The lowdown on location tracking
GPS tracking is one of the most used feature on your smartphone- whether we realise it or not. GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) based tracking is most used by the map on your phone- to provide you directions and navigational help.
The accuracy with which your location is pinpointed on a map is amazing and as a user, we do not often need to know more. This post is for those who are curious to know more and indeed those who use our CRM to track their sales or service team.
GPS is not the only way- simply most accurate
As you switch on your phone and connect to the internet, there are ways your location can be found- though not as accurately as with a GPS. Your WiFi gives away your location, as does your mobile connection. The mobile base station to which you are connected knows you!
GPS does not need the internet
The biggest fallacy we have in our head is that GPS needs the internet. It does not. It requires your phone’s hardware to establish track with 3 or more satellites circling overhead. The moment it does that, it can establish your “Geo-location”- basically where you are on planet earth- with a fair degree of accuracy. Commercial satellites give you around 20 metres accuracy. The more colloquial term for geo-location is “Lat-Long”- short for Latitude and Longitude. These are the co-ordinates that your phone is provided by the satellites.
GPS has no connection with a map
GPS does not know your physical address; the way you or I understand addresses. It does not know 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from 10 Downing Street. That is where Google (or similar map providers) come in. They have a map of every little corner of the world with forever improving details and accuracy. It is they who provide the correlation between the GPS co-ordinate provided by your phone and your physical location. The map providers interpret the Lat-Long data to tell you that you are standing in Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
To interpret the Lat Long data, you need internet connection
When you open Google Maps, it checks for your Lat Long data in the phone and checks with its servers about what the corresponding address is. If your internet connection is off, Google Maps will not be able to get the answer.
But what if there is no GPS signal to get the location data in the first place?
Then Google maps will give you erratic and erroneous data. It might have the last stored Lat Long data in your phone, which may be in reality a few meters to a hundreds of kilometers away. How many of you have experienced driving on the highway, navigating on Google maps and suddenly you hear this “GPS signal lost”, and your phone displays “Searching for GPS”? All of us, right?
How Saleswah CRM users are affected by location tracking
We use the combination of GPS co-ordinates and Google Maps to provide direction assistance and location tracking to field sales and support people using our CRM.
Several things can go wrong
- Your phone may not have location tracking on. So, no Lat Long data and without that no map assistance. You will see a message like- “Sorry, your location is not found”
It is important to understand that you may get the same message even if your location tracking is turned on but your phone has lost connection with satellites. It can happen. And if you click through to this link, you shall find that this issue can afflict Google Maps as well!
There may be several solutions- but, usually this issue itself is temporary and the GPS tracking resumes after some time. Understand that GPS is provided by your phone hardware. Apps (whether Google Maps or Saleswah CRM) only access the provided GPS to guide you.
2. Your internet connection on your phone may not be working
If that is the case, your Lat Long will not be interpreted as a physical address. And your location on the map will be erroneous.
It is very rare for it to be the fault of the software. There, I said it!
While it is tempting to think the software is at fault- many times, it is not. The good news is that GPS problems resolve soon. And we do have a responsive customer care, if everything else fails.