Can I be located simply by using my cell phone?
Technically the answer to the question is yes. All cell phones have a GPS chip installed in the phone. This chip is used for many different applications on your phone including Google maps. Have you ever wondered why or how your location on the map is so accurate? I know I sure have! To get your most accurate location the GPS technology looks at what cell phone towers your phone is closest to and buy using these 3 or 4 towers it can tell approximately how far you are from each tower. This is then used to pin point your location (the location of the cell phone). This technology used to only be as accurate as the tower location your mobile was connected to, but now the actual latitude and longitude quadrants are tracked to pin point location. GPS Chip
Today the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) requires all cell phones to include a GPS (Global Positioning System) chip, so that emergency workers can locate callers within 100 meters of the cell phone. This works by allowing 3 satellites to triangulate your position. Of course this theory is only as good as the reception. If you are in a remote area and not receiving any reception then the GPS cannot connect to any cell tower or satellite, therefore you would not be able to be found. Who's using this?
Emergency workers and the police have access to this information when applicable. When a 911 call is reported from a cell phone, emergency workers use this technology to pin point where the dispatcher needs to report the location. The police will also use this technology to solve a variety of issues. Detectives will solicit this information while attempting to put suspects at the scene of a crime. Recently, software has been released that allows you to monitor the location of a cell phone from a pc. This technology integrates with the GPS chip in your cell phone and allows you to authorize the use of a pc to your current latitude and longitude quadrants. What does this all mean to me?
There are many advantages to the GPS technology with very few disadvantages. Both are listed below:
- People will get medical care faster
- With a map application installed on your cell phone you will never get lost
- Crimes will be solved more accurately and in a more timely matter
- Lost children have a better chance of being located if they are carrying a cell phone
- The battery on the cell phone does not last as long when GPS is being used
- If this location data gets into the wrong hands it could cause problems
Everybody should be excited with this new, ever improving GPS technology on cell phones. It opens many doors for consumers including safety and convenience. (not to mention never getting lost again!)