OwnTracks typically displays the TID of a friend on the map, but you can associate an address book entry to that friend on iOS in order to see a friendly face (if you have you friend's photo in your device's address book) and/or a friendly name.

TID on iOS

We developed a new feature we call a card which you can use when in Private mode (MQTT) or in HTTP mode. A card is a retained message which contains a JSON payload which, in absence of an address-book association, will be used to populate your friend on your map. The payload contains a full name (hopefully one you recognize), and an avatar -- a small image. If a card exists it will be used, but you can override its use in OwnTracks by associating your friend with an address book entry of your own device.

  "_type": "card",
  "name": "Jane Jolie",
  "face": "iV1CFEVkMhmCIKBUKh3 ... ghAAAAABJRU5ErkJggg=="

Creating a card

We provide several utilities for creating a card in the Recorder's repository:

  • If you have an image file you want to use, use, passing image-filename and fullname.
  • If you know a user has a Github profile with a name and an avatar, use which takes a Github username as argument.
  • If you know a user has a Gravatar, use, passing email and fullname.

These utilities create a card on standard output, and you typically then publish the result as a retained message to your MQTT broker:

./ defunkt > my-card.json
mosquitto_pub -t owntracks/jjolie/phone/info -f my-card.json -r

Note the topic branch ending in info and note the use of the retain flag (-r).