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Old 07-02-2013, 01:05 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 9,005,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
I don't know why people think i am worried about being tracked. This thread is not of that flavor.

I am simply asking if I can see my position on google maps or navigation or whatever mapping program while GPS is OFF. It seems I could; I just want to know if the location information is provided to the mapping tool via some other source besides GPS. That's it. It sounds like it is via cell triangulation. I am just interested in this for the sake of technical interest. My next questions would be how much less accurate is the triangulation method of determining position than the GPS is?

in other words, if GPS is off, how accurate is my position on Google Maps? Are we talking 50 feet, 500 feet. one mile?
Generally speaking, depending on where you are, it can be 1000 meters or so (give or take 200 or so). At the street level, it will be less accurate than GPS positioning for obvious reasons.

I tend to run without GPS on as I think WIFI or Cellular does a fine job for most stuff especially at the map level.

In my professional experience, its when you start getting away from denser areas that the data can be stretched out a bit further due to cell proximity. For example out in rural or flatter areas in the mid west, towers are spead a bit more because of little to no obstruction from natural formations.

You and I in Southern California and have a more dynamic terrain so that in of itself produces its own challenges. This is why during heavy traffic time, if you are going through a valley or pass, calls can drop due to the ups and downs, how many users on one tower at a time before handing off to the next available tower.

I would say, definitely leave the GPS off on your phone if it is tracking on Maps effectively. You may save more juice in your battery this way. Although that is strange that it was still working even though you turned it off.

Keep trying it with it being off and let us know if is in fact still working. Technically, if you shut it off from the UI, then it should NOT track you in the app. That seemed kind of weird unless there is a setting within the WIFI portion of the app. I cant recall as I have not used Touch Wiz in quite a while.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:09 PM
 
16,719 posts, read 15,126,886 times
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All mobile phones these days have internal GPS that cannot be turned off, for emergency responders and the like.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post

in other words, if GPS is off, how accurate is my position on Google Maps? Are we talking 50 feet, 500 feet. one mile?
It really depends upon what other sources are available. If Google location (Wi-Fi and network) is running along with the tower locations, and you are in the right area (where the Wi-Fi location database is large), it may be able to calculate the position within a few feet, but it's probably going to vary dramatically based on where you are.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,825 posts, read 13,964,257 times
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Triangulation is way less accurate but it works well enough in GOogle maps when you are driving because the maps app knows you are driving so it puts your little car icon on the road even if the signal isn't quite dead on. Does that make sense?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
7,817 posts, read 4,262,580 times
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Law Enforcement can supposedly do this, even when your phone is turned off, they have
used this information in at least a couple cases to find criminals (to help disprove alibi and convict of murder in at least one case.)
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