Geolocation – technology keeping track of your stuff

Geolocation is about identifying or estimating the geographic location of an object. It can be done by using, for example, GPS, Cell ID, MAC addresses, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or UWB technology. Geolocation, or geopositioning, involves the generation of a set of geographic coordinates, latitude and longitude. Many of these technologies, like Cell ID or Wi-Fi, are already a part of an existing infrastructure making it easy and cost-efficient to begin with geolocation. Setting up a Wi-Fi infrastructure has one great benefit compared to, for example, beacons: While investing in a robust Wi-Fi infrastructure you will, at the same time, create an infrastructure for geopositioning.

Value of geolocation

Here are a couple of scenarios when geolocation can be beneficial for you and your organization.

Service personnel

Finding machines and devices for service performance might seem like a simple task but it can be a challenge when it comes to tracking down the machine or device inside buildings, especially if the buildings have numerous floors. Service personnel will have the coordinates of the machine in an easy to use application including floor number when using a Wi-Fi positioning service.

Logistics

Tracking, status of packages, follow up on delivery and efficient deliveries. Any business that is using logistics for customer service can improve their service by using geolocation.

Physical security

To stay safe while working in dangerous environments often means that personnel must work in pairs. If someone is injured his or her partner can assist and call for help. This is costly and inefficient. With indoor geolocation, and so called man down motion sensors, proactively monitoring personnel to identify if they have suffered a fall or accident, can allow personnel to safely work unaided in dangerous working environments.

Health care

Losing or not knowing where expensive and sensitive medical equipment is can be expensive and cause a halt in production. Indoor geopositioning will keep track of medical devices making maintenance efficient and keeping equipment at the fingertips of medical staff.

Geolocation service – this is how it works

You need a geolocation service provider that can provide you with useful geographical data with longitudes and latitudes. The geolocation service provider will provide you with the technical solutions and API to get hold of the geographical data. Customers can also use offline services where they can store and work with the geographical data in their own datacenters.

How to use a geolocation API

A geolocation API is where you submit Cell ID and Wi-Fi data and receive a reply with latitude and longitude. A geolocation API can be either device-, or network-oriented. A device-oriented approach is when the device is searching for networks with geolocation data. The device will then send geolocation data to the API which responds with longitude and latitude coordinates. A networking approach is when the network is searching for devices in the network collecting device data. The network then sends geolocation data to the API which responds with longitudes and latitudes coordinates. This process is more complicated than a device-approach as customers need an agreement with every network vendor. There is no roaming between operators or countries when it comes to geolocation API.