all 5 comments

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]Airbus320 1 insightful - 3 fun1 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

    I prefer glonass

    [–]Anman 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

    Probably over 10 years ago now me and the wife used to do some geo caching. Some geochaches needed you to do a puzzle to get the coordinates to find the cache. This was over 10 years ago and the gps accuracy requirements had to be almost spot on to complete these puzzles. Now, I know technology is getting worse over all, but not for shit like this.

    [–]SoCo 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

    To be fair, 2000 Mules were busted by cellular tower ping triangulation, not GPS locationing. While GPS location quality is pretty consistent, the quality of cell triangulation positioning varies by many factors.

    These cell triangulation accuracy factors include the density of cell towers, their antenna height, location, protocol types, carrier, and lots of stuff....

    In this day and age, most rural areas will still have very poor accuracy and urban areas may vary a lot, but will generally be pretty good. Many urban areas will have extremely good accuracy, as good if not better than GPS (as good as 2 meters or better accuracy, which is equivalent to more expensive high accuracy GPS modules, which use multiple GPS constellations and more accurate accelerometer/gyroscope/magnetometer). This is thanks to tall buildings causing the need for directional cellular antennas as well as just better cellular coverage, which improve cellular triangulation accuracy.

    [–]BravoVictor[S] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

    I'm not familiar with the exact tech they used. You're right about cell tower signal strength throwing off accuracy. However, I know most cell phones use both cell tower triangulation and GPS to estimate location, since there's a neat math trick you can use with Gaussian distributions where you can take two low quality signals and merge them into a higher quality signal.

    [–]SoCo 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

    They simply bought the cell tower ping data, as appalling as cell operators selling this information is. So, they don't get any of the GPS data, only the cell tower triangulation.

    Most modern smart phones have really high quality GPS modules. Mine reports 12 feet of accuracy, just sitting here. Turning on Google Location Services, will slightly improve your GPS location, by merging it with triangulate of cell towers and Wifi hospots from Google's database.....but using it mostly just employs you and your phone as a data collecting spy for Google, to map out where all the the Wifi hotspots are, what their SSID is and likely track your location while doing so. I find it funny that my smart phone's default camera app refuses to save GPS tag data to images and videos, if I don't turn Google Location Services be fair though, It can really help your accuracy in very urban areas with tall buildings, as GPS signal reflections can skew your position with the common "urban canyon" effect.