In a world that’s more and more interconnected, the GPS geolocation is a fundamental tool.
This is present in every kind of mobile device, whether if it’s a smartphone, a tablet or PC, but what do we mean with GPS geolocation? What is its aim and how does it work?
In order to answer these questions, we thought about deepening the matter, also to complete the discussion already began concerning how to locate a cellphone.
What’s the GPS geolocation?
Geolocation is the identification of a geographic position of a specific object in the world, so a cellphone or a computer: basically, it’s a synonym for RTLS, which means Real Time Location Systems.
This location happens according to various techniques, every one of them follows the same goal: to identify and locate the geographic location of a mobile device.
Geolocation occurs through GPS technology, an acronic that indicates the English Global Positioning System.
This technology is integrated on every mobile device: Android, iOS and Windows Phone have it on every single device.
The GPS tech permits to determine with precision the geographic location, not only of the mobile device, but especially of the person of whom it belongs.
Geolocation and IoT
Thanks to this system, than, it’s possible to locate people, animals, means and objects in real time and with an incredibile precision.
The purpose is to view with personal computers or mobile devices a dashboard, through which we can monitor and keep under control location and movements of people, animals or things, such as goods, for example.
Here, then, that geolocation triggers a traceability that offers fundamental and strategic information for management and allows you to create new services.
Use of GPS geolocation
Geolocation technology is used in different fields:
- in the production and distribution of goods, it’s used to monitor material goods and their movements and production processes in their development;
- in the medical field, it permits to check the patients process both in walking and bedding, but also to locate the medical equipments;
- in the business field, geolocation is used by the employees to speed up the identification and localization of equipments and machines;
- in the management of goods, its purpose is to optimize the management of the inventory and classification phases, tracing the precise positioning of the goods;
- in agricolture, geolocation allows to identify the grazing animals or the ones in the barn, and to make the supply chain more complete.
In conclusion, every object that has a GPS tracker fits in the RTLS system and it is provided with a tag or a RFID transponder, which allows the correct localization.
An application of context-sensitive devices could be an alternative, which would define their position via GPS.
Both tag and georeferenced device have within them the unambiguous identity of an object and further additional information, such as the last localization in a certain moment, the origin of a product or the mantenance status and so on.
The real time location of an object and the history contained in the tag or in the device communicate the available data, through which you can map the location of the object itself.
How does geolocation work
Geolocation technologies are are different for the used system and the obtainable results.
The Active RFID location tracking solution system, for example, uses UWB frequencies (ultra wide band frequencies), and is based on the direct measurement of the propagation time of a radio signal from tag to multiple receivers. This propagation time is called time of fly and its calculation permits to triangulate the tag position in the space.
GPS geolocation, in particular, permits to give the position of an object, because this one is connceted to the satellite, communicating its spatial coordinates.
An alternative is the Assisted GSP or A-GPS, which represents a solution that allows to exchange information with satellites and cellphones, supported by a location server: basically, it’s a version of a more reliable GPS. This system has the advantage of worldwide identification without using Gsm or similar networks and guarantees coverage at every point only through connection to the satellite network.
In this way, it’s possible to preotect people, animals and material goods, wherever they are!
Other geolocation technologies are the ones based on the Wifi net or the Beacon, which uses LTE bluetooth and hot spot technology , that together make up the Blufi Gateways control infrastructure.
Nowadays, it’s possible to trace back a cellphone location by identifying the cell present in the phone or telematic record, in order to make the identification as precise as possible.
In particular, the cell network is an irregular and discontinuous portion of territory, that follows the orography, without respecting a precise geometric coverage.
Being under such coverage is a necessary condition in order to use the cell that provides it, therefore a cell that connects to a specific cell might be in one of the points that are under that specific cell: this means that we have the possibility to find out the location.
The accuracy of the position is obviously greater, the smaller is the surface covered by the cell, as in the case of urban microcells, while in an extra-urban environment it will be easier to come across macrocells.
We’ve already mentioned how GPS geolocation technology is used in order to trace the position of people, animals and goods, for safety reasons or for production reasons or more strictly business reasons.
Today, there are many governments that have adopted or are adopting mechanisms for GPS geolocation of their citizens, designed for the protection of their safety and health, for the repression of crimes or for monitoring situations that require more strict controls.
It’s a fundemental approach especially to manage emergency situations and of particular interest also for the judicial authority in the investigation field.