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Location Tracking Accuracy

Empower Location Tracking tracks an approximate location from a variety of databases based on the data it receives.

During our testing we have found  that location accuracy is improved in newer devices

  • with the device's Wifi turned on 
  • when stationary
  • in urban areas with multiple public and private Wifi routers.   Mobile phone towers are typically closer together which adds to accuracy.



Empower has found native Android browsers to be significantly less accurate without Wifi turned on.

Without it accuracy can numbers in the +/- 1000 meter range. With Wifi on and in a downtown area, the accuracy should be much better.


If Wifi is turned off on the device, Empower Location Tracking will approximate the location by other methods, including


  • Public IP address

    Public IP addresses databases usually return a location for your internet provider's Point of Presence.  So a Public IP address is usually only good enough to locate you to a particular city, or a general area of the city, or a country depending on where you are in the world.


  • Mobile Phone tower triangulation

    Accuracy depends on what type of information your particular device, browser and Telco provider provides. Some devices, particularly older iPhones and iPads, only return information on the current tower the device is pinging, which makes triangulation very difficult and decreases accuracy to within a radius around that tower.


  • GPS

          This uses satellite data to calculate the position. 
          Satellite data needs a clear view of the sky (satellite) so may not work particularly well indoors. 

          For browsers or devices that don’t use GPS, accuracy will suffer significantly.



Being stationary in an urban area offers far better accuracy than when you are moving, particularly at speeds greater than 80km per hour.



Urban/Rural Areas

Empower GPS Tracking in rural areas is less accurate. If Wifi is turned on but the user is not near any Wifi access points, then it fallback to the methods mentioned above.  Triangulation can be much more difficult in rural areas where mobile phone towers are spread further apart, and for browsers that don’t use GPS the accuracy will suffer significantly.


See also 
Location Tracking

See also