The nature of GPS is that it requires a clear line of sight to multiple satellites in order to accurately triangulate a position. As such, all GPS devices work best when located in an area with a clear view of the sky. Any obstacles between your Ping device and satellites in orbit may prevent the ability to obtain GPS lock. Some situations that may cause GPS to be unavailable include:
1. Ping device is located indoors
2. Ping device is located in an area surrounded by tall trees or buildings
3. Ping device is located in an area currently under thick cloud cover
In situations in which Ping cannot obtain a GPS location, the app will display a message indicating so, and the location provided will be an approximation based upon cell towers. Cell tower location is typically less accurate than GPS; however, the accuracy of the cell location is affected by the number of towers & cellular coverage in an area.
Here is how the overall location request process works and what to expect:
1. When sending a location request from the app, the request is sent to the Ping device through the cellular network.
2. When the Ping device receives the request, it will obtain an approximate location based upon cell towers. Ping device then sends a message back to the app through the cellular network to confirm the location request was received, along with the approximate location.
3. After delivering the confirmation/approximate location, the Ping device attempts to lock on to satellites in order to provide a more accurate GPS location. One of 2 messages will be returned after a few minutes of attempting to find satellites:
- If Ping successfully obtains a GPS fix, it will return a message with an updated location based upon satellite triangulation.
- If Ping cannot obtain a GPS fix, it will return a message indicating that GPS location is unavailable, and the location displayed on the map is an approximation based upon cell towers.