W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-geolocation@w3.org > April 2012

RE: API sometimes extremely inaccurate

From: Tatham Oddie <tatham@oddie.com.au>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 01:59:09 +0000
To: Patrick Schubert <patrick.schubert1@gmail.com>
CC: "public-geolocation@w3.org" <public-geolocation@w3.org>
Message-ID: <913F550AEE09194E9D4B5BFB9CF3FD4B4B765062@EXMBX08.netplexity.local>
Hi Patrick,

The geolocation API only defines the interface between your code and the browser. It does not define how to actually locate the user: that’s left up to the browser.

For some examples:

·         Chrome and Firefox on the desktop both use Google’s WiFi location API at http://www.google.com/loc/json. You’ll find more info about that protocol at http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/geolocation/ and http://support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=142065.

·         Internet Explorer 9+ uses an equivalent Bing-provided API.

·         Mobile Safari uses the GPS built into your iPhone.

The quality of the location data is based on the browser you use, the operating system it runs on, the sensors your device has available (GPS, WiFi, etc), and the third-party datasets employed by the browser.

All of this is outside the scope of the W3C Geolocation API.

I hope that clears some things up for you.

-- Tatham

From: Patrick Schubert [mailto:twistnr1@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Patrick Schubert
Sent: Tuesday, 10 April 2012 4:28 AM
To: public-geolocation@w3.org
Subject: API sometimes extremely inaccurate


I'm currently developing a new web app which uses your awesome W3C geolocation api!
Although it works perfectly while in or near bigger cities, it's horribly inaccurate when using it in my hometown in Austria with about 5k inhabitants (so not that small).

I'm logged into my private WiFi network. Of course I'm NOT expecting extremely accurate results ins such small towns like mine but in my case the API places me 140 km (!!!) off my right location, which is unacceptable.

I'm using the watchPosition() Method.
Am I doing something wrong? Or is it just that inaccurate?

best regards
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2012 02:01:18 UTC

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