If GPS is disabled, how's it deterine your location on google maps?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by cisco0910, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. cisco0910
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    cisco0910 New Member

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    Im guessing it's from the cell phone tower. Is this correct? anybody know?
  2. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    Yes you are correct. Approximate location by cell towers.
  3. cisco0910
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    cisco0910 New Member

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    ok, so is the location on the map where it shows my location where a cell phone tower is? or is my location determined by using multiple towers and approximates your location somehow like that. me and a buddy are discussing it as we speak and we don't know for sure.
  4. Malvado
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    Malvado DF News Team/Mod Premium Member

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    if gps isnt on, google wont be able to say ur exact location...mine was always off by a block or two
  5. cisco0910
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    cisco0910 New Member

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    i realize it can't find exact location. question is hows it determine the location it puts you in? thnx
  6. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    This.

    Not sure if it's one or multiple cell towers at a time. I dont think you can be connected to more than one tower at a time, but I'm not 100% sure. If you'll notice, Google Maps shows your position as a big blue circle, meaning you're somewhere inside the radius of that cell tower's comm range.
  7. cisco0910
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    cisco0910 New Member

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    yea, i noticed the big blue circle. I'm definitely in the blue circle as i just tried it. Looking at the circle, it's approximately 1/4-1/2 wide.

    Dang, so nobody knows a definite answer.
  8. LtKen
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    LtKen New Member

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    After a discussion with my other nerdly friends, we've decided that you CANNOT be connected to more than one cell tower at a time. Triangulation occurs by passing the signal from one cell tower to the next.

    Connecting to multiple towers at once would require multiple transmission devices in your phone, which does not exist. If it did, people with heavy tower coverage could do voice and data at the same time in CDMA networks.
  9. gentlefury
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    gentlefury New Member

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    Actually CDMA is built around multi-tower communication, that is why hand-offs don't cause dropped calls like GSM (which is single tower based)
  10. LMac8806
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    LMac8806 New Member

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    Triangulation using towers?
  11. nerdbox08
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    nerdbox08 New Member

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    If you don't have GPS turned on, it will attempt to triangulate your location via the nearest available towers. Yes, it can access multiple towers at once to attempt this.

    The more towers available, the better the 'location'. So if you have one tower available, it will be harder to determine your location and it will give you a best guess.
  12. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    I thought we gave an answer.:) Its called a thread for a reason, maybe somebody will come along with a more detailed explanation.
  13. cisco0910
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    cisco0910 New Member

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    good info folks. Me personally, i always have gps enabled, i'd just like to know how stuff like this works. knowledge is power, lol.
  14. jstafford1
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    jstafford1 DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    If you are stationary it will show you closer to the nearest tower, with the big blue circle. Once you start moving it will get a better fix on you and be more accurate.
  15. gprichardson1
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    gprichardson1 New Member

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    Ok, I must be doing something wrong. In my Droid settings for My Location I have both wifi and GPS disabled. I then go into Google Maps, open the menu, and click on "My Location". I get a message that says "Please enable a My Location source in system settings". How do I get Google Maps to find my location like you all are doing via the cell signal?

    EDIT: Ahh, nevermind. "Wireless Networks" under the My Locations setting doesn't mean Wifi does it? Duh.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  16. nerdbox08
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    nerdbox08 New Member

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    Getting ready to answer, good thing I saw the edit :p
  17. jaste
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    jaste New Member

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    From my experience with a Droid it can locate by tower location, wifi location database (like Skyhook but Google's implementation), and GPS. Location accuracy seems to be on the order of miles for tower, 100's of feet for wifi and 10's of feet for GPS. I have never seen it triangulate towers - it always centers on a specific tower.
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