iOS Location Services (Get User Location Details)

Here we will learn ios location services in swift with example and how to use ios location services to get user location details (latitude, longitude) in swift application with example and how to use iOS core location framework or location services in swift applications to get longitude, latitude and address of the users with an example using Xcode.

iOS Location Services (Get User Location Details)

In iOS we can get user location details like latitude, longitude and current location address of the user by using core location framework in swift applications.


The core location framework in iOS provides several location services to get and track the device current location.


We can get current device location details in our iOS applications by using Core Location Framework reference. Now we will see how to get users current location details in our iOS applications using swift with example.

Create iOS Location Services App in Swift

To create a new project in iOS open Xcode from /Applications folder directory. Once we open Xcode the welcome window will open like as shown below. In the welcome window click on the second option “Create a new Xcode Project” or choose File à New à Project.


Xcode application to create ios project


After selecting “Create a new Xcode project” a new window will open in that we need to choose a template.


The new Xcode window will contain several built-in app templates to implement common types of iOS apps like page-based apps, tab-based apps, games, table-view apps, etc. These templates are having a pre-configured interface and source code files. 


For this iOS Location example, we will use the most basic template “Single View Application”. To select this one, Go to the iOS section on the left side à select Application à In the main area of dialog select “Single View Application” and then click on the next button like as shown below.


Select single view application from ios xcode templates


After click Next we will get a window like as shown below. In this, we need to mention the project name and other details for our application.


Product Name: “MyLocations”


The name whatever we enter in the Product Name section will be used for the project and app.


Organization Name: “Tutlane”


You can enter the name of your organization or your own name or you can leave it as blank.


Organization Identifier: “com.developersociety”


Enter your organization identifier in case if you don't have any organization identifier enter com.example.


Bundle Identifier: This value will generate automatically based on the values we entered in the Product Name and Organization Identifier.


Language: “Swift”


Select language type as “Swift” because we are going to develop applications using swift.


Devices: “Universal”


Choose Devices options as Universal it means that one application is for all Apple devices in case if you have any specific requirement to run app only for iPad then you can choose the iPad option to make your application restricted to run only on iPad devices.


Use Core Data: Unselected


This option is used for database operations. In case if you have any database related operations in your application select this option otherwise unselect the option.


Include Unit Tests: Unselected


In case if you need unit tests for your application then select this option otherwise unselect it.


Include UI Tests: Unselected


In case if you need UI tests for your application then select this option otherwise unselect it.


Once you finished entering all the options then click on the Next button like as shown below.


Creating new ios location services application in xcode


Once we click on the Next button new dialog will open in that we need to select the location to save our project. Once you select the location to save the project then click on Create button like as shown below


Give path to save new ios application in xcode


After clicking on the Create button the Xcode will create and open a new project. In our project, Main.storyboard and ViewController.swift are the main files that we used to design the app user interface and to maintain source code. 


Main.storyboard - Its visual interface editor and we will use this file to design our app user interface 


ViewController.swift - It contains the source code of our application and we use this file to write any code related to our app.


Now in project select Main.storyboard file, the Xcode will open visual interface editor like as shown below.


ios location application storyboard file in xcode


Now select ViewController.swift file in your project that view will be like as shown below.


ios location app viewcontroller.swift file in xcode editor


Now click on Project à Go to the Build Phases à Click on + button and search for Core Location and add framework into your project like as shown below


ios location app add new core location framework in swift

Add iOS UI Controls to View in Swift

Now we will add controls to our application for that open Object Library. The Object Library will appear at the bottom of Xcode on right side. In case if you don't find Object library, click on the button which is in the third position from the left in the library selector bar like as shown below. (Alternatively, you can choose View à Utilities à Show Object Library.)


Object Library in Xcode Application to Search for UI Controls


As we discussed our user interface will be in Main.storyboard file so open Main.storyboard file. Now in Object library search for the label in Filter field then drag and drop the label into Main.storyboard ViewController like as shown below the same way we need to add multiple labels and one button control in our ViewController file.


ios location app add multiple controls to view controller in xcode

Connect iOS UI Controls to Code in Swift

Now we will make a connection between controls and ViewController.Swift code for that click on the assistant button (overlap circle) in Xcode toolbar right side corner like as shown below.


Assistant Editor in iOS Xcode to Mapp Controls with Code


To map the controls, press the Ctrl button in keyboard and drag all labels and button from view controller and drop into ViewController.swift file like as shown below


ios location app map controls to viewcontroller.swift file in xcode


Once we have done with settings we need to write custom code to get current user location details in ViewController.swift file like as shown below


import UIKit

import CoreLocation

class CurrentLocationViewController: UIViewController, CLLocationManagerDelegate {

@IBOutlet weak var messageLabel: UILabel!

@IBOutlet weak var latitudeLabel: UILabel!

@IBOutlet weak var longitudeLabel: UILabel!

@IBOutlet weak var addressLabel: UILabel!

@IBOutlet weak var tagButton: UIButton!

@IBOutlet weak var getButton: UIButton!

let locationManager = CLLocationManager()

var location: CLLocation?

var updatingLocation = false

var lastLocationError: NSError?

let geocoder = CLGeocoder()

var placemark: CLPlacemark?

var performingReverseGeocoding = false

var lastGeocodingError: NSError?

var timer: NSTimer?

@IBAction func getLocation() {

let authStatus = CLLocationManager.authorizationStatus()

if authStatus == .NotDetermined {




if authStatus == .Denied || authStatus == .Restricted {




if updatingLocation {


} else {

location = nil

lastLocationError = nil

placemark = nil

lastGeocodingError = nil






override func viewDidLoad() {





override func didReceiveMemoryWarning() {


// Dispose of any resources that can be recreated.


func showLocationServicesDeniedAlert() {

let alert = UIAlertController(title: "Location Services Disabled",

message: "Please enable location services for this app in Settings.",

preferredStyle: .Alert)

let okAction = UIAlertAction(title: "OK", style: .Default, handler: nil)


presentViewController(alert, animated: true, completion: nil)


func startLocationManager() {

if CLLocationManager.locationServicesEnabled() {

locationManager.delegate = self

locationManager.desiredAccuracy = kCLLocationAccuracyNearestTenMeters


updatingLocation = true

timer = NSTimer.scheduledTimerWithTimeInterval(60, target: self, selector: #selector(CurrentLocationViewController.didTimeOut), userInfo: nil, repeats: false)



func stopLocationManager() {

if updatingLocation {


locationManager.delegate = nil

updatingLocation = false

if let timer = timer {





func didTimeOut() {

print("*** Time out")

if location == nil {


lastLocationError = NSError(domain: "MyLocationsErrorDomain", code: 1, userInfo: nil)





func updateLabels() {

if let location = location {

latitudeLabel.text = String(format: "%.8f", location.coordinate.latitude)

longitudeLabel.text = String(format: "%.8f", location.coordinate.longitude)

tagButton.hidden = false

messageLabel.text = ""

if let placemark = placemark {

addressLabel.text = stringFromPlacemark(placemark)

} else if performingReverseGeocoding {

addressLabel.text = "Searching for Address..."

} else if lastGeocodingError != nil {

addressLabel.text = "Error Finding Address"

} else {

addressLabel.text = "No Address Found"


} else {

latitudeLabel.text = ""

longitudeLabel.text = ""

addressLabel.text = ""

tagButton.hidden = true

let statusMessage: String

if let error = lastLocationError {

if error.domain == kCLErrorDomain && error.code == CLError.Denied.rawValue {

statusMessage = "Location Services Disabled"

} else {

statusMessage = "Error Getting Location"


} else if !CLLocationManager.locationServicesEnabled() {

statusMessage = "Location Services Disabled"

} else if updatingLocation {

statusMessage = "Searching..."

} else {

statusMessage = "Tap 'Get My Location' to Start"


messageLabel.text = statusMessage



func stringFromPlacemark(placemark: CLPlacemark) -> String {

var line1 = ""

if let s = placemark.subThoroughfare {

line1 += s + " "


if let s = placemark.thoroughfare {

line1 += s


var line2 = ""

iflet s = placemark.locality {

line2 += s + " "


if let s = placemark.administrativeArea {

line2 += s + " "


if let s = placemark.postalCode {

line2 += s


return line1 + "\n" + line2


func configureGetButton() {

if updatingLocation {

getButton.setTitle("Stop", forState: .Normal)

} else {

getButton.setTitle("Get My Location", forState: .Normal)



override func prepareForSegue(segue: UIStoryboardSegue, sender: AnyObject?) {

if segue.identifier == "TagLocation" {

let navigationController = segue.destinationViewController as! UINavigationController

let controller = navigationController.topViewController as! LocationDetailsViewController

controller.coordinate = location!.coordinate

controller.placemark = placemark



// MARK: - CLLocationManagerDelegate

func locationManager(manager: CLLocationManager, didFailWithError error: NSError) {

print("didFailWithError \(error)")

if error.code == CLError.LocationUnknown.rawValue {



lastLocationError = error





func locationManager(manager: CLLocationManager, didUpdateLocations locations: [CLLocation]) {

let newLocation = locations.last!

print("didUpdateLocations \(newLocation)")

if newLocation.timestamp.timeIntervalSinceNow < -5 {



if newLocation.horizontalAccuracy < 0 {



var distance = CLLocationDistance(DBL_MAX)

if let location = location {

distance = newLocation.distanceFromLocation(location)


if location == nil || location!.horizontalAccuracy > newLocation.horizontalAccuracy {

lastLocationError = nil

location = newLocation


if newLocation.horizontalAccuracy <= locationManager.desiredAccuracy {

print("*** We're done!")



if distance > 0 {

performingReverseGeocoding = false



if !performingReverseGeocoding {

print("*** Going to geocode")

performingReverseGeocoding = true

geocoder.reverseGeocodeLocation(newLocation, completionHandler: {

placemarks, error in

//print("*** Found placemarks: \(placemarks), error: \(error)")

self.lastGeocodingError = error

if error == nil, let p = placemarks where !p.isEmpty {

self.placemark = p.last!

} else {

self.placemark = nil


self.performingReverseGeocoding = false




} else if distance < 1.0 {

let timeInterval = newLocation.timestamp.timeIntervalSinceDate(location!.timestamp)

if timeInterval > 10 {

print("*** Force done!")








Now we will run and check the output of application. To run application, select the required simulator (Here we selected iPhone 6s Plus) and click on Play button, located at the top-left corner of the Xcode toolbar like as shown below.


Run ios location app using simulator in xcode

Output of iOS Location App in Swift

Following is the result of the iOS Location application in swift. Now click on the “Get My Location” button to get user longitude, latitude and current position along with an address.


ios location app example result or output


This is how we can use iOS location services in swift applications to get user current locations like latitude, longitude, address, etc. based on our requirement.