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Author Topic: Location Services...  (Read 2938 times)

Offline Justin

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Location Services...
« on: March 03, 2017, 04:31:41 PM »
So I've done a lot of research and come up with some interesting statistics about the accuracy of using Browser-based (JavaScript) Locations.

Both of my cell phones - Galaxy Core Prime (active) and iPhone 4S (Inactive but still useful) both put me within 0.01 miles (roughly 53 feet) of my true location. This is expected as both are GPS equipped.

On the PC with Windows 10:

- Firefox: 4.42 miles off, wrong town even
- Chrome: 4.42 miles (both internally use Google API and your IP address)
- Microsoft Edge: 2.21 miles (oddly exactly half the distance - uses some built-in Windows service)

Then my Ubuntu Linux Acer laptop computer has me 1.49 miles off target with Firefox (same browser version, different OS).

The scary one: a 2007 Macbook with Safari 5.1 has me at 0.01 miles...

All computers and phones are on the exact same WiFi network. In fact since my WiFi adapter crapped out on my desktop, I'm running it THROUGH the Linux laptop as a WiFi bridge (what Windows would call "Internet Connection Sharing"). So even the internal IP is the same as far as the router is concerned.

I have used some HTML5 and JavaScript with settings to ensure the most accurate location the device (browser) in question is capable of.

Just thought this was kinda interesting. I've improved the "find a DJ" app quite a bit today, mostly internal stuff but also a few "look & feel" items as well.

On the bright side: the app looks, works, and feels almost EXACTLY the same on all tested platforms (mac, linux, windows, android, and IOS) and all browsers for each platform that I have available. It's nice to start fresh on something and, as long as the end-user's software is somewhat up-to-date (a good HTML5 compliant browser) then I can write code that is guaranteed to work correctly just about anywhere.

For fun, I'm going to go try my Samsung TV browser and see what it does (just now thought of it as I was typing)...

Ok, odd, the one device I would have thought would actually have GeoLocation features seems to not.... the TV browser throws an error that the capability isn't available. Interesting.

On the bright side, the app works/looks/feels okay on the smart TV -- which (coupled with a keyboard/mouse) would make a small Smart TV a good candidate for a KIOSK-type setup ;)

Update
Now I'm completely confused, as my little white HP touch-screen laptop (didn't test till just now) puts me exactly 0.00 miles! Windows 10, Firefox. Dead-on. Same WiFi as this computer (just re-checked, still 4.42 miles here), same damned OS and browser.

The HP has bluetooth, but the Macbook does not. Could either (or both) of those laptops have GPS? A 2007 Macbook that came out the same year as the FIRST iPhone? Kinda doubt it... and I know there is no cellular card in either computer either...

Amazing, in the same room with one Internet connection I get vastly different results. Luckily my target is mobile devices which will either triangulate a Cell signal or use GPS, either choice more than sufficient for my purposes. It's just a curiosity for me lol...

For reference, the starting coordinates (that I put in the database as where "DJ J-Man" is located) were obtained by using Google Maps and dropping the pin point marker thingy directly on my house, so the closer to zero any of my devices show, the more accurate they must be. Also, please don't start driving by my house :P
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Location Services...
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 04:35:17 PM »
Worth noting, just so you know it's not a fluke, I checked the latitude/longitude coordinates the browser used in each case. Also, the other 2 "DJs" show the appropriate distance from here, with the differences making sense with the differences of the "here" location... if that makes sense. In other words it's verified data...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Location Services...
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 05:03:14 PM »
Okay, I am learning a lot of "big brother"-ish stuff here. I'm talking George Orwell's 1984 Big Brother (from 1949), not the idiotic CBS television show.

I've always wondered why my phone says that enabling BlueTooth will "improve location accuracy" even if I have zero BT devices connected. I actually thought that was an error or misunderstanding by the app developer - but as it turns out........

Cell towers (modern ones) employ WiFi and BT signals as well. Not for the usual tasks of WiFi and BT, but for the simple purpose of being able to more accurately pinpoint the location of a device. So a phone, for example, can be located using GPS, GSM or CDMA (depends on carrier), WiFi, and BlueTooth -- all four combined. The more radio signals your phone can send and receive via, the better you can be pinpointed.

Great if you are calling 911, or looking for a nearby DJ (hehe) but scary in the grand scheme of things. So it seems the two laptops (Macbook from '07, HP from 2015) that have Bluetooth + WiFi are able to be located more accurately. The Linux laptop has its own WiFi but no BT, so it was 1.49 miles off. This desktop - having no WiFi of its own (piggybacking off the Linux laptop) had to revert to the IP-based location, 4.42 miles off target.

So all the various radios in our devices are being used together, to constantly monitor our whereabouts when necessary. And I thought TV and movies were bad... this is real life here, and happening NOW. I mean damn, 4 radios, an undisclosed number of "outside" contacts (cell towers, the police VPN, any open WiFi hotspot (or hidden), BT location receivers that are secretly being employed for this purpose) makes an aluminum foil hat sound like a not so bad idea...............

If ever really wanting to hide, put your phones/tablets/laptops in the microwave. Please unplug it first, but the shielding of the oven cavity will block ALL radio signals in and out - a tiny Faraday cage...

Gonna try to find some comedy to watch before the paranoid part of my brain reads any more things I wish I could "unread" lol
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Location Services...
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 01:53:57 PM »
Wow, I had no idea Bluetooth was used by the cell phone towers...

Also, I forgot about the microwave with it's built-in faraday cage... that's very cool!

-Fabio
Fabio Q.
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Offline vcationguy

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Re: Location Services...
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 07:45:21 AM »
I thought the microwave Faraday cage was interesting too! :)