How Accurate Is GPS Tracking on a Phone


Determining our exact location was surely a challenge in the past. Without technology, people were describing their surroundings to get an idea of where they are. Especially on ships, the ancients were relying on their star’s knowledge to see whether they are headed the right way.

All of that is unnecessary for us since we have the global positioning system on our side. By determining the distance from our device to the satellites above, we can usually get an accurate representation of our position.

However, exactly how accurate the GPS trackers are is the question that interests many people. In this article, we’ll provide further information and explain how the tracking process goes. In addition, you will learn how to improve the signal and get the most accurate results.

Explanation of the tracking process


While this technology has been made for military and defense purposes at the start, it was finally publicly released to everyone. However, the global positioning system was fully working at the end of the 90s. That is where they began implementing the system in most cars.

Explaining how the tracking process works is relatively easy. It is a system consisting of three major elements. The first one is the tracker’s receiver, the second is the ground unit, and lastly, we have the satellites.

When the tracker receives the signal from the satellites, the distance between them is measured. With specific calculations, we come up with an exact location where the tracker is positioned. Besides the location, with these calculations, the velocity of the phone is measured as well. In the end, the information about the location is saved on the local server which we get to access.

How accurate are the trackers are

The accuracy that the trackers offer can differ from ten to one-meter accuracy. However, in general, they get to be accurate up to five meters distance. The difference in accuracy is because everything depends on the satellite position and geometry, as well as storms and blockage of signals.

There are more than thirty satellites that are used for the positioning system. The accuracy of the trackers increases with the number of satellites connected to the GPS. This is what makes this technology great.

If you wish to test exactly how accurate trackers can be, click here.

What affects the accuracy


While the folk tale that the weather is responsible for decreasing the signal is still present, we must negate it. Although typhoons and heavy storms can surely have an effect in ruining the accuracy, rainy or cloudy weather has no effect. If your phone is outside, you have the best chance for the highest precision.

As mentioned above, the precision of the tracker comes by calculating the distance between your phone and the satellites above. However, the signal has to pass thick forests and tall buildings which can decrease the precision of the device. That is why we usually have no service in the mountains.

When it comes to the GPS on our phones, the mistakes and inaccuracy come from wrongfully named streets and stores.

High buildings or radio interference are other factors that decrease the signal. In addition, situations when the satellites are being repaired or under maintenance may also have an effect.

Ways to improve the accuracy

Although you cannot replace the GPS module in your phone, other things can be done to increase the precision. For example, you should ensure that the battery is charged so you can track the device. If the device is not on, you have no chance to locate it.

Having your data turned on also helps in the tracking of the devices. Because of the connection to the carrier towers, most tracking applications can get information about the positioning of the device.

In addition, you should consider having the phone outdoors, to prevent any interference because of the steel beams inside the construction. The current GPS modules in our phones are improved enough to provide accurate results even when we are located underground, however, their correct precision may differ by a couple of meters of distance.

Benefits of using a global positioning system tracker

To show the importance of an accurate global positioning system, we must go through the benefits that this technology offers.

Saving your property


Most of the time, trackers are used to finding the device you have misplaced or lost. The feeling of overwhelming fear whenever you don’t feel the phone on you can be too severe. For that reason, using a tracker can help in finding the phone and relieving the stress.

In addition, phones are usually a target for many thefts. Since we all have important information inside our phones, not only do we lose our property, but all of our memories as well. Trackers are the right tool to use whenever you get your device stolen.

Some applications offer various other functions besides tracking like locking the device and protecting all your information. In case you have a copy of everything, and there is something confidential, there are options to delete all your files from the tracking app.

Finding your friends


When traveling, it is easy to get lost in the streets since you are visiting them for the first time. In many cities, every street looks the same, so you can make a couple of wrong turns and end up in a place you have never been.

By giving access to your location to your friends or family, they can easily reach you and help you find the way. In addition, if you go somewhere with your companions, you can have a tracker app with you, so you never lose each other.

Safety of your children


Protecting our youngsters is a priority that cannot be topped. While they are young, they go outside with their friends and can be late to come home. This is where the worst thoughts come into our minds and get most stressed.

By using a tracker app on our children’s phones, we can be sure they are safe since we can always reach them and pick them up.

In addition, some apps can go through their messages and call logs. By controlling who your children play with, you are ensuring their safety and you can remain stress-free.


Current GPS modules installed in our phones are surely accurate and can present us with various features we can explore. In addition, some online trackers are quick and reliable. Be sure to explore all the options, to find the right tool for your situation.