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After recent move, GPS frequently finds my old residence

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by byu 01, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. byu 01

    byu 01 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    A few weeks ago I moved long distance from Indiana to Utah. Since then, I have noticed that my GPS is often telling me that my current location is still in Indiana. I notice this most with my weather apps, which are set to give me weather based on my current location. It is notable that one of these weather apps was never installed on my phone until after I moved to Utah.

    Most of the time, the perceived location is correct. But about every other day, my GPS gets confused and defaults to my old residence. If I touch the GPS icon to refresh my location, it typically will continue to show my old location for a while, but other times it will correct itself to my actual location in Utah.

    Anyone know what is causing this, and how to fix it?

    sirkay0072 likes this.

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Does it happen if you set your location mode to "device only", i.e. using just GPS and not wireless location? My guess is that it's the wireless that's getting it wrong.

    If it only happens when you are near your house it could be your WiFi that's the cause. If your WiFi router is not where Google think it is that could cause the confusion.
    mikedt likes this.
  3. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Occasionally Google gets a location completely wrong. It insisted I was in Romania last week, which is completely the wrong continent.
  4. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
    VIP Member

    There are three sources of location data that are available to determine your position (I'm ignoring the reference to Bluetooth in the 'location mode' options) :-

    1) GPS - which is the most accurate as long as you have an unimpeded radio path to at least 3 GPS satellites, so is usually not available when indoors. This can give accuracy of a metre or less. Essential for navigation whether by car or walking/hiking. When I'm hiking it locates me accurately to the path that I'm following ie. a few feet.

    2) WiFi geolocation - which can give accuracy to a few metres. It utilises the known location of WiFi access points provided by databases built up over time, probably the best known is Google's. I have two WiFi access points at home, the hub and an ethernet connected access point about 20 metres from the hub. It will locate me to whichever one I'm connected to, indicating that both are in the database.

    3) Mobile network geolocation - given by using the location of the mobile network masts that your device is in range of at any moment in time. The accuracy can vary greatly. In my case when I'm at home it 'locates' me 600 metres west of my actual position.

    Some time ago I moved house and naturally took my WiFi hub with me and initially when at home without access to GPS and therefore using WiFi geolocation, my location would show as my previous address. After about 3 to 4 weeks the database clearly had an update as my WiFi geolocation reflected my new location.

    It may be worthwhile looking at your WiFi scanning option :-

    #4 tommo47, Jul 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    Mikestony and Hadron like this.
  5. byu 01

    byu 01 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I don't know... I can't recall if it has happened with WiFi turned off, but I'll try that out and see if it continues. I took a look at some of the screenshots I saved and noticed that in each one the WiFi was on.

    That's interesting that it would determine location based on the WiFi, but why then does the WiFi think it is still at my old house (and how do I fix that)? Also, if it is getting location from my router, why is it that my phone will sometimes correct itself within a few seconds and show the right location?
  6. byu 01

    byu 01 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    That may be true, but this is happening consistently. About once a day it tells me I'm still at my old house; whether it does that for a few seconds or minutes is variable. It does not give me a location I haven't been.
  7. byu 01

    byu 01 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I will say that when I am driving and using a navigation app, the location is pretty accurate, so perhaps it is making this error just with the WiFi. Sounds like you had a similar experience. I've been at my current residence for just over 3 weeks now, so maybe I won't have this issue much longer. I checked the WiFi scanning option as you suggested, which is turned on.
  8. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
    VIP Member

    Hi, there is a Feedback option in Google Maps (tap the 3 bar menu button) which you could try :-

    Screenshot_20170724-062507.png Screenshot_20170724-062526.png Screenshot_20170724-062548.png Screenshot_20170724-062559.png

    Whether Google takes any notice of it is a different matter but give it a try.

    Apparently Google no longer use the 'Street Car' to update the database.

    You could also make sure that you use 'High accuracy' mode all the time because if your GPS location kicks in occasionally at home, as mine does, this can help to update the new location of your hub/router in Google's database.

    (We have a glass roofed extension which does allow GPS to lock on).
    #8 tommo47, Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    It's not where your WiFi thinks it is, it's where Google think your WiFi router is. You've just moved, so their information is out of date.
    tommo47 likes this.
  10. byu 01

    byu 01 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the additional info. For what it's worth, I left WiFi turned off overnight, and in the morning today my weather apps were showing the right location. However, when I opened Google Maps, it initially went to my old address, but within a second or two it corrected itself to my current location. I will continue to leave my WiFi turned off to see if this persists.
  11. byu 01

    byu 01 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Sorry for the delay, but I thought I'd provide an update for anyone else who might encounter this thread and find it helpful... Sometime shortly after my last post, my phone's GPS quit defaulting to my old address. So I guess it just takes a few weeks, but it eventually works itself out. It's possible it could have been doing this only with the router, but there wasn't enough time for me to figure that out. Thanks everyone for your help!
    tommo47 and Hadron like this.
  12. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
    VIP Member

    I'm glad it's resolved. As I mentioned in my previous post it took about 4 weeks for the WiFi location database to be updated last time I moved.

    I currently have two WiFi access points, the BT hub and an ethernet connected remote access point about 20 metres away. They are both in the database as my location depends on which access point is within range.
    #12 tommo47, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Checking up....nope, Google location is still consistently completely wrong for me.

    I usually use Baidu or Bing maps.

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