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Google location services accuracy

Problem--Google location services things I'm never home--apparently I'm 100 yards away in the neighbors back yard most of the time. If Google Location Services uses GPS on my phone and the GPS is accurate why is Google Location Services so bad at knowing where I am?

Testing...
1. I've got location set to high accuracy on my LG L34C.
2. I just downloaded a GPS test app that gave me my longitude and latitude. I plugged the numbers into Google Maps and it showed me in my living room--correct. I got my stand alone TomTom from the car and brought it in and got the longitude and latitude it reported and put those numbers in Google Maps and again--in my living room. They're withing 6 feet of each other.

 

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#1 Lamont Sanford, Jun 22, 2015
To be clear, is this what you see if you open Google Maps, or if you look at the location history on the web, or both?

If Maps is showing the wrong location, try a little experiment: set your location settings to "device only" and then see where that app shows you to be. If your location improves then you have a answer: in that case they have an error in their wireless locations map (what WiFi/tower is where) and that's distorting their measurement.

If Maps shows the right location but the history thing doesn't, then that will imply that they are only using the wireless location ("low power") for that - which is what I'd expect, given the power drain of running GPS semi-continuously.
 
#2 Hadron, Jun 23, 2015
Are you certain Google is actually using GPS and has a position fix from it?
FWIW if Google location is just depending on WiFi rather than GPS, I've found it can be off by upto 9000km before now. So 100metres might be pretty good.
 
#3 mikedt, Jun 23, 2015
On my M9, when I switch Location Services from Off to On, I get the 'Agree/Disagree to anonymous data being sent' pop-up. If I opt for Disagree the Mode is set to 'Device only', so from that I conclude that GPS location is not utilised for 'Google location services'.
 
#4 tommo47, Jun 23, 2015
Good questions. I mean when I, using my laptop, go to Google Location History web page it shows I've been in my neighbors back yard all day. :) This is new to me so I still find it neat to see where it thinks I've been.

You ask if Maps is showing my location wrong and I guess you mean the Google Maps app on my phone. I haven't done much with that as I use my TomTom. I just tried it and it shows my location perfectly correct.

So, I take it Google Location services has decided to approximate my location w/o using gps despite having it set to high accuracy.

So why bother with Google Location services? I don't really care to see where I've been it was just a curiosity and I thought that was necessary for it to tell me what was nearby and give me location based reminders--which so far haven't worked but like 1 in 10 times. I can do without location too based reminders given they are not reliable. I would like to be able to find say and ATM near me.
 
#5 Lamont Sanford, Jun 23, 2015
I Agree when asked.
 
#6 Lamont Sanford, Jun 23, 2015
OK, thought that would be the case. They are using either cell towers or WiFi to locate you, and either their mapping of thise things is off or they are being fooled by reflections. It is only approximate, but for many purposes (e.g. local weather reporting) that's fine. And when you start up the Maps app that then locates you accurately.

To be honest you would complain loudly if Google's location service used high accuracy all of the time, because that would run your battery flat in a few hours!

(And I admit that I personally use device only because I see no reason to share my location with Google ;))
 
#7 Hadron, Jun 23, 2015
At least it got you on the right continent, unlike some of my experience of Google's location services. If it's specifically using GPS, like when Maps is running, then it's spot on.
 
#8 mikedt, Jun 23, 2015
Some use cell towers to set location. I use GPS only for astronomy apps. They all work with NO internet connection since some dark sites do not have any cell service. The GPS for those sites is always correct.

Accuweather, using GPS is always off by a mile. They list a subdivision that no longer exists. I have to find the closest reporting station. Weather Underground does find it. So did Weatherbug when Elite was available. I think my phone always allows cell towers, but you can block Google.

I don't need Google Maps as I prefer a printed map with driving directions. Out here, that's mostly city maps and those don't always keep up with new construction. A new store will usually post driving directions for those from out of town. That's a good idea as some do not bother with GPS or turn the phones off in the car. Some might not even have a cell phone. There are still stretches of highway out here that no one covers. You also need a satellite phone with GPS if you canyoneer or offroad in certain areas. Cell signals do not reach in canyons or behind mountains.

I tried a Garmin, and sold it pretty fast. All I heard was "recalculating" Most of those apps don't care for the fact that you can drive by the seat of your pants or navigate by other means.
 
#9 zuben el genub, Jun 23, 2015
So I guess Google just bases it on cellular tower and wifi unless I request something requiring android to know where I am then it goes by my location settings--which I have 3 options:
High accuracy (Uses GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile networks)
Battery saving (Uses Wi-Fi and mobile networks)
Device sensors only (Uses GPS)
Frankly GPS is precise I can't see how adding Wi-Fi and mobile networks to the mix helps make it any more accurate--but then again the cellular tower radio is always on anyway and I forget to turn the wifi off when traveling.
I want it to be able to pinpoint me to find things nearby, possibly use it for navigation one day, and of course for 911 to know where I am if necessary.
 
#10 Lamont Sanford, Jun 23, 2015
Weatherbug Elite started to act 'goofy' past several days. First home page would state temp "-15 Deg" while the temperature was in the 80s. A few days later, it gave a temp closer to the truth, but still different that the free Weatherbug and it does not provide other data listed by the free version (humidity , dew point). Has the developer abandoned the 'Elite' version?
 
#11 smitty543, Jun 25, 2015
For "high accuracy" mode GPS is precise, but doesn't work inside many covered spaces, and can be lost even in the open if shadowed by too many tall buildings. So that mode can give more continuous location as well as help get the initial fix faster. The fact that it also lets Google monitor your location (sorry, "collect anonymous statistics") doubtless appeals to them.

But the main significance is that with that mode enabled then the apps that use GPS can use GPS and those that use wireless can use wireless, whereas the other modes are one, the other or neither.
 
#12 Hadron, Jun 25, 2015
Yes, I tried that and it does that for me too.
 
#13 Lamont Sanford, Jun 25, 2015
Thanks, I'm with you, I'm not quite ready for Google to be "collecting anonymous statistics" on me either. And like Tommo47 said if I disagree with them "collecting" the data my only location option is GPS/Device Sensors Only. So for now I'm sticking with that--I can change it any time.
 
#14 Lamont Sanford, Jun 25, 2015