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What GPS do not use GPS satellite?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by spman, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Is there any gps function/app that uses handphone data and do not require use of gps satellite?

    I need it so that when I reach places that I cannot connect to gps satellite, I can use the handphone data plan for gps.

    Thanks
    S4 user
     



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  2. Huh?
    You either use GPS or you don't.
    GPS stands for Geo Positioning Satellite system.
    So if you "reach places that [you] cannot connect to satellite", step outside, so that you can connect to satellite.
    GPS does not work indoors or underground. It requires line-of-sight with at least a handful of GPS satellites.
     
    spman likes this.
  3. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    If I am not wrong, position can be found by just using mobile base locations or something related to mobile signals, but I am not sure how it works or what apps can do it, if anyone knows please advise.
     
  4. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    Your rough location can be gained from what cell towers you are connected to, but this is not nearly as accurate as gps
     
  5. gtbarry

    gtbarry Android Expert

    GPS is GPS and the most accurate way to know where you are anywhere on the planet as long as you can see four of the thirty-ish satellites. Three satellites can be considered a signal still, but less accurate.

    Saying "I can use the handphone data plan for gps" is the issue. You cannot have GPS without the satellites. But you can get cell tower location and known wifi positions to randomly guess with general and unreliable certainty.

    This is how GPS works: GPS, relativity, and nuclear detection - YouTube
     
    spman likes this.
  6. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I wanted to know if there is anything/app on the smartphone that can act like a gps when there is no GPS satallites connection around?

    I mean if it uses other stuff like cell tower location and known wifi positions and not so accurate, I am fine with it.

    I am always using a real GPS device, but sometimes my GPS cannot get any satallite signal. That is why I wanted the smartphone to turn into a GPS without using satallite. I am using as an alternative when my real GPS is down.
     
  7. gtbarry

    gtbarry Android Expert

    Apps like google maps and Waze will guess your current location when they lose a GPS signal. They will work off the last known GPS signal and then guess based on wifi, cell tower, etc. Not accurate at all.

    But a dedicated app that only uses non-GPS sources for location data? Can't think of one. Sorry.
     
    spman likes this.
  8. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    Almost any app that uses your location will use your rough location from cell towers when you have your GPS radio off.

    There shouldn't be any new apps needed, just shut off your GPS radio
     
    spman likes this.
  9. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    When you are using GPS apps that uses satallite and when they lose satallite and begin use your rough location from cell tower, does the app tell that they are using location from cell towers?
     
  10. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    Open up your map application with your gps radio on.

    It'll get a lock and display where you are with the little triangle.

    Now close maps, shut off your GPS, and open it back up.

    It won't get a lock, and you'll have a huge blue circle around the little triangle. That's the rough location its pinned you to based on your cell towers.

    (Make sure WiFi is off during this test)
     
    Petrah, Hadron and spman like this.
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I'm confused. :thinking: My brain hurts.
     
  12. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Your location may be off by as much as a mile if you don't use satellites.
     
    spman likes this.
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Sometimes my location can be off by as much as 2,500 km if I don't use satellites.

    Friends, use satellites, you know it makes sense! :thumb:
     
    spman likes this.
  14. In my daily experience (civilian!) GPS positioning is accurate within 10 metres/30 feet, while cell tower triangulation is off by between 400 and 800 metres/a quarter to half a mile.

    US military GPS is accurate up to 6 inches, in 3 axis. 'They' can land e.g. FA-18 fighter jets "hands off"
     
    spman likes this.
  15. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert

    I think the problem that the OP needs to solve is why his phone isn't locking on to the GPS satellites. Unless you're driving around underground, your phone should be lock onto GPS satellites. My LG Optimus S used to have problems locking onto GPS until I did an OS update. Now I never have that problem.
     
    spman likes this.
  16. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I actually use a standalone GPS device (not smartphone) for driving. Sometimes the standalone GPS cannot connect to the satellite e.g. tunnel, underpass, covered areas...

    So I wanted a solution to get "GPS" (directions to my destination) when the standalone GPS is not working, and I thought of using smartphone to work as a GPS without connecting to GPS satellite. If the standalone GPS device cannot connect to satellite, I assume the smartphone GPS also cannot connect to the satellite, so I was searching for something/app using data plan on smartphone to work like a GPS.
     
  17. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The S4 should have GLONASS as well as GPS, so if you can see the sky there ought not to be a problem getting a location.
     
    spman likes this.
  18. divinebovine

    divinebovine Android Expert

    I've found that phones are much better at getting a good lock on GPS signals than standalone GPS units I've owned. Granted my GPS units were old, but I think phone can combine a lot more data, whereas a standalone GPS can only use GPS signals. Have you tried your phone's GPS when your standalone GPS failed?

    Edit: To elaborate on that...for a standalone GPS to get a lock it needs at least 4 VERY good satellite signals, and some need more (and some can get an approximate location on 3 very good signals). GPS signals don't carry location data; they identify the location of the satellite they come from and tell what time it is, down to the millisecond, and the GPS unit then does a bunch of crazy math based on the speed of light and the satellite's orbit and such to calculate how long it took the signal to arrive; by comparing that time data with the data from other satellites it can figure out your location. A phone can pull cell tower triangulation to get the general area and more importantly a better idea of exactly what time it is, severely reducing the volume of satellite data necessary as well as the time it takes to locate. That's all theory; I don't know if that's how the technology is actually designed, but it would explain the much better performance I see in phones.
     
    spman likes this.
  19. gtbarry

    gtbarry Android Expert

    Phones use assisted GPS - hence the ability to get a mostly accurate position with only three satellites. Assisted GPS takes the triangulation and combines it with wifi/cell data to pinpoint you.

    For some reason GPS devices don't build in wifi and therefore require four satellites.
     
    spman likes this.
  20. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Is there an option to select GLONASS or GPS in S4? Which is better?
     
  21. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    It will use both. Nothing for you to select.
     
    spman likes this.
  22. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I heard of another term called AGPS, I am not exactly sure what it does, is it better than GPS?

    Does S4 also uses AGPS? Where to turn it on/off?
     
  23. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
    VIP Member

    What is AGPS How Does it Work

    As stated in the S4 spec, it uses AGPS and also has GLONASS.

    When 'GPS' is active on your device, the original GPS and the recently added GLONASS search for their respective satellites, assisted by AGPS.

    :)
     
    spman likes this.
  24. spman

    spman Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Is there any apps/maps that can operate by using AGPS alone? That means even if I off the GPS function on my phone, I can still get turn by turn navigation even in areas where I cannot connect to satellite.

    Can Google Navigation operate without GPS function (without connecting to satellite) and rely on AGPS (using cell data/cellular towers) only?
     
  25. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    TBH it doesn't really matter if the GPS can't receive satellites in a tunnel. You go in one end, you come out the other, it's rather difficult to get lost. ;)

    What's covered areas? Something like an underground car park? Turn-by-turn directions aren't really going to help you here anyway.

    As soon as you're out in the open, the GPS receives the satellite signals and you're back in business.
     
    spman likes this.
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