Course formats: GPS Format

Maintained by Picture of Juergen KappusJürgen Kappus, Picture of Barry OosthuizenBarry Oosthuizen, Ralf Krause - GermanyRalf Krause
The course format „GPS Format“ allows e-learning content to be displayed according to the geo coordinates of the learner. This enables location-based mobile learning.
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Current versions available: 2


The course format „GPS Format“ allows e-learning content to be displayed according to the geo coordinates of the learner.

This enables location-based mobile learning or simple geocaching. Learners who use a GPS enabled Web Browser on a Smartphone could take the advantage of this course format. Location services based on WLAN or the phone providers data will not work well due to missing precision.

In events like a city rally, the learner walks between predefined locations using a smartphone or tablet PC. At these stations the learner gets certain information and tasks that are directly related to the location. All conceivable Moodle content like text, pictures, videos or tests can be used.

The trainer is able to integrate new content at his desktop PC, by simply creating a new Moodle course. The GPS format largely matches the popular topics format. Every topic section can contain different material or activities. In a second step specific topic sections can be assigned to the corresponding GPS coordinates where they should be visible. After the installation of the course format "GPS Format", Moodle courses can be created in the new format and existing courses can be transferred into the new format with only one click.


Demo Video:

The demo video shows the Version 1.2 of the GPS plugin. From the version 1.3 and 1.4 on trainers do the GPS settings a bit different. Following the Moodle standards it is now done directly in the settings of the topics themselves.

Hint: Please be indulgent with my English pronunciation in the demo video. I didn't want to wait for a native speakers help to publish this helpful course format early together with a demo video.

How to install:

Follow the instructions of the Moodle documentation:

The correct path on your Moodle server is:



This is usually an unsupported version of the course format.
If you ask kindly you can contact Barry Oosthuizen who helped us to develop the plugin.
The ka:media Team could also help from time to time.


Background information:

ka:media developed the GPS course format in a „Pro“ version for Totara and its own systems. The focus lies on country-specific learning, mobile learning in large commercial spaces and the efficient training of rescue and delivery services.

The team discovered already in the developing process, that a GPS format will be a very helpful tool for a broad range of users, e.g. teachers or in tourism.

To support the meanwhile great development of Moodle in the area of mobile applications, ka:media decided to publish the GPS format in a version, which is without any fee-based support and can be installed by every Moodle administrator.


Potential privacy issues

Learner has to allow GPS access on his device.


Screenshot #0
Screenshot #1


Picture of Juergen Kappus
Jürgen Kappus (Lead maintainer): Lead maintainer
Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
Barry Oosthuizen: Supporting Developer from the Moodle Community
Ralf Krause - Germany
Ralf Krause: Supporting Developer from the Moodle Community
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  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 8:14 PM
    We well keep the "Android uses WLAN instead of GPS" issue in our internal bug List for the next release - perhaps there is a solution to force the usage of GPS by the browser if enabled in a more strict way.
  • Picture of Wesley Viana
    Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 4:16 AM
    First I would like to thank you for your brilliant idea plugin =]
    I am constantly using plugin in Moodle and would like to get some doubts: I realized that at times the system does not identify my location correct in the "update my position, I would like to know why this occurs. Another question I have is that sometimes when I use a cell phone and a computer in the same location, both with internet, to update my position in both my current location on my cell is different from the computer. Can be an error in the plugin? I have another question, testing more thoroughly realized that the plugin does not work in browser standards of android devices, this error can be corrected at some point?
  • Ralf Krause - Germany
    Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 2:45 PM
    Hello Wesley,
    the geo locating needs to have a device with gps and this works very fine. Geo locating mostly works with computers and other devices connected via wlan. It does not work with computers without gps and without wlan.
    Yes, you will get some small differences between gps and wlan but these should be not far away.
    Jürgen told about some problems with Android devices. I could not see them on my iPad or my iPhone.
  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Sat, Jun 21, 2014, 1:13 AM
    Hello Wesley, hello Ralf,

    we know on some Android Devices/Versions that you are not able to force them to use the GPS sensor in the Web Browser, even if there is one.
    E.g. I had trouble with Google Chrome on Samsung S3.
    Firefox always worked fine on any device.

    If the Browser does not use GPS, the position sometimes is set well, sometimes it is set not well.

    Best way to check if there are browser or device related issues is to open
    If your position is shown correctly in the browser, but the GPS Format doesn't work well, please tell us.

    If shows a wrong position, please try to do the following for testing:
    a) install firefox
    b) check your devices location settings
  • Picture of Wesley Viana
    Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 9:14 AM
    thanks Jürgen Kappus and Ralf Krause.
    I have a few more questions and would like to chat by email. I sent an email with your questions.
    When will be released a new version of the plugin?
  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 3:30 PM
    I was asked for the range in Meters of the GPS area of a restricted topic.
    A: we set it to 50 meters in the free GPS format for Moodle. That means - based on the accuracy of your device a range of 20 meters should be matched correctly on any device.
    Keep in mind this only works when you are outside of buildings.

    A programmer or an admin can change this value in the locallib.php in line 84 for your complete Moodle installation to set up different values:

    " $locationradius = 50; "
  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 3:33 PM
    Data security:
    I was asked to keep learners position data more secure than we already do and not to update it automatically when the course is loaded.
    We will take this suggestion into our TODO list for the next release.

    @all: please feel free to make more suggestions directly here.
  • Picture of Wesley Viana
    Mon, Jul 7, 2014, 7:52 PM
    Hello Jürgen Kappus,
    Thanks for the help
    My suggestion is to update the position when user clicks on "update my position" and then click "update"
    The current version updates the position as follows:
    1) to load a course
    2) by clicking the button "update my position" (updated again)
    3) After click on the button "update my position" click update (updated again)
    I would like to update only when the user clicked on "update my position" and then click "update" (a single update of position). I'm modifying the source code, but I'm not getting any suggestions to help me?
  • Picture of Wesley Viana
    Sun, Sep 7, 2014, 10:39 AM
    Which the date set for the next version of the plugin?
  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Wed, Dec 24, 2014, 12:27 AM
    We just started to work on version 1.4 of the plugin. So we are really open to any bug report or feature suggestion. Feel free to post them here.
  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Fri, Jun 26, 2015, 3:09 PM
    BUG Info: There is a known bug in the format. You can hide Topics from Students based on their location. But single activities within the topics could be accessed if you show activities in the navigation block. Until we fix it, it pays to hide the navigation block completely on course pages that use GPS restrictions.
  • Chris Schembri Baldacchino's Pic
    Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 3:40 PM
    I just came across this plugin and am very interested in trying it out. While I've read that it was "Recently updated for Moodle 3.0", I cannot find the download version for Moodle 3.0. Please advise. Thanks!
  • Picture of Juergen Kappus
    Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 12:33 PM
    The programming is still in progress.
    We will publish the new versio (hopefully) in March.

    The Plugin will then run in Moodle 3.0.x.
    The language files will be cleaned up and will be published im AMOS. So everybody can create and publish own translations of the Plugin.

    We will actually not fix the behavior that a GPS hidden section is still accessible by the standard navigation menue, if the menue in your Moodle installation is set up to show single activities.
  • Ralf Krause - Germany
    Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:45 PM
    Bug report:
    If you access to a course in gps format with the Moodle Mobile app then you will get all sections without any gps restriction.
  • Picture of Adam Conrad
    Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:17 AM
    Hi, Jürgen Kappus, a newbie question...
    Can this module be used to import GPS data from a Satellite pet containment fence?
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