Android terminal geolocation function: possibilities & tests

Android terminal geolocation function: possibilities & tests

We’re providing you with a test application for the Android function, designed for educational purposes and geolocation forecasting, and here we explain how to install a system to locate a package, a parcel, a vehicle, an employee, and what services can be expected from such a system and generated to gain a competitive advantage and offer other services to its customers.

We customize these functions for your mobile traceability applications.

Geolocation principles

Geolocation is based on several principles:

  • the object to be located must be equipped with a device capable of calculating its GPS position (i.e. relative to suitable satellites)
  • the device must be able to send its calculated position to a server. The device can be an object other than a smartphone: an IoT (Internet object), for example.

Consequences for geolocation

  • the object or at least the computing device must be able to receive satellite positions, so its antenna must be located outdoors;
  • the computing device must be autonomous, or at least autonomous for some time: so it must have a power source, such as a battery.

Advances and combinations of several technologies

Wifi antennas and the 3 or 4G network can be used to calculate GPS position more quickly, based on the known position of their connections, and provided the device is equipped with these sensors and has access to them (authorization, SIM card, etc.): this is known as “A-GPS” (Advanced GPS).

An “IoT” can be placed on the product to be tracked: its position is retrieved via the Internet on the cell phone.

What we don’t do with geolocation

We are frequently asked to geolocate with Rfid chips: apart from in a room equipped with Rfid readers, or walking a reader with a ‘Geiger’ reading application, it is not possible to locate outdoors things or people equipped with passive (classic) Rfid chips. In fact, Rfid chips don’t comply with any of the above principles.

Similarly, GPS doesn’t work at all, or not very well, indoors: we’ve found other solutions using Wifi to locate indoors with Android and IoS (Apple).

Devices for geolocation

There are several types of device that we can use or program:

  • interactive: Android mobile terminals, IoS
  • non-interactive: IoT systems (Internet of Things)

Test application

We had made a compiled application (.apk) for Android which shows several things:

  1. 1st part: if your Android terminal is equipped with the right devices for geolocation, if it’s set up properly for this,

    • how to obtain a GPS position: when displaying coordinates (longitude / latitude in decimal and deg min, sec + altitude ), imagine that these are sent to a server with the date, time, your login, etc…
  2. Part 2:

  • what we can do with GPS coordinates on a map (before Google Maps static was working: it’s stopped mid 2018, we replaced the development with OSM) OpenStreetMap .

Other retrievable data

In addition to the classic data (longitude/latitude), you can also retrieve with a GPS :

  • altitude (displayed here: useful for hikers),
  • sensor speed.

Examples of possible customized geolocation applications

2 applications are needed each time (except for IoT): one that collects data from the GPS and sends it to the other.

Offer your customers new services

such as :

  • collect a package at the last moment from a vehicle in the customer’s vicinity,

  • inform customers of the position of their equipment,

  • Monitor your mobile teams,

  • Analyze your fleet’s activity,

  • Control your costs,

  • Increase your fleet’s productivity: possibility of last-minute pick-ups by a nearby vehicle: imagine receiving an order with a map showing the last positions of your objects/vehicles and those of your customer: choose the nearest vehicle and immediately send it the mission via 3G on its application!

    Test: Geolocation application for depot