earth-2254769_640Following on from my blog post outlining an A-Z of Digital, here is “G is for Geolocation”.

The ability to track items and devices is a common technology these days with the prime example being a mobile phone. From being able to pin point a device using triangulation of cell towers being developed into onboard GPS passing location details into applications.

Geolocation provides one of the backbone services of Digital and IoT (Internet of Things) being able to track item or triggering things to happen at certain locations (Automating leaving a geolocation area).

An example of an application using Geolocation is Google. Having Google maps installed on your mobile device and being sigend in allows your location to be tracked. This has the advantages of providing related services:

  • Traffic Reports
  • Weather Reports
  • Location reviews
  • Local Photos
  • Events in the location

A new Location Sharing tool allows family members to share their locations with each other. There is also the ability to upload photos of locations based on the GPS tagged information that can be added to the photo when taken.

Location based events can also be triggered using beacons (such as Estimote Beacons) set in locations that can be triggered using applications such as Google or Physical Web. An example of this is beacons placed in a shopping mall by shops providing offers and discounts to those with the applications running, or using the beacons to track shoppers around the shop to identify browsing and buying patterns.

Leisure based activities and gaming are making use of geolocation with the ability to find things such as Geocaches, which has been around since 30 May 2000.  Geocaching has evolved to using additional beacons (such as Chirp) and GPS location tools to provide a popular game with over 2.5 million caches and 10 million registered users located around the world.

Games such as Pokemon Go use location and mapping to show Pokemon, Pokestops and Gyms in your area.

As with all services there are opt out options in the applications not to be tracked or give out location, however as we move to a more social and digital society does opting out mean your missing out on services and information.