Just when you thought that your location on this planet wasn’t so painstakingly obvious to every single company you come into contact with online, you go on Google Maps and find that somehow Google knows exactly where your house is and points its location out with a little blue dot.
Why Is WiFi Being Used for Geolocation?
WiFi is a solid radio technology that works in any weather with very little interference. This is in stark contrast to GPS satellite technology which could be affected by cloud cover and other aspects that may interfere with the signal’s long journey from outer space. Because of this (along with the fact that people usually don’t relocate their WiFi access points all willy nilly), Wi-Fi can technically be more reliable than GPS for geolocation especially within urban centers.
Try this experiment one day with your smartphone: Open Google Maps and allow it to use WiFi to track your location. See how quickly that happens. Now, try turning your WiFi antenna off. Sometimes the difference in time is minuscule, but if your GPS antenna sucks like mine does, using WiFi to determine your location is not only faster but yields more accurate results within a very short period of time.