Indoor & Outdoor Geolocation for Mobile Apps

A global Markets&Markets forecast predicted a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.1% from 2019 to 2024. The research covers Location-Based Services (LBS) and Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) Markets. And the fastest growth rate is expected from the indoor location type.

Due to the pandemic, delivery applications using GPS-based modules have proved to be very popular. Today we’ll put a light on the technologies they use and how to choose the right technology for location-based app development.


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What on earth GPS is?

The “geo” part is responsible for the geographical location of your smartphone, wireless fitness band, or any other IoT device that can connect to the satellites via GPS chip.

But still, GPS isn’t the only way to get your location. Mobile devices can transmit location data through cellular network stations or Wi-Fi spots.

Should I adopt the GPS feature to build my location-based service?

First, you need a clear way to identify the device’s own location and share it with others. Something like you share your current position on Telegram chat.

Then, the app algorithm will measure the distance between the object: i.e., the distance between your current Google Maps location pin and a Starbucks nearby. Then (usually, we build it through the Google Maps API), application build the fastest route and way from point A to B. 

As we see, any geo-based app consists of location detecting services (indoor/outdoor) and maps algorithm. But how the development process actually works? 

Should I use an outdoor or indoor location detecting service?

Imagine you’re using Waze while driving or Google Maps while cycling. Maybe you saw Glovo couriers on the road. All of these apps use the same technology. Outdoor navigation helps them to locate your device and reach any point stressless. It is based on GPS signals and satellite coverage.

Our smartphones have a built-in GPS module, and that’s why GPS is one of the most popular ways to find out your device’s position outdoors. The module receives data from the satellite and works almost everywhere. 

Don’t confuse GPS with Ethernet. You don’t need an internet connection to use GPS location. And that’s why it drains the battery so much.

Sometimes, the GPS signal can be unavailable, and the only way to know your location is to use the cellular connection. There are many of them in the desert, but large cities are covered with thousands of cell towers. It’s not as accurate as GPS but still the right solution for the location-based service app.

The city is also an excellent opportunity for Wi-Fi positioning, but it depends on the connection quality and access. Pro: it won’t drain your battery as much as GPS. Con: you should use public Wi-Fi. Probably not the best idea.

Wi-Fi positioning collects data from the Internet and shows great accuracy (down to 25 to 50 meters) due to the maximum range of Wi-Fi access. It works with high density in urban areas and drains battery slower than GPS. But there’s a con – you should always have access to a nearby Wi-Fi spot.

Now, when you understand the concept of finding an iPhone’s location on the street, let’s go into the building. Literally.

The indoor location used to track a customer entering your store and providing him help right at the moment. Many tech giants use indoor location technology to build more accurate navigation and advertising inside the buildings.

But it still comes with the Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell data. Geofencing feature — a 2020 trend for logistics and retail technologies — is less accurate to determine the location, but is a helpful tool to bring your customer to your store from the parking lot.

The algorithm is as easy as that: you set virtual boundaries on the map, and when your customers’ device enters it, pre-engineered action became triggered (i.e., a push notification about a season sale or new collection). It can be based on the position (nearby area), dynamic changes (time), or peer-to-peer (nearby users) algorithm. Likewise, ai for supply chain management technology is also used in the logistics industry.

Amazon’s Alexa can set a reminder triggering only when you’re entering a geofenced location. For example, turn the lights on when «honey, I’m home!»


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Where should I start?

First, you need to study your market and key players. Later on, make sure you choose a reliable healthcare software development vendor. Here at Empeek, we provide our customers with in-depth market analysis service by our analysts’ department. They care not only about the market you want to embrace but also about the users you want to engage.

After studying the market, you’ll definitely get more ideas on how to make your location-based app beneficial both for stakeholders and customers.

After this, you should choose a software development company with a cost-efficient approach and expertise. We create sharing economy applications and geofencing-based systems since 2017, and that’s why Empeek is trusted by numerous US companies. Check out our portfolio and talk to the expert for a quick non-binding chat.Share this 

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Written by:
Alex Shpachuk Alex Shpachuk CEO
Alex Shpachuk is the owner and strategic partner of Empeek. His effective leadership and a visionary approach to the future of healthcare turned the company into a dynamic environment attracting the brightest minds with the common vision for product impact and service excellence. With over a decade of experience in software engineering and comprehensive knowledge of designing and deploying tailor-made solutions for healthcare providers, Alex channels his passion for software development and consulting into the written word.

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