Technology

Errors With Cellular GPS

Why GPS Tracking On Mobile Phones Can Have Problems

If you are like me you probably use your iPhone or some other brand of smart phone for just about everything. Talking with friends on Facebook, setting appointments on the calendar, posting tweets, playing Words With Friends, checking the weather report, reading Google News and about a million other things are what I do on my phone. Occasionally, I will even place a phone call! Although smart phones have the capability to offer so much to consumers and work professionals, those wanting to use their phones as a tool for monitoring driving activity through the GPS tracker chip inside every phone will find many errors and problems. The reason for this is something called cellular triangulation of position.

What Is Cellular Triangulation?

Without getting all technical and mathematical, the best way to explain cellular triangulation is that it basically refers to the use of cellular towers and cellular signals to pinpoint location. This is much different than the locational information gathered through satellite monitoring technology that tends to offer precise positional data as close as 2.5 meters. Since cellular triangulation is the method that so-called “GPS tracking” apps on cell phones utilize, it is easy to see why they are often times so inaccurate. And anyone who has ever had a dropped call or found themselves in a area with poor coverage can attest to this. Not to mention, those who have been taken to a wrong address using a mapping program such as Google Maps on a cell phone for directions Accuracy Matters Businesses trying to keep a closer eye on work trucks or parents wanting to monitor where their teenager is driving simply can’t afford relying on a app that used cellular triangulation to obtain locational data. These apps are more for recreational use than actual fleet tracking management or personal security. This because the above mentioned accuracy issues, and the simple fact that the apps do not provide detailed driving report history. History that includes addresses a person stopped at, the speeds they drove and length of time they were at each particular location. Smart phones can do just about anything, but when it comes to providing real-time GPS tracker data that is consistent and reliable, the mobile communication devices come up way short compared to portable GPS vehicle trackers. This in no way is a warning to stop using Google Maps, Around Me or any of the other popular smart phone applications that call upon cellular triangulation to provide data, but simply a statement to inform. Inform that they should not totally be depended on because this data could have errors due to a number of factors related to telecommunications and cellular technology. The problem with the so called GPS tracking technology manufactured inside every mobile phone is that many do not actually utilize locational data from the satellites orbiting the Earth. This results in potential inaccuracies and questionable data. This is certainly not a circumstance any business concerned about employee activity, parent wanting to monitor the speed their teen driver is going or family concerned about the welfare of senior would want to worry about. The reality is that there are a lot of great apps for mobile phones that utilize cellular GPS and many of these apps have a significant amount of value. The problem though is that these apps and this form of technology really should not be the first line of defense when it comes to a very important application such as elderly or teen safety.

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