Triangulation Method in Cell Phone Tracking

There is a specific method of locating your cell phones through a method known as triangulation method or also known as measuring the triangles. What is the triangulation method? If you have seen many CSI episodes, you probably have an idea what the method is all about. It is basically the method of determining the cell phones location by measuring the angles to it from identified known points or a fixed baseline. By referencing the speed of radio signals, the distance and location from the unknown point can be estimated by identifying three to four known points. The known points can be where the antennas for the cell phone operator is mounted. The first known point identifies the distance to the cell phone. The second known point then narrows down the location to two points. The third known point is then used to identify the exact location of the cell phone. Basically the concept is narrowing the exact location of the cell phone by eliminating the large area of a certain location to pinpoint location by using three filters or three known points. Two direction lines define a point area and the third line defines the exact location.

Basically, the main principle in GPS also lies in using triangulation to determine the best possible accuracy a point in space. The triangulation method uses three coordinates or three GPS satellites from the user’s GPS receiver. From the measurement of this three coordinates distance, the location of the user can be determined by the determining the intersection between the three spheres of the satellite coverage. The more GPS satellites it refers, the accurate the position it can pinpoint.

We will witness more hardware and software being developed to further assist people in terms of connectivity and mobility that is based on this triangulation method. Social Media will benefit from this as flux of information will be channeled through this medium. One example of a Social Media platform who has taken advantage of this method is the Foursquare app. Created in 2009; the app serves as a Location-based Social Networking platform for mobile device users. Users can check-in their current location or places of hangout and in the same time give reviews of the place or product. Users can also use this app to connect with friends nearby. As technology for Internet mobility becomes much more sophisticated, it is expected that a number of Location-based Social Media platform will also be developed. Some of the famous location-based services are the Foursquare apps, Loopt and Google Latitude gives you real-time location to friends that decided to share their location with families and close friends. In the same time, these apps also share the information on the location their friends or families are such as the restaurants they are dining or the place they are hanging out.

However, triangulation method have its weaknesses such as it obstacles that will prevent your GPS in detecting three satellites are when you are inside a building, near to a tall building and also the weather is bad. This factor block the line of sight of your GPS and therefore it could not find the three satellites it needed to pinpoint your location accurately.