Geolocation is a function that provides information about the device’s location, such as latitude and longitude. This information can be obtained by associating a location with Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, Internet Protocol (IP) address, WiFi, Bluetooth MAC address and the ID’s of CDMA/GSM cells.
Geolocation performs two main functions:
- Reports your location to other users
- Associates real-world objects with your location
Mobile devices have a GPS chip inside which allows use of satellite data for calculating exact position. When the GPS data is unavailable, geolocation apps can use the data from cell towers to triangulate your position.
The most popular services using geolocation are:
- Foursquare – A tool used for discovering new locations and events, as well as sharing them with friends.
- Strava – A running tracker that logs route, distance, average speed and adds a little gamification into the process.
- Dark Sky – A weather forecast app that uses radars.
- GasBuddy – A mobile app that helps track the cheapest gas based on users’ ratings.
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