Position sharing

Table of contents

Video tutorials

What is position sharing?

The development of this feature is part of research project BAS-X, supported by Sport Vlaanderen. The project aims to motivate people to move and exercise in a simple and accessible way.

For more information about the project, click here.

Position sharing makes it possible for users to share their live location via their smartphone while moving. GPS systems will identify your location by determining the distance of your smartphone from the satellites. In that way, the tracking chip in your phone knows exactly where you are on Earth. You can determine your exact location via the RouteYou platform. If several people activate this feature via our system, they can share the information with each other. You can read more about how you can use position sharing below.

How to activate 'Position sharing'?

  1. Activate the RouteYou mobile website or the RouteYou App on your smartphone (read how here).
  2. Select a route.
  3. Gp to the map icon and click on the start button.
  4. A pop-up window will appear including the option to activate 'Share my position'.

Please note! As the warning also indicates, when activated you share your position with everyone who is logged in. See further how to limit that.

The effect: who are you sharing your position with?

  1. After activation, your followers get a message that you share your position (read how to follow an account here). This method 1 is by far the easiest way to systematically keep your supporters informed about your position. 
  2. If you want to let a friend/family member know explicitly that they can follow you, you can also use method 2. It consists of the following steps:
    1. share your route with them (read how here)
    2. let them know that they should check the "Who is active" map layer. Note: this is only possible if you are logged in! 

How can you see who is active?


If you want to see in general who is currently sharing his/her position via RouteYou, you can do that via

Via the map dropdown at the top right, you can activate the 'Who is active' map layer at the very bottom. This map layer is available on both smartphone and desktop. To activate it, you must be logged in. The map now shows the avatar icons of all active people.

Tip: Personalize your avatar to make sure you are recognizable. 

Specific to a route

As you can read above, you can activate your position when traveling a route. When friends, family ... look at that particular route, they will see 

Why is the "last known position" shown?

As an observer or follower of someone who is sharing his/her position (=the position sharer), you are not necessarily observing when that person is actively sharing his/her position. There are several possible reasons for this:

In the past, in these cases, you didn't see on the map where that person had last shared his/her position. Now you do, but only on the specific route that the position sharer was traveling and thus shared his/her position on.

Tip: Are you doing a long-distance route and would you like to regularly show your followers where you are? Then activate position-sharing at regular intervals within 24 hours, and then turn off your smartphone again. That's enough to refresh your last known position. Your followers can always see where your last position was via the route. That way they can follow you even if you are not actively sharing at the time your followers are looking at the route.

How to tell the difference between an "active position" and a "last known position"

With the active position, the avatar of the position sharer is shown large (size of POIs). With the last known position, the avatar is shown small (see image).

Clicking on the avatar shows when the position was last shared (under development).

After 24 hours the last known position disappears. If it takes longer than 5 minutes for the position to refresh, the position is considered "last known position" and thus displayed with a small avatar.

Why is the last known position displayed only at a specific route and not generally?

If all last known positions were generally shared (e.g. via the RouteFinder), it would no longer be cartographically clear. It would also be too heavy in terms of server load. Therefore, this option is only offered via a specific route.

Sharing your position for a limited audience via private routes

If you place your route privately, and share your position via that private route, then only users who have access to your private route can follow your position on it. Learn how to share private routes with specific people on a limited basis.

What information is shared?

If you have activated the 'Who is active' map layer, the avatar icons of all currently active people along the route will appear on the map.

You can click such an avatar.

If you have activated this map layer in the RouteViewer, i.e. on a route page, the avatar icons of the active persons will also appear in the elevation profile. That way you can see who is where along the route and at what distance.

Concrete examples of position sharing

1. 'I am here'

This feature can be particularly useful when you are meeting up with one or more people. You can closely monitor how far apart you are from each other or the distance to your meeting point. You can even notify the other person via the chat box if you are running late.

Position sharing also allows you to meet each other 'in the field' or along a route.

Or maybe your group has decided to split up and follow different variants of a route. Thanks to position sharing, you’ll easily be able to find each other again at a later time.

2. Practical applications for events

If someone needs to be picked up, position sharing can be used to quickly share the customer's exact location. Or you can follow when your guest will arrive so you’ll have everything ready for them upon their arrival.

If your friends and family want to virtually follow along with your (multi-day) event and want to know how the trip is going and where the participants are, the latter can share their position at agreed upon times.

3. Playful applications

What about my privacy?

Position sharing is intrinsically linked to some red flags concerning privacy.

Here is some information on this topic:

FAQs or frequently asked questions

As an organization, how can I track and have event participants follow me?

Here is a step-by-step guide:

What you need to do as an organization

What you need to do as a participant (position sharer)

Save battery tip: You don't need to actively share your position all the time. You can put your smartphone in sleep mode (to save battery) and activate it only if you don't know the way or want to update your position. Once you wake up your smartphone from sleep mode, the system will ask you if you wish to continue navigating. Confirm.

Tip to quickly return to your route if the 'continue navigating' question is not asked: Read about the "Last viewed"option.

What you need to do as an observer (follower)

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