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Advice — Location based app development

mylesbarros 0 Points
edited June 2014 in GPS Recommendations
Hey GPS forums,

I'm a recently-graduated college student currently working on a location-based mobile application for a local historical society. GPS hardware isn't really a background of mine so I was hoping that you might be of help.

The basic idea is that as users walk around our city the app should recognize when a user is near a significant location for which we should supply them with some type of content. The challenge is that some of these locations are rather close to each other — on the order of twenty-five feet or so. The app is going to be running on phones like the iPhone 4S which do not have incredibly accurate GPS systems and so it's important that, if the user location is going to be wonky, we should at least be quite confident as to where these significant locations are.

The GPS locations are going to be located in both rural and urban areas. Fortunately, however, while the city is quite dense it is not terribly vertical — most of the city buildings are three floors or less with the occasional four-story and a couple of low-towers. As such I don't think interference will play a major role.

I was hoping that you could recommend a GPS device that I could use to collect the location data. While I'm willing to spend money this is really a one-time use, so I'd prefer if the GPS device would be available through a rental service like LowerGear.

Thanks for any advice that you guys can give!


  • Tim 1482 Points
    No matter how accurate of a location you calculate from the initial GPS you're not going to overcome the issue of the locations being so close together. Twenty five feet is just too close unless you somehow design that known issue into the app and have the user choose from the closest two or three locations to their estimated position. Or use another technology to augment positioning like iBeacon, though that might not be practical for your environment.

    With that said, nearly any consumer GPS will have similar accuracy. Your technique of using waypoint averaging, doing it on a few different days, etc will likely make more of a difference than the model GPS you use (unless you use a commercial level GPS instead of consumer).
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