Truck navigation app, SDK and server interface for professional users in telematics, logistics, trucking, 112, waste management and more.

How to integrate a GPS navigation into an Ionic app

A customer contacted us and asked if he could integrate our GPS navigation app MapTrip in his Ionic app. His app manages a list of addresses which a truck needs to visit in a given order. We did a little bit of research and then gave our trainee Hendrik the task of building a demo app.

A few days after he started, he had a basic Ionic app up and running. He integrated the MapTrip API into the app and was able to pass a coordinate to MapTrip, trigger the route calculation and start the guidance. His ionic app communicates with the navigation and receives information back from it. He has established a two way communication.

Hendrik’s app can serve as a blue print for any other ionic app that needs to communicate with our GPS app. He has uploaded his project to our GitHub account along with a description of what he has done. We hope this will help you to build your own navigation integration into your Ionic app. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance. We are happy to help!


Using the MapTrip GPS Navigation Interface (MTI) with Ionic

This project is meant to show how to integrate MTI with your Ionic cordova application.

This includes an example mti-plugin, which is necessary to call native java-code from your application, the ionic-wrapper to wrap the native-calls as Promises or Observables, and the Ionic-Project itself.

The available functionality is limited to sending a WGS84-Coordinate to MapTrip, calculating the route, starting the guidance and switching to MapTrip when the guidance has been started. With these examples you will learn how to send the MTI-requests to the native side of the app, and how to receive the necessary callbacks from MTI and handle them in your ionic-app.

Preparations

First of all you need the MapTrip application installed and running on your Phone.

To build this app, you’ll need to have npm installed.
With npm, install ionic and cordova globally:

npm install -g ionic   
npm install -g cordova 

If you want to create your own plugin, you’ll also need to have plugman installed:

npm install -g plugman

To create your own wrapper for your plugin, make sure gulp is also installed:

npm install -g gulp

and clone the ionic native repository. From there on, follow the instructions to create your wrapper.

Installing the Ionic App

After downloading the project, run

npm install

to create the node_modules directory and download all dependencies.

Next you’ll need to install @ionic-native/core.

npm install @ionic-native/core@latest

Now you have to download the ionic wrapper mti-demo-plugin from this repository, and copy it into the node_modules/@ionic-native directory, as seen here:

Please note that ‘npm install’ or adding / removing the plugin may delete the wrapper. If it does, simply copy it back into the directory before you build your apk.


To install the plugin you need to add android as platform in your ionic project:

ionic cordova platform add android

After running this command the following directory should have been created:

Now your ready to install the plugin itself. First download it from this repository. Afterwards, use either

ionic cordova plugin add <PathToPlugin>

or

plugman install --platform android --project ./platforms/android --plugin <PathToPlugin>

to add it to the project.

To confirm the installation, check

ionic cordova plugins list

to see all installed plugins.

You can also see if the plugin is installed in the platforms/android/app/src/main/java directory

and in the plugins directory.


Now that you have everything the app needs, you can run

ionic cordova build android 

to create an apk. Copy this apk on your phone, and install it.

Using the App

Please note that the demo app expects an already running MapTrip, as it will not start MapTrip by itself.
By starting the demo app, the connection to MapTrip via MTI should already be established, and you will see this screen:

Now enter a valid WGS84-Coordinate and press “Start navigation”. The app will send those coordinates to MapTrip, and will show MapTrip automatically when the route has finished calculating and the navigation has been started.

If you switch back to the Ionic app, you will see a label, where current navigation-information (the next street on your route, and the distance to the crossing in meters) is being displayed.

Use MTI with your own plugin

To use the MTI-functionality for your own plugin, you need to add the dependency. In this example we use a custom gradle-file, which gets compiled into the base gradle-file of your ionic/android project. It is located in MTIDemoPlugin/src/android/plugin.gradle.

To include plugin.gradle, you need to modify the plugin.xml located in the root directory of your plugin.

Simply add

<framework src="src/android/plugin.gradle" custom="true" type="gradleReference" />

to your plugin.xml, as seen here:

With this you will have full control of MapTrip from inside your ionic application!