Easy and efficient Location Manager in Swift




CocoaPods Compatible Carthage Compatible Platform Twitter Swift 3 compatible

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Created by Daniele Margutti (@danielemargutti)

SwiftLocation is the right choice to work easily and efficiently with Location Manager. Main features includes:

  • Efficient Hardware Management: it turns off hardware when not used. Don't worry, we take care of your user's battery usage!
  • Location monitoring: easily monitor for your with desired accuracy and frequency (continous monitoring, background monitoring, monitor by distance intervals, interesting places or significant locations).
  • Device Heading: get current device's heading easily
  • Reverse geocoding: (from address string/coordinates to placemark) using both Apple and Google services (with support for API key)
  • GPS-less location: fetching using network IP address with 4 different providers (freeGeoIP, petabyet, smartIP or telize)
  • Geographic region monitoring: monitor background location enter/exit

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Releases History

  • 1.1.1 is the last version with Beacon Monitoring active (actually we have a plan to add it as subspec but right now is temporary disabled).
  • 1.0.5 Is the last version compatible with Swift 2.3 (not supported anymore)
  • 0.1.4 Is the last version compatible with Swift 2.0 (not supported anymore)



Differences with 1.x

SwiftLocation 2.x is a complete rewrite of the library. However, while some calls may appears different it's pretty much the same. If you are in dubt fell free to ask support via issue tracking. I'll try to reply fast as I can.


The main concept behind SwiftLocation is a central Location Manager class called LocationTracker. It automatically manages hardware resources by turning on/off and change filters level according to currently running requests: you just don't need to worry about battery usage, SwiftLocation takes care of it.

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APIs Index

When you need to perform a location operation you can call one of the available LocationTracker functions:

Location Monitoring (LocationRequest)

  • getLocation(accuracy:frequency:timeout:success:failure:) to get the current device location
  • getLocation(forAddress:inRegion:timeout:success:failure) to perform a reverse geocoding from an address string
  • getLocation(forABDictionary:timeout:success:failure:) to get the location from a given Address Book record

Reverse Geocoding (GeocoderRequest)

  • getPlacemark(forLocation:timeout:success:failure:) to get placemarks from a specified location

Heading Monitoring (HeadingRequest)

  • getContinousHeading(filter:success:failure) to get continous device's heading

Region Monitoring (RegionRequest)

  • monitor(regionAt:radius:enter:exit:error:) to get notified when user enter/exit from a region defined by given coordinates and radius
  • monitor(region:enter:exit:error:) to get notified when user enter/exit from a given region

Visit Monitoring (VisitsRequest)

  • monitorVisit(event:error) to get notified when user visit an 'important' region (ie. home, or work)

Each of this method create a Request instance which will be added to the LocationTracker's pool and started automatically. You can manage each Request at any time to abort (cancel()), pause (pause()) or start/resume (resume()) it. Each request implements at least two callbacks called when a new data is received or an error has occurred.

Important Prerequisites

Before using SwiftLocation you must configure your project to use location services. First of all you need to specify a value for NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription or NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription (or both) into your application's Info.plist file. The string value you add will be shown along with the authorization request the first time your app will try to use location services hardware.

If you need background monitoring you should specify NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription and specify the correct value in UIBackgroundModes key (you can learn more here).

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Get Current Location

The most common request is to get the current user location. getLocation(accuracy:frequency:timeout:success:error:) defines the following parameters:

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Manage LocationRequest

There are a number of interesting properties you may want to set for a LocationRequest request, especially:

  • .activity (CLActivityType): It indicate the type of activity associated with location updates and helps the system to set best value for energy efficency. By default its set to .other but can be automotiveNavigation (for navigation sw), fitness (includes any pedestrian activities) or .otherNavigation (for other navigation cases (excluding pedestrian navigation), e.g. navigation for boats, trains, or planes).
  • .minimumDistance (CLLocationDistance): The minimum distance (measured in meters) a device must move horizontally before an update event is generated. This value is ignored when request is has significant frequency set. Set it to nil to report all movements (default is nil).

Other read-only properties are:

  • lastLocation (CLLocation): last valid measured location for valid for the request (maybe nil)
  • lastError (Error): last received error (maybe nil)

You may also register request in order to receive changes in global location manager authorization. Just use:

let request = Location.getLocation...
// callback is called on main thread by reporting previous and current authorization status
request.register(observer: LocObserver.onAuthDidChange(.main, { (request, oldAuth, newAuth) in
	print("Authorization moved from \(oldAuth) to \(newAuth)")


1. Getting current location via IP Scan.
// Accuracy is set to IP Scan (using freeGEOIP service), no user auth is required but given location maybe inaccurate
// Frequency is one shot, so after a valid location is obtained (or error has occurred) the request itself will be
// automatically removed from main queue.
Location.getLocation(accuracy: .IPScan(IPService(.freeGeoIP)), frequency: .oneShot, success: { _,location in
  print("Found location \(location)")
}) { (_, last, error) in
	print("Something bad has occurred \(error)")

Note: To be able to find user's location this way, you need to update your info.plist and add required security settings for it. (iOS 9+):

2. Getting continous location (CLLocation)
// Here we want to get an higher accuracy and continous location update.
// Once added to the pool, if needed, the app will ask to the user permission to obtain the location; if granted,
// the request (along with the all the others in pending state) will be started.
// In case of error we want to cancel our request and report the error.
// Each request's callback includes a reference to the request itself so you can manage easily the workflow.
Location.getLocation(accuracy: .city, frequency: .continuous, success: { (_, location) in
		print("A new update of location is available: \(location)")
}) { (request, last, error) in
		request.cancel() // stop continous location monitoring on error
		print("Location monitoring failed due to an error \(error)")

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Reverse geocoding from address string

This function allows you to get a CLPlacemark object from a given address string. It's a one shot request so, once finished, it will be removed automatically from the queue. getLocation(forAddress:inRegion:timeout:success:failure:) defines the following parameters:

  • address: this is the input string with the address you want to reverse geocode
  • region: you may optionally pass a valid CLRegion to help the reverse geocoder engine to produce best results
  • timeout: when specified the timeout interval defines the max number of seconds can elapse before aborting the request using LocationError.timeout.
  • success: define a callback which will be executed if reverse geocoding succeded and a valid CLPlacemark instance is available
  • failure: define a callback which will be executed if reverse geocoding fails with an Error.

Very similar to the func described there is: getLocation(forABDictionary:timeout:success:failure:) which allows you to reverse a dictionary coming from the system Address Book.

Location.getLocation(forAddress: "1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino", success: { placemark in
	print("Placemark found: \(placemark)")
}) { error in
	print("Cannot reverse geocoding due to an error \(error)")

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Reverse geocoding from a CLLocation

Another reverse geocoding func allows you to get one or more CLPlacemark instances by passing a CLLocation as input. getPlacemark(forLocation:timeout:success:failure:) defines the following parameters:

  • location: a valid CLLocation instance you want to analyze
  • timeout: if not nil defines a max amount of seconds to execute the geocoding operation; if reached a LocationError.timeout is thrown.
  • success: define a callback which will be executed if reverse geocoding succeded and a valid CLPlacemark instance is available.
  • failure: define a callback which will be executed if reverse geocoding fails with an Error.
let loc = CLLocation(latitude: 42.972474, longitude: 13.757332)
Location.getPlacemark(forLocation: loc, success: { placemarks in
	// Found Contrada San Rustico, Contrada San Rustico, 63065 Ripatransone, Ascoli Piceno, Italia
	// @ <+42.97264130,+13.75787860> +/- 100.00m, region CLCircularRegion
	print("Found \(placemarks.first!)")
}) { error in
	print("Cannot retrive placemark due to an error \(error)")

Get continous device's heading (CLHeading)

This func allows you to get update about device's heading. getContinousHeading(filter:success:failure) defines the following parameters:

  • filter: define the minimum angular change (measured in degrees) required to generate new heading events
  • success: define a callback where new heading updates are delivered (input params include a reference to HeadingRequest request and the new CLHeading object)
  • failure: define a callback where errors from request are delivered (input params include a refere to HeadingRequest and occurred Error)


do {
	try Location.getContinousHeading(filter: 0.2, success: { heading in
		print("New heading value \(heading)")
	}) { error in
		print("Failed to update heading \(error)")
} catch {
	print("Cannot start heading updates: \(error)")

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Monitor geographic region

Region monitoring allows you to stay informed when device enter/exit from a specified region. Region monitoring also works in background; however in order to support it when the app is killed you should re-add it to the queue on AppDelegate's launch func. Region may be defined by a CLRegion instance or directly by passing CLLocationCoordinate2D and a given radius.

First option is: monitor(regionAt:radius:enter:exit:error:) define the following parameters:

  • center: center coordinate of the region you want to monitor (CLLocationCoordinate2D)
  • radius: radius of the region from center point (expressed in meters)
  • enter: callback called once the device did entered into the region
  • exit: callback called once the device did exited from the region
  • error: callback called once an error has occurred

Second options is: monitor(region:enter:exit:error: define the following parameters:

  • region: a CLCircularRegion which defines the region you want to monitor
  • enter: callback called once the device did entered into the region
  • exit: callback called once the device did exited from the region
  • error: callback called once an error has occurred


do {
	let loc = CLLocationCoordinate2DMake( 42.972474, 13.757332)
	let radius = 100.0
	try Location.monitor(regionAt: loc, radius: radius, enter: { _ in
		print("Entered in region!")
	}, exit: { _ in
		print("Exited from the region")
	}, error: { req, error in
		print("An error has occurred \(error)")
		req.cancel() // abort the request (you can also use `cancelOnError=true` to perform it automatically
} catch {
	print("Cannot start heading updates: \(error)")

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Monitor Visits (CLVisits)

A CLVisit object encapsulates information about interesting places that the user has been. Visit objects are created by the system and delivered. The visit includes the location where the visit occurred and information about the arrival and departure times as relevant. You do not create visit objects directly, nor should you subclass CLVisit. In order to monitor visits you can use this function: monitorVisit(event:error) which defines the following parameters:

  • event: callback called when a new visit has occurred
  • error: callback called on Error.


do {
  try Location.monitorVisit(event: { visit in
	  print("A new visit to \(visit)")
	}, error: { error in
		print("Error occurred \(error)")
} catch {
	print("Cannot start visit updates: \(error)")

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Background Updates

Background monitoring is a sensitive topic; efficent use of device's battery is one of hit point for Apple.

Significant Locations

At this time the only way to get continous update even if the app is in background is to use significant location monitoring. Basically you need to:

  • Add the NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription description in your app's Info.plist
  • Turn on Background Fetch and Location Updates checkbox in Project Settings > Capabilities > Background Modes
  • Register a significant location request in your AppDelegate's application(application:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:)

You will receive only significant updates from location manager. What it does mean? The significant location change is the least accurate of all the location monitoring types. It only gets its updates when there is a cell tower transition or change. This can mean a varying level of accuracy and updates based on where the user is. City area, more updates with more towers. Out of town, interstate, fewer towers and changes.

Using Background Task

You can also register a background task to get the most accurated result for a limited period of time. In your background task you can define a region monitoring request; as soon as the device crosses the region you will create another region from the current coordinates while entering and exiting from regions, did update location delegate gets called and you get the updated coordinate while application is in terminated mode.

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More on LocationTracker

At any time you can also monitor the LocationTracker status. There are a number of properties you can set:

  • .onAddNewRequest: allows you to set a callback which is called when a new Request is added to the queue
  • .onRemoveRequest: allows you to set a callback which is called when a queued Request is removed from the queue
Location.onAddNewRequest = { req in
  print("A new request is added to the queue \(req)")
Location.onRemoveRequest = { req in
	print("An existing request was removed from the queue \(req)")
  • .displayHeadingCalibration: Asks whether the heading calibration alert should be displayed. This method is called in an effort to calibrate the onboard hardware used to determine heading values. By default is true.

  • .headingOrientation: The device orientation to use when computing heading values.

  • .autoPauseUpdates: This function also scan for any running Request's activityType and see if location data is unlikely to change. If true (for example when user stops for food while using a navigation app) the location manager might pause updates for a period of time. (by default is false).

  • lastLocation last location get the last valid CLLocation obtained from the location manager.

  • locationSettings return the current settings for Location Tracker instance by returning a TrackerSettings struct with the following global CLLocationManager properties: accuracy, frequency, activity, distanceFilter. Values are evaluated continously based upon running requests.

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You can install Swiftline using CocoaPods, carthage and Swift package manager


pod 'SwiftLocation'


github 'malcommac/SwiftLocation'

Swift Package Manager

Add swiftline as dependency in your Package.swift

  import PackageDescription

  let package = Package(name: "YourPackage",
    dependencies: [
      .Package(url: "", majorVersion: 0),

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Current version is compatible with:

  • Swift 3.0+
  • iOS 9.0 or later

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Credits & License

SwiftLocation is owned and maintained by Daniele Margutti.

As open source creation any help is welcome!

The code of this library is licensed under MIT License; you can use it in commercial products without any limitation.

The only requirement is to add a line in your Credits/About section with the text below:

This software uses open source SwiftLocation's library to manage location updates.
Created by Daniele Margutti and licensed under MIT License.

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