NEW fix for GPS using wifi - INSTANT Lock indoors


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  1. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    So before I start, let me say that I have tried this on my wife's Vibrant and my own captivate I get a lock immediately in google maps.

    After seeing skyhook in the LbsTest settings I decided to look further into what skyhook is. I read the article below:
    Samsung to Put Skyhook on Mobile Devices - Midmarket from eWeek

    So I thought hey... there are lots of wifi networks around where I live I wonder if it would help if I turn my wifi on.

    I get an almost instant lock accurate to 50 meters (good enough for navigation). I have tried it over and over and when I turn off wifi, I get an accuracy of 1700 meters. Turn it back on and get accuracy to 50 meters.

    It works indoors and out.

    EDIT: I just noticed that for this to work YOU MUST HAVE "USE WIRELESS NETWORKS" CHECKED under location and security then turn on Wifi (you don't have to connect to any networks). My guess is it narrows down your location based on Cell tower triangulation, then uses wifi to narrow it down.

    Here is a blury, crapy, video I made of it:
    YouTube - Fix for Captivate/Vibrant GPS issues using Wifi

    Try it yourself!!

    ***Note: SAMSUNG, YOU ARE NOT OFF THE HOOK; YOU STILL NEED TO FIX THE GPS!!!***
     

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  2. sremick

    sremick Well-Known Member

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    No help for those of us in rural areas.

    There needs to be a real fix for GPS... not some bandaid fix using guessed location info from wifi and cell towers.
     
  3. 8th sin

    8th sin Member

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    skyhook still shows my AP at an address I moved out of 4 years ago....probably because I have since stopped broadcasting my SSID. I'm surprised there hasn't been an outcry about a company indexing the coordinates of every AP with a broadcasted SSID. Am I only the only one that feels that's a huge security risk?
     
  4. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I know... this isn't a real fix, but for those in the city, this works great. My GPS problem lately is long lock times but after I get a lock it is fairly accurate. I am using wifi to get going then hopefully the GPS will get a lock by the time I reach somewhere that has not wifi networks.

    8th sin - It's not really relevant to this being a fix; but no. I don't care that skyhook has documented where different wifi networks are. Is knowing that there is a wifi network called 2wire892 on 5th and J in some city going to be a security risk to anyone including the owner of the secured network?
     
  5. getDange

    getDange Well-Known Member

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    You are openly broadcasting your network ID, and that makes it public. They are not trying to break the encryption of your signal.

    This whole skyhook and wifi-assisted GPS and even aGPS - they do not work for me. I want real sat driven triangulated results, not approximation that is wasting my battery and my bracketed 3G network traffic. Samsung better fix this. I do not freaking use GPS on the phone, but whenever i open up Gmaps , the thing starts to indefinitely look for signal and is wasting my battery and 3G on pulling aGPS and skyhook data.
     
  6. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Wow... I'm surprised by everyone's reaction so far. :confused:
    I was excited that I could use navigation when I couldn't before. I usually only use GPS when I am in my car and my phone is plugged in. So the battery waste isn't an issue.

    I am not suggesting this is a replacement for GPS. But if you are in an area where there are wifi networks (secured or not it doesn't matter) this will work for you. I still plan on returning the phone if I don't know when a real GPS fix is coming. But this can get me by until then.

    DID THIS HELP ANYONE? I was expecting a few thank-you's and instead I'm being treated like a troll from Samsung. :eek:
     
  7. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    You can go to settings and under Location and Security, uncheck use wireless networks and use GPS satellites and your phone won't draw any data. Do you only have thee 200mb data plan? If not, how much data do you think this pulls? It isn't much.
     
  8. getDange

    getDange Well-Known Member

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    I hope it is not my post that made you think that:) I was not blaming you for anything. Thanks for your input, someone may find it useful. I however live in a densely populated area (NYC) and this skyhook does not work for me, shows me two blocks off consistently. And most of the time, there is no GPS lock at all een with skyhook. None of the workarounds people suggested around here worked reliably for me.
    Again, most of my harsh words were directed at Sammy, not you:)
     
  9. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    No worries... My post was mostly tongue in cheek. I don't get offended easily.

    I would think this would work better in a well populated area. Remeber, this isn't GPS at all. In GPS test, I still get no lock for several minutes. This is an isntant lock based on triangulation of wifi networks in my area.

    I also just noticed that for this to work YOU MUST HAVE "USE WIRELESS NETWORKS" CHECKED under location and security. My guess is it narrows down your location based on Cell tower triangulation, then uses wifi networks to narrow it down further and pinpoint your location.
     
  10. getDange

    getDange Well-Known Member

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    Skyhook uses only Wifi network names. They have cars drive around saving network names and lat/llongs, just like Google does with Street View, only without the cameras. The Captivate GPS with skyhook enabled may use aGPS (cell towers) complimented with skyhook. In any case this does not work for me at all. And the whole concept is flawed IMHO, Wifi points do not transmit their lat/longs along with their names, so their position is approximated in the first place, and then your location is triangulated based on multiple wifi points. As I said it puts me 2 blocks away from where I actually am, and is not locking on the position reliably. I mean looking with my eyes at street signs is more reliable than this approach.
     
  11. jmreed97

    jmreed97 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Too bad it doesn't work for you...

    According to the article skyhook uses more than wifi:

    "The Core Engine synthesizes data from Skyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), GPS satellites and cell towers with advanced hybrid positioning algorithms. ... Skyhook maintains a worldwide database of cell tower locations, which increases Core Engine coverage area and helps improve GPS satellite acquisition time."

    Since the GPS obviously isn't working, all we get is the cell tower and wifi locations. It's not going to be as accurate but it's working in Sacramento. They need to drive down your street again and recalibrate. :)

    I would think wifi would be very accurate if they keep their database up to date. Wifi networks have a known broadcast range don't they? 100 meters radius or so? And if your phone can see 2wire888, linksys, and Tommy wifi networks, they you must be located somewhere where each of their 100 meter radius circles overlap.

    I made up the numbers and if someone knows more about how wifi works, I am curious what they think.

    I am getting better acuracy with the wifi than with GPS (after waiting for a lock).
     

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