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Accurate WiFi Positioning?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Dremmer, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Dremmer

    Dremmer Lurker
    Thread Starter

    My goal is to use my smartphone to be able to plot a course while walking, accurate within 1' or so.

    I'm trying to make a trail map through very dense forest and uneven terrain.

    GPS has not proven to be accurate enough to provide the detail i need to plan future trails.

    I'm curious about using WiFi positioning, possibly with the aid of a couple other phones providing hotspots for even more accurate positioning.

    Given my goal, does this seem like a plausible way to get what I need?
    Does a system/app like this exist yet?
    Is there a better way I haven't considered yet?

    Thanks for any help

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  2. dvhttn

    dvhttn Android Expert

    Ummm, this may be a silly question but where is the wifi coming from in "dense forest"....?
  3. electricpete

    electricpete Android Expert

    1-what he asked
    2-The wifi input to Google's position algorithm is go/no-...are you within range of a given wifi ir not. But wifi had a range of maybe 30-100 feet, depending on router
    3-and how does Google assign a lat/long location to a wifi router to begin with ? By looking at reported gps reading of some phone that is sensing that wifi. So it's not likely that Google can know wifi location better than accuracy of that phone's gps

    I'm not sure I have the full idea of what you have in mind. Certainly there is a lot that could be done by carefully examining wifi signal with precise knowledge of router characteristics and location. I think there is some research going on with that but no apps to my knowledge. And certainly not using Google location service.
  4. Dremmer

    Dremmer Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Mobile Hotspot in my case.
    See I got to thinking, Android has an option in location settings to use available wireless networks, to more accurately pinpoint your location.

    I'm wondering if anyone's used this technology to develop a way to chart an accurate track, using WiFi instead of GPS.

    The potential is there, i'm just not thinking there's enough of a demand for real accurate tracking (<1'), yet.

    But hey it don't hurt to ask about it right
  5. Dremmer

    Dremmer Lurker
    Thread Starter

    K guess i shoulda refreshed the page before typing my reply.

    I now have a better understanding of google's wifi database, an see that's not an option..

    I kinda thought it measured strength of signal an determined distance somehow..

    So it'd have to be a stand alone product, but i still think it could be done
  6. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    GPS is still better. The problem with the GPS on phones is the quality of the antenna and it's size. You can probably buy a bluetooth GPS receiver. Not sure what apps work with those though.
  7. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
    VIP Member

    Hi Dremmer, if you are not within range of at least three mobile network masts (approx 3/4 square mile accuracy) or have an internet connection via wifi to provide geolocation determined by your ip address (from what I understand, accuracy depends on how many router/access points are in range) you have to rely on GPS which, from my experience, has always been sufficiently accurate and reliable to pick up and follow paths and trails when out hill walking using an appropriate app eg. OsmAnd.

    With OsmAnd you can also create your own cross country path/trail/route and store it as a GPX file.

    My Tracks will plot your progress as you walk, and again you can save it as a GPX file and export it to any GPX compatible navigation app.
  8. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert

    As a practical matter, there is no way to make WiFi location-detection anywhere near as accurate as GPS. Even if you knew the EXACT location of the WiFi routers, and even if your phone could discern the signal strength to that kind of accuracy (which it can't):
    1) WiFi routers typically vary their signal strength based on the needs of the clients.
    2) The radio environment isn't perfectly clean so your detection system would be prone to constant interference from other sources.
    3) The signal strength would change unpredictably with every step due to the different reflection patterns.
  9. PiscesCloud

    PiscesCloud Android Enthusiast


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