How to Understand That Satellites Are Using Our Smartphone For Positioning

//How to Understand That Satellites Are Using Our Smartphone For Positioning

Almost all new Android smartphones are actually capable of supporting, in addition to the classic GPS, Glonass’s global positioning system as well.

This feature is hardware-supported and transparently managed by the Android operating system. It is not necessary to enable specific options. If the smartphone receives signals in addition to the GPS, from satellites, it uses them to make the position “fix” faster and locate more precisely.

Normally, applications do not require specific features to exploit this feature. They merely need geographic coordinates, expressed in longitude and latitude, without looking at the source of this information.

However, if you want to check the Glonass signal reception, you can install an app that explicitly provides this feature. The most popular app for analyzing location-based information is GPS Test of Chartcross Limited, downloadable free of charge from Google Play.

With this tool, you can select which constellation of satellites to consider, in order to understand which data is used to generate your position. Once the app is started, press the icon with the three dots on the top right, and from the context menu, press the Satellite Filter item. In the window that will appear, you can enable or disable the display of various satellites, Navstar GPS, Glonass, Chinese Beidou and also the latest Galileo European positioning system.

With these tools, the smartphone’s GPS features will no longer have any secrets and it will always be possible to verify the correct reception of geo-localization signals.

By |2017-10-11T14:41:27+00:00October 11th, 2017|Tips & Tactics|2 Comments


  1. Ogeto Omwancha October 12, 2017 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Very interesting and educative article. Today, it’s almost impossible to get lost, no matter how hard you try. Whether you’re driving down the freeway or scrabbling up Mount Everest, you’re always in sight of satellites spinning through space that can tell you exactly where you are. Walking round with a smartphone in your pocket, you’ll have ready access to a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver that can pinpoint your position, on a good day, to just a few meters. Take a wrong turn in your car, and a determined voice—also powered by GPS—will insist you “Take the next left,” “Turn right,” or “Go straight ahead” until you’re confidently back on track. Even riding on a bus or train, it’s barely possible to get off in the wrong place. Handy display boards scroll the name of the stop you want long before you need to rise from your seat. Apart from helping us reach our destination, satellite navigation can do all kinds of other things, from tracking parcels and growing crops to finding lost children and guiding the blind. Like other digital technologies, these new capabilities come with worries as well as benefits. Consumers are particularly concerned about privacy when it comes to location because knowing where you are has implications for physical safety from stalking or arrest. Yet most people have embraced location-based services without thinking about dangers such as service providers handing over location data in lawsuits or hackers stealing it from app vendors.

  2. Oswaldo Antonio December 22, 2017 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    This is and interesting article. It’s amazing how technological innovations are making our lives easier. It’s common finding people who use the apps of the smartphone without knowing what the right funtion is, it happens constantly and we have to apply our knowledge to reach a good learning about all this tools we are utilizing everyday. It should be noted that Positioning is a tool that gives us some advantages, through the last years it has been developing a system of positioning for vehicles, an efficient tool whose main funtion is the tracking of the vehicles when they have been stolen, besides, the positioning system has helped providing the best routes causing the saving of the money, oil and time. This is breakthrough technology!

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