Use GPS and Geolocation services on smart mobile devices

Just wonder how a website or a Mobile app can get your real and exact location. There are number of ways to perform geolocation services on smart mobile devices in school days we all have heard about latitudes and longitudes. Yes, these latitudes and longitudes are a measure that helps these websites and applications to fetch your location. Now, the query is that how an application or a system get your exact latitude and longitude? The answer to this lies in Working of Global Positioning System (GPS) Satellites and the information they provide.

There are approximately 30 active satellites that are orbiting Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km. It was developed by the USA for military navigation and now it is available for everyone. These satellites provide data about your location traces, and companies providing navigation or geolocation services on smart mobile devices convert that data in the form it can be interpreted in devices supporting navigation system. These companies also provide its facilities to smaller organisations in the form of geolocation services on smart mobile devices. These geolocation scripts require the exact values of latitude and longitude as input and then these scripts provide us the detailed information of location and it is further used by the website or that mobile application to show us. Here below is a snapshot of Google’s API showing all information about the location from where the application tracks you.

What helps these applications to track a location – geolocation services on smart mobile devices?

There are a number of assets in your device, the internet connection you use that help a web application to track a location. Here is the list of those assets that help in performing geolocation.
  • IP (Internet Protocol) Address – IP Address provides a set of information about location including country, region, city, zip code, latitude-longitude, and time zone. If searched deeply, it can reveal information like domain name, connection speed, ISP, proxies, company name.
  • MAC (Media Access Control) Address – MAC Address is unique identifier given to network interfaces for communications. It is used as a network address for most of the network technologies.
  • RFID  – RFID(Radio Frequency Identification), used by our devices to transfer data and tracking tags attached to an object, is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields.
  • Production Number – A number is given to a device while production to identify device’s information about its production and configuration. This number helps to find its built date, location, time etc.
  • Embedded software Number – Unique number is given to the software that is preinstalled on our devices to identify the device and verify the software.
  • Invoice – It is receipt generated when we buy a device and it registered in companies providing that device.
  • Wi-Fi Positioning System – It is used where GPS is inadequate due to various causes includes multipath and signal blockage indoors.
  • Canvas Fingerprinting – It is a technique to track online users that allow websites to uniquely identify and track visitors of the website using HTML5 canvas element instead of browser cookies of the computer.
  • GPS coordinates – It provides detail of device’s location in terms of latitude and longitude.
  • Self-Provided Information – It is the information that we manually provide to web application about your location like a neighbourhood, street number, pin code or postal code etc.


How can GPS Satellite be so correct about our location?

Every GPS satellite revolves twice a day. During their revolution, they regularly send low-power radio signal onto earth. When your GPS navigation device gets in range to the satellite signals it measures the time it took the signal to reach the device. To pinpoint the location of the device it must be in the range of at least three satellites. If the device in range of four satellites than it can your altitude too. Then the information given by satellite is cross-referenced to that map database provided on the GPS unit. This map database is one which provides the names of the roads and labels the buildings.


Tip for personal use

To ensure you get the accurate location your navigation unit i.e. your mobile phone, tablet etc should be in an open area so that your device can receive proper signals from satellite without being reflected or hindered.
GPS navigation offers a great help to every individual using smartphones or other devices. It could be the only trustworthy thing when you are in some new city or country knowing no one else.

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