world. With the simple discovery of location-based apps, you not only connect, but also find ways to reach your destinations.

According to the report of Research and Markets, the global location-based service market was valued at USD 36.2 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach USD 126.4 billion by 2025. In fact, you will be shocked to know that geolocation is present in more than 90% of apps installed on your smartphone.

Looking at the popularity and trend, if you have also decided to create a location-based app for your project, but not aware of how to create a location-based app, then refer to this blog.

What is a Location-based App?

Location-based apps are known for enhancing the ways to connect in real-time and speed up the process to find a person, place, and service nearby.

Many industries have integrated GPS into their apps to help users find a way to the store, location, or service near them.  Here, you can see some of the most popular and best location-based apps.

location based app development

Want to Create a Popular App?

We have already designed and developed location-based apps.

Why Create Location based Apps?

Locating any place or finding nearby services is something we rely on our mobile device for. Not only this, but location-based mobile apps help to simplify users’ experience, such as route tracking, booking hotels, and checking weather updates of a particular city, town, and country.

For a business, location apps or GPS apps help to get more customers on the board by serving their requirements of products or services in real-time.

Now, let’s take a look at the industries which are using geolocation to enhance their apps.  We have also mentioned the features of the apps to make you understand how all the apps work.

AppIndustryFeaturesFoundedRevenue (2019)
UberOn-demand1. Allows booking a taxi from one destination to another
2. Real-time location tracking of driver and passengers
200914.1billion USD
IKEARetail1. Shows the nearest IKEA location
2. Beacons used for easy navigation when in store
194341.3 billion EUR
DHL ExpressLogistics1. Real-time cargo tracking
2. Shows the nearest DHL global forwarding office
196963.3 billion EUR
TinderSocial Media1. Uses location awareness in matching algorithms20121.15 billion USD
AirbnbTravel1. Suggests the nearest apartments based on location20084.7 billion USD

Types of Geo-location Apps

The location-based apps presented many startup ideas for an established business or a small business, and these diverse nature of apps have always ensured great services and the best user experience.

Users can take advantage of the location-based apps as these apps allow them to find the right places and the roads to the places. It also allows for sharing recommendations for any service with friends and families.

types of geo-location apps

Let’s discuss the most popular types of geolocation apps:

  1. Travel Apps

    Travel apps run seamlessly to offer location guidance and services near to the current location or the specific destination, which is convenient. For tourists, a reliable source of navigation to find nearby services in real-time.

    These apps use location features to help people with the route and place recommendations when they are on a holiday or a business trip. Today many other businesses have picked up this trend, like Airbnb and apps like Airbnb have earned millions by offering location-based services.

    If you are the owner of a travel agency and want to earn millions like Airbnb, then think of how you can solve the problem of travelers through a mobile application.  With unique location app ideas, you can consult a geolocation technology partner and convert it into a reality.

  2. E-commerce Apps

    The aim behind using the location feature in the e-commerce apps is to offer delivery and shipping information to customers on their orders in real-time.

    Moreover, these apps are highly capable of tracking the location of the customers, and based on it, the apps provide the best geolocation services, such as less delivery charge or one-day delivery.

    Talk to our e-commerce app development experts today if you wish to develop an app like Amazon to match up with the high expectations of your customers.  We have developed over 20 e-commerce mobile applications for our clients and delivered unmatched experience.

  3. Dating Apps

    People use these apps to find potential dating partners within a specific range of areas. Dating apps like Tinder and Happn also use geolocation features and continue introducing people to each other. People connect with others of similar interests.

    Therefore, people instantly connect over a dating app, arrange chats, and meet with local singles.  Today, over 139 million users are finding their dating partners through these apps, and it is expected to rise to 161 million by 2023.

    Our highly experienced team of app developers has already developed 40+ dating apps like Tinder, including unique features and functionalities.  Discuss your project requirements with our experts today.

  4. Social Media Apps

    You must have noticed people using various location-tags against their pictures and videos when they upload on social media.

    Also, when you ask for their locations, they send you their current or live location instead of writing any text message(like sharing location with others on WhatsApp).  So, you get the visual sense of the place by seeing various paths and directions.  These apps depend on location services that allow interaction in real-time.

    If you want to develop social network apps like Instagram, then contact our experts today to discuss the app idea.  Schedule your free consultation to know and implement various unique functions for your app.

  5. On-demand Apps

    Uber is a great example of an on-demand service.  Uber is an on-demand taxi booking app where everyone relies on the locations.  For drivers, it is essential to check the current location of the passengers and for passengers to see taxi location, arrival time, monitor routes, and the estimated duration of travel in real-time.

    Even food delivery service falls under the category of on-demand app development services, where you are just one tap away to order your food.  Such businesses offer on-demand services to increase customer engagement and reduce delivery time.

    If you want to make a location-based successful taxi app just like Uber or want to know how much it cost to develop on-demand service apps, then contact our experts to get a customized quote.

  6. Navigation and Mapping Apps

    Do you know that According to the survey by The Manifest, Google Maps is the overwhelming choice for mobile users? Google Maps is the most famous name and one of the first choices as a navigation app and wins by a wide margin.

    Apart from Google Maps, Waze is the second most popular geolocation app that you will find in the Apple App Store.  Navigation apps, like Google Maps, are designed to help users to find the right direction, give updates on traffic jams, and also suggest various paths to any place on the map.

    With an extensive range of features, GPS apps make it easy to offer better directions with reviews and ratings for the places.

  7. Fitness App

    Health is one of the top priorities for humans, and therefore, technology is also evolving around fitness.  From giving reminders for the workouts to keep a log of food intake, users can share fitness achievements on social media with their friends and family members.

    Location-based fitness applications, such as Nike Running Club, access the smartphone’s GPS data to track the paths the runner follows while jogging or running or even when cycling.  Users can plan their fitness regimes and analyze daily fitness performance.

    Just like using location trackers, such as Google Maps or Apple Maps, help users to find the best fitness centers near their location or across the globe.  So, if you want to build a location-based app, then get in touch with our experts, who have already developed over 3500 mobile apps for varied industries.

  8. Weather Apps

    Who wants to go out on a sunny day and get caught in the rain by the evening? No one, right?

    Many people prefer to check weather reports before they step out of their homes.  From every minute weather update to severe weather forecasts, the app will provide all the notifications on time.

    App users can check the weather report of the upcoming days and prioritize their schedules in advance to save themselves from the unwanted rains and snow.

    If you are planning to develop a weather forecasting app to offer weather services, then you must implement the location-based feature or functionality. This will help to provide the most accurate forecast depending on the user’s current location, and not the weather forecast report of the entire city.

Here, we checked out types of location-based apps of different industries.  Now, we will have a look at how to make a location-based app.  We will discuss the step-by-step process:

Create a Location-based App

Want to validate your app idea? Want to get a free consultation from an expert?

How to Create a Location-based App?

Location-based App

  1. Research and Know Your Audience

  2. You must know the type of app you would like to build before you start exploring the market to find your competitors.  Finding the requirements of the audience will add a significant advantage to your app.

    Know your audience, their problems, and exactly what solution they need from geolocation-based applications.  Build a navigation app that serves the purpose.

    Most important, dig out all the strategies and functions that your existing competitors are offering to the customers.  Find all their strong and weak points to improvise them in your own unique ways.  So, this is the first step towards how to build a GPS app for Android and iOS.

  3. Look For The Tech Partner

  4. Your project will need a reliable team who can make your app competitive and profitable within the budget.

    Choosing the right app development company plays an important role to make your project successful.  So, before hiring any company, ensure you check the company’s total experience, expertise, tech stack, and portfolio.

  5. Decide App Features and Functionalities

  6. It’s time to decide the features and functionalities for the app, which you can include.  Make a list of features that you want to implement and deliver rich user experiences.

    Here are some of the suggested features and functionalities that you can consider or include:

    • Map views
    • User location detection
    • Route mapping
    • Places near me finder
    • Location-based notifications
    • Location history

    Also, you can create a minimum variable product to evaluate your business idea at a minimum budget.  Later, with the help of consumer feedback, you can enhance the app with additional features.

  7. Ensure Data Safety

  8. Security is the top priority for location-based apps because no one wants to be tracked by scammers.  Therefore, you must ensure to comply with all the local regulations where you are launching an app.

    Here are some tips for the security of GPS app development:

    • Use multi-factor authentication
    • Encrypt communications
    • Don’t store sensitive location data or user data on devices
    • Use SSL certificate

  9. Test and Make It Bug-free

  10. To ensure everything falls in its place, use the best geolocation app development methodologies which suit your project requirements.

    The team of app developers and designers will create a digital version of the geolocation software.  In the end, nullify all potential bugs and improve the quality of the product.

    4 App Ideas for Location-based Apps

    1. Indoor Navigation

      No one wants to waste time to find their favorite products in a big mall or find their way to any destination.  With the concept of indoor navigation, you can help people to locate the product or find their way to reach the entrance point. It will help them to give a rich shopping experience.

      For example, Path Guide amplifies the ways of destinations and guides users along with a path collected by an earlier traveler. Indoor navigation will rely on a network of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) devices and not on GPS data.

      Example: Path Guide

    2. Hospitality

      Geolocation-based hotel apps will reduce the hard work and automate many tasks, such as self-check-in/out on arrival/departure, offer menus, navigation to find their way to venues. Users of such apps can also take advantage of electronic keys enabled by in-door navigation systems. Marriott is one of the examples which offer geolocation capabilities.

      Example: Marriott Bonvoy

    3. Tour Guide

      Everyone likes to plan their trips. However, the situation becomes complex when one doesn’t’ find the right place to stay and eat within budget and preferences.

      A location-based app builder for Android and iOS will detect the priorities set by the customers and based on the type of leisure they prefer. The travel app with all these features will make this easy for every traveler, such as Foursquare. You can build an app that would enjoy the same success.

      Example: Foursquare City Guide

    4. Augmented Reality Gaming Apps

      Today, the gaming industry is one of the most profitable because of its popularity and demand. Pokémon Go is the most famous name when we talk about the use of geolocation features and Augmented Reality technology in any gaming app.

      Pokémon Go app allows you to catch Pokémon throughout the city.  GPS integration has revolutionized the future of gaming apps.

      Example: Scavify

      However, if you want to know the best geolocation app ideas to integrate location-based features, refer to this article on geo-location app ideas.

      Now let’s discuss the technologies used to create location-based apps.  This will help you to understand more about your requirements for geolocation app development.

    Want to Validate Your App Idea for Free?

    Talk to our location-based app experts and get free consultation

    Technologies Used to Create Location-based Apps

    There are two types of location-based services – outdoor and indoor, and to create a mobile app with GPS geolocation using geolocation services will require different technologies.  Let’s discuss all the geolocation technologies for location-based application development.

    1. Outdoor Geolocation Technologies

      1. GPS: Today, every mobile has an in-built GPS module.  GPS (Global Positioning System) is the most precise and also fast to use.  The GPS chip of the smartphone receives those satellite signals as it depends on satellite imagery and helps to locate the device outdoors.

      The only issue with GPS is that it drains your battery fast, so there will be more power consumption.  Otherwise, GPS receivers have high accuracy and work really well.

      2. Cell ID: Cell ID will be beneficial when there are no GPS signals available.  Cell ID is not as accurate as GPS technology.  However, a device’s location details can be easily determined by the cell tower data despite there being no GPS.

      3. Wi-Fi: Where GPS technologies work on a vast level, Wi-Fi covers only smaller areas. Still, it works well with the RSSI (receive a signal strength indication), Google Places, and Google Maps with great accuracy.

      It has economiclexa app by Amazon, which also works on the same battery power consumption as compared to GPS.

      Here the issue with Wi-Fi is that you always have to connect with nearby Wi-Fi access points.

    2. Indoor Geolocation Technologies

      1. Geofencing: Geofencing is a locating technology, a combination of GPS technology, cellular, and Wi-Fi data.  The accuracy rate is less.  However, it is helpful to guide anyone in a specific coverage area.

      When a device reaches a virtual boundary, a pre-programmed action is triggered.  You must have heard about the Alexa app by Amazon, which also works on the same concept.  Geofencing works best in the range of 100 – 150 meters.

      2. iBeacon and Eddystone: Apple has developed iBeacon, and on the other hand, Eddystone is one of Google’s services.  However, both use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for indoors positioning.

      BLE sends out the identifiers, and this helps to trigger the actions in custom-designed mobile apps for iBeacon or Eddystone.

      Just like when you approach sightseeing, having a special app, and your device shows you all the information about the area.

      Based on the requirements for your app, you can choose one of the location technologies.  Make sure you select the right technology.  Also, you must know the key features of the geolocation application, so that you can plan accordingly.

    Key Features of Geolocation Applications

    Key Features of Geolocation Applications

    1. GPS Coordinates

      GPS coordinates can be defined as a unique identifier of a location on the Earth, which is precise and written in alphanumeric characters.

      It is a combination of latitude and longitude.  For example, here are the GPS coordinates of the Empire State Building in New York City:

      GPS Coordinates: N40° 44.9064′, W073° 59.0735′

    2. Location Tracking

      Location tracking helps to give location updates in a precise manner.  The location can be tracked through GPS applications, Wi-Fi, Smartphone, cell tower data.

      It obtains the current location of individual user & offers nearby options to them.

    3. Map Integration (Google & Apple)

      Map Integration is a unique feature that allows the integration of the Maps into applications.  For example, in the case of Android, you can integrate Google Maps data into the app.

      Map integration will help users to locate any position or find different routes on Google Maps.

      Best Geolocation Apps

      Here, we have listed out the best geolocation apps based on the industry and features.

      Google MapsGoogle MapsNavigation and Mapping
      • Real-time traffic updates
      • Route planning for travelling
      Play storeApp store
      InstagramInstagramSocial Media
      • Allows users to tag locations
      • Built-in location search functions
      Play storeApp store
      TinderTinderDating Apps
      • Help users to find matches in a specific location range
      Play storeApp store
      NikeNike Running ClubFitness Apps
      • GPS run tracking, helps to measure workout distance
      Play storeApp store
      UberUberOn-demand Delivery Apps
      • Real-time location tracking
      • Allows family to follow ride in real-time
      Play storeApp store
      AirbnbAirbnbTravel Apps
      • Helps to find the nearest apartment
      Play storeApp store
      Yahoo WeatherYahoo WeatherWeather Apps
      • Get latest weather update for any location
      Play storeApp store
      Google PhotosGoogle PhotosPhoto Location Finder Apps
      • Lets you explore the photos and videos that you’ve taken by location
      Play storeApp store
      Pokémon GoPokémon GoGaming Apps
      • Helps to locate and battle virtual creatures with GPS
      Play storeApp store

      Frequently Asked Questions

      How can I measure safety while creating a location-based app?

      Safety is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to creating a location-based app.  So, here are some safety measures to overcome privacy concerns:

      • Must assess third-party components
      • End-to-end encrypted communication
      • Multi-factor authentication to protect user information
      • Use SSL certificate

      Also, comply with all the rules and regulations of the area where you are launching the app.

      I have an app but want to integrate a geolocation feature; can you help?

      Yes, you can contact our experts with the details of your app and project requirements.  We will help you to integrate the geolocation feature or functionality into your existing app.


      With the increasing demand for smartphones, users tend to expect more number of location-based apps.  Creating location-based applications will help you to serve a better experience and benefits to your customers.

      If you have decided to create a location-based app and need any assistance, then contact our experts to discuss your requirements.  Space-O Technologies is the leading iOS app development company in the USA and has helped many top enterprises and start-ups to attain their goals, having the best iPhone app developers in the team.

      You can discuss your choice of technology and even queries related to location-based apps.  Just fill-up the contact us form, and we will guide you further.

Author Bio
Bhaval Patel
Bhaval Patel
Designation: Director (Operations)

Bhaval Patel is the Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has over 20 years of experience in business management and sales. He has expertise in taxi booking app solutions and on-demand applications. Under his guidance, Space-O has developed 50+ Uber-like taxi apps on both iOS and Android platforms.