Twilio “Geo-text” Plug-In (a PHP Uber-style Geotracker Add On)



          (def) “Geo-texting” – (verb) the act of inviting people via text to share their location realtime with each other on a private geomap…uberstyle. Anyone with a smartphone and can text to the geo-text phone number can play dispatcher and invite people to share a geomap. To set up your own geo-text your own environment, you’ll need to host this plug-in, my latest script PHP Uber-style Geotracking and Twilio’s SMS “texting” services (

You can try it out NOW in my demo environment here. Just text commands (below) to 415-360-0886 – Click here or on “Live Demo” link above to get the full list of commands.

QUICK START EXAMPLE: text the command ‘list-maps’ to 415-360-0886 on your phone now, it should say you have no maps. Create a map and invite some people to track – text a comma or a space delimited list of phone numbers or email addresses to 415-360-0886. These numbers and email addresses will receive an email or text where there is a link than when clicked on using a smartphone will be tracked in a private geomap.)



This geotext plug-in is an SMS text front-end (leveraging Twilio) to my original geolocation script – PHP Uber-style GeoTracking script.

This Twilio “Geo-text” plug-in is an add-on to my PHP Uber-style Geotracking script that allows anyone with access to your Twilio phone number to invite people via text to share their location with others uber-style on a private geomap. In addition the script features dispatcher functionality not found in the original geotracking script. This functionality includes managing multiple geomaps, adding/deleting geotrackees, renaming maps and geotrackees, pinging geotrackees to update their location, all from a smartphone using SMS texting.

The script is easy to install – just unzip contents – 1 file – into the <root>/php/sms folder of your original PHP Uber-style Geotracking instalation. This requires a Twilio account to send and process SMS texts. Configuration instructions to link your Twilio phone number to this plug-in appear below.


This script includes PHP code that CAN BE USED BY PHP DEVELOPERS AS A TEMPLATE for using SMS TEXTING (using Twilio) as the user interface for their software/web applications. For PHP developers who have not explored SMS texting as a user interface for your software (as I’ve done here), it is worth exploring. Texting is something everyone knows how to do (young, old and in between) and cuts learning curve of using your software. (see “Overview of PHP Code” section below for how code is structured).

Using the plug-in is as easy as texting a list of geotrackees to the script’s twilio phone number (or for demo – 415-360-0886). Click on “Live Demo” link above for more detailed instructions.

  1. Install script/plug-in. For demo, text to 415-360-0886.
  2. Simply “text” a space or comma separated list of geotrackee email addresses or smart phone numbers to invite to a private geomap. The script will text you an invitation link (it automatically includes map owner as a geotrackee in every map. It will also text you confirmation which geotrackees were invited and which ones didn’t (didn’t pass validation).
  3. To add more geotrackees, continue to text emaill address and phone numbers to the plug-in phone number in step 1.

Here is the list of all the dispatcher features built into this script that can be executed by texting commands to your Twilio phone number on your smartphone.

  • LIST ALL YOUR MAPS – Text “list-maps” or “lm” to the twilio number to get a numbered list of maps you own.
  • ADD A NEW MAP – Text “new-map” or “nm” to the twilio number
  • SWITCH ACTIVE MAP – Text “switch-map” or “sm” and then the map number (from “list-maps” list) to the twilio number (e.g. “sm 3”)
  • RENAME MAP – Give your map a friendlier name. Text “rename-map” or “rm”, followed by the map number and then the friendly name you want to give the map. (e.g. “rm 2 My Test Map”)
  • DELETING A MAP – Text “delete-map” or “dm” and then the map number you want to delete followed by the map number you want to delete.
  • ADDING A GEOTRACKEE – Text “add-geotrackee” or “ag” and then a comma or space separated list of geotrackee emails and phone numbers. This is optional, you can just text new emails and phone numbers. (e.g. “ag 4153333333”)
  • LIST ALL GEOTRACKEES OF ACTIVE MAP – Text “list-geotrackees” or “lg” to get a numbered list of geotrackees in the active map. (e.g. “ag 4153333333”)
  • DELETING A GEOTRACKEE – Text “delete-geotrackee” or “dg” and the geotrackee’s number from “list-geotrackee” list. (e.g. “dg 2”)
  • RENAME A GEOTRACKEE – Text “rename-geotrackee” or “rg”, the geotrackee’s number from “list-geotrackee” list and the geotrackee’s nickname. (e.g. “rg 2 Lucky Louie”)
  • PING ALL THE GEOTRACKEES IN THE ACTIVE MAP – Text “ping-geotrackee” or “pg”, then the word “all”. (e.g. “pg all”)
  • PING AN INDIVIDUAL GEOTRACKEE IN THE ACTIVE MAP – Text “ping-geotrackee” or “pg”, then the geotrackee’s number you want to ping. (e.g. “pg 3”)
  • GETTING HELP – Text “help-me” or ”?” to clear all the maps and geotrackees and reset.
  • RESETTING – Text “clear-all” or “ca” to clear all the maps and geotrackees and reset.


  1. If you have not done so, purchase the “PHP Uber-style Geotracker” script from
  2. If you have not done so, install the script (see ‘Installation Instructions’ section in the script’s documentation)
  3. Purchase this plug-in- Twilio “Geo-Text” Plug-In
  4. Unzip the contents of the zip file into the following folder in your installation from step 1 and 2 (http://<domain root>/php/sms/)
  5. Go to and sign up for your account (sign up for the SMS product – make sure you purchase a twilio phone number for your users to text to)
  6. Click on ‘Dashboard’ link to display Console Dashboard.
  7. Click on ‘Programmable SMS’ link under the All Twilio Products section on Console Dashboard.
  8. Click on ‘Messaging Services’ link on the Programmable SMS Dashbaord page
  9. Click on ’+’ sign on the Messaging Services page
  10. Enter ‘geotracker’ as the friendly name and ‘Notifications, 2-Way’ as the use case
  11. Check the ‘Process Inbound Messages’ check box and enter https://<your domain>/php/sms/receive.php and save Configure page

See table below for list of commands. Examples below are “text” commands that are sent to the Twilio phone number you set up during installation (or use the demo phone number: 415-360-0886).

help-me or hm

get help or list of commands
text: “help-me”
clear-all or ca

clear all my maps and geotrackees
text: “clear-all” or “ca”
new-map or nm

create new map
text: “new-map” or “nm”
list-maps or lm

list all my maps
text: “list-maps” or “lm”
rename-map or rm

rename existing map
text: “rm 2 My Map”
switch-map or sm

switch active map
text: “switch-map 3”
delete-map or dm

text: “delete-map 2”
add-geotrackees or ag

add geotrackees to the active map (default)
text: “ag 4154444444”
list-geotrackees or lg

get list of geotrackees in active map
text: “list-geotrackees”
delete-geotrackee or dg

delete geotrackee
text: “dg 4”
rename-geotrackee or rg

create nickname for a geotrackee
text: “rename-geotrackee 2 Cool Dude”
ping-geotrackees or pg

ping all geotrackee to update location
text: “pg 1,2,3” or “pg all”
or simply type in a comma separated (”,”) list of email addresses and phone numbers directly to invite people to an active geotracking map

With this script comes a “template” PHP class that can be used as a starting point for PHP developers to create other conversational Twilio SMS applications. See below documentation of this PHP class.


class smsGeotracker {

   // Properties
   private $twilioFrom; // phone number of “texter”
   private $twilioBody; // body of the text
   private $twilioAccountSid; // Twilio Account Sid
   private $twilioAuthToken; // Twilio Auth Token
   private $twilioPhoneNumber; // Twilio Phone Number
   private $sessionActiveMap; // mapkey for current active map
   private $db; // handle to database db
   private $urlRoot; // url of script
   private $background; // background color of geotrackee icon
   private $letter; // assigned geotrackee letter
   private $headers; // email headers<

   // Methods
   public function getTwilioFrom()
   public function setTwilioFrom($twilioFrom)
   public function getTwilioBody()
   public function setTwilioBody($twilioBody)
   public function getUrlRoot()
   public function setUrlRoot($urlRoot)
   public function getLetter()
   public function setLetter($letter)
   public function getHeaders()
   public function setHeaders($headers)
   public function getBackground()
   public function setBackground($background)
   public function getTwilioAccountSid()
   public function setTwilioAccountSid($twilioAccountSid)
   public function getTwilioAuthToken()
   public function setTwilioAuthToken($twilioAuthToken)
   public function getTwilioPhoneNumber()
   public function setTwilioPhoneNumber($twilioPhoneNumber)
   public function getSessionActiveMap()
   public function setSessionActiveMap($sessionActiveMap)
   public function getDb()
   public function setDb($db)
   public function getGeotrackeeCount() // get geotrackee count
   public function getGeotrackeeTable() // assemble geotrackee table for email
   public function generateRandomKey($length = 10) // generate random key
   public function validatePhone($phoneNumber)
   public function getMode() // get current mode of operation
   public function getArg($argNo) // get n-th token from command (text body)
   public function getMapkey($arg) // get mapkey of active map
   public function getMapname($arg) // get mapname of active map
   public function getMapCreated($arg) // get created date of active map
   public function sendSms($to, $msg) // send sms back to “texter”
   public function getActiveMap() // get active map info
   public function doHelpMe() // do “help-me” command
   public function doListMaps() // do “list-maps” command
   public function doClearAll() // do “clear-all” command
   public function doActiveMap() // do “active-map” command
   public function doSwitchMap() // do “switch-map” command
   public function doDeleteMap() // do “delete-map” command
   public function doAddMap() // do “add-map” command
   public function doRenameMap() // do “rename-map” command
   public function doListGeotrackees() // do “list-geotrackees” command
   public function doDeleteGeotrackee() // do “delete-geotrackee” command
   public function doAddGeotrackees() // do “add-geotrackee” command
   public function doPingGeotrackee() // do “ping-geotrackee” command



Not sure if there is much more to add to this script. I may want to
add some geotrackee viewing restrictions so that you can differentiate
between geotrackee’s that can see everyone’s location, with
geotrackees that can only see their own and also hiding owner’s

I do plan to create a dispatcher module that uses a regular desktop user interface for serious dispatching. But not sure of the timing of this. It will probably leverage my other scripts including PHP Dashboards, etc. Let me know what you think by commenting on this script.

-Data Ninja

AUTHOR’S NOTE IN BLOG: see blog post – Author’s Note: Twilio “Geo-text” Plug-In
DOCUMENTATION: see blog post – Author’s Note: Twilio “Geo-Text” Plug-In

REMINDER ON EXTENDED LICENSES: Just a friendly reminder that there are two different license levels at The regular license is for single FREE user use. If you have multiple clients or charging clients for functionality from this script, then an extended license is the appropriate level. It’s only fair as I do spend a lot of time tuning these scripts. And more sales/revenues means I can code more features and it has come to my attention that many purchasers are using my script for commercial (for pay) purposes with just the regular license. Thanks for you support. Click for more details – Regular vs. Extended License Comparison


  • Any browser that supports HTML5/Javascript, jQuery (2.1.4). Tested with Chrome Version 49.0.2623.110 (64-bit), Safari Version 5.1.7 (7534.57.2), Internet Explorer 11.0.9600.18230, Firefox 5.0.2
  • A PHP/MySQL supported webserver is required for jsfiddle features (preview, share, save) and render script options #3 and #4 – click here for phpinfo for PHP/MySQL versions and configuration options of the server serving up the demo. IMPORTANT: make sure to compare with phpinfo of your installation. Many PHP/MySQL errors stem from configuration options of customer php server instances.
  • You will need a PAID Twilio account and phone number
  • (See installation instructions on this page to see how to sign up and install)

VERSION HISTORY – Twilio “Geo-text” Plug-In

  • VERSION 1.0 (10/02/2017) – Initial launch version
  1. Twilio SMS texting user interface for the PHP Uber-style Geotracker script.
  2. Dispatcher features not found in the original geotracker script. See ’’List of Text Commands’ section on this page for the list of features included in this initial version.

My Other Scripts at Codecanyon:

(BRAND NEW!!!) PHP Dashboard v5 (Enterprise Edition)
PHP Daytrader’s Candlestick Pattern Hunter v1.0
Twilio “Geo-text” Plug-In (a PHP Uber-style Geotracker Add On)
PHP Uber-style GeoTracker
PHP Dashboard v4.0 Collaborative Social Dashboards
PHP Dashboard v3.0 – For Mobile Devices
PHP Dashboard v2.7 – Responsive Carousels
PHP Dashboard – NEW Version 1.2
HTML5 Data-Driven Documents (D3js) Plug-In
HTML5 Cloud Dashboard Designer
HTML5 Streetmaps
PHP Streetmaps



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