It is sometimes frustrating to find that GPS location is not as accurate as in the spy movies. It is subject to several factors that have a direct impact on the position you are given. What are they? Well, we have the answers to this question.

Differentiate between the GPS signal and the connection

To get started it is important to differentiate between the GPS signal and the GPRS (2G) internet connection of your tracker. The GPS signal allows the tracer to recover its position thanks to satellites in orbit. The connection makes it possible to send this position to the Weenect servers (and thus to display it on your screens) thanks to the SIM card present in the tracker. Therefore, without a GPS signal there is no information to send; but without a GPRS (2G) connection you can not send information.

Factors affecting the GPS accuracy

The environment

A clear environment is essential for the accuracy of your tracker. But what is a clear environment? This is an area that does not have a lot of obstacles for GPS signals. What we call obstacles can be the buildings in very dense cities (the signals will tend to ricochet on the facades of building and so to deteriorate the quality of the precision), the trees in a forest, or even the weather (cloudy weather can make it less easy for the tracker to recover its position) and even the activity of the sun, which can disturb the GPS signals that enter the atmosphere.

Needless to say, for these reasons the GPS tracker is an outdoor product. When indoors the risk is double: either I do not catch the GPS signal at all (in a cellar for example); either I pick up the GPS signal but the accuracy will be particularly bad (too many obstacles will alter the information).

The ideal zone is therefore the countryside because the path between the satellites and the tracker will have no obstacles.

The time between each position

The second important factor is the frequency at which the tracker will send its position. If it sends its position every 30 seconds the accuracy will be better than if it sent its position every 5 minutes. Why is that? Simply because the tracker will more easily maintain contact with the satellites during its travels by being in regular contact with them. This also explains why it sometimes takes longer to obtain a position when the tracker has been in the interior for a long time or off (the tracker must reconnect with the satellites).

You can set this interval in the tracker settings. But be beware, the higher the frequency, the quicker the battery will drain. So you have to make the right choice based on your needs. A good compromise could be a frequency of one position every 5 minutes with a use of super live mode when you have to find the holder of the tracker (super live mode allows to receive a position every 10 seconds for 5 minutes).

My phone is more accurate than the tracker

Your phone may be more accurate than the tracker. You can see it by standing next to it. The reason is simple: your phone does not use just the GPS signals to position, it also uses wifi signals that adjust the position communicated. To check, disable the wifi of your phone and you will see that your position will be less precise at the same time.

The GPS in cars may also seem flawless, but only in appearance. They correct positioning errors by relying on route layouts. Since your car is not supposed to get off the road, the GPS automatically puts your position back on the road when it leaves, giving an impression of perfection. It is not so.


So here you are, master in the art of GPS tracking! We will not stop there and will soon offer other articles on the battery, entry and exit zones and even augmented reality. See you soon.

Author: Weenect

Weenect, leader de la géolocalisation familiale, propose une gamme de traceurs GPS pour les différents membres de la famille : les enfants, les seniors, les chiens et chats. Ce blog a vocation à aider les familles dans leur vie quotidienne.