Frequently asked questions about Location Based Services
Here is a collection of some of the most common Location Based Service and Tracking tracking questions from our customers. We hope you find this information useful. And if you can’t find the answer here please give us a call on +234 706 418 3475 or email us, we’d be pleased to help. To view more information about the LBS and tracking range available through Gigasec Services please click here.
What is Location Based Service?
Location-based services (LBS) use real-time (GPS) geo-data from a mobile device or smartphone to provide information, entertainment or security. Some services allow consumers to "check in" at restaurants, coffee shops, stores, concerts, and other places or events.
What is GPS?
GPS tracking is a way of determining the location of a vehicle, person or other asset. A GPS device is attached to, or installed into, the asset you wish to track, or GPS apps on mobile phone. The device then uses the Global Positioning System to record the position of the asset at regular intervals.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information anywhere on or near earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It allows you to track anywhere in the world, even in rugged terrain where cellphones and radios don’t work.
The recorded location data is either stored within the unit or transmitted to an internet connected computer using a cellular GPRS antenna installed with the device. AVS GPS hardware, available through Gigasec Services, transmit to a computer allowing you to log in to the Gigasec Link website and view the information displayed against a map backdrop either in real time or looking at recorded history.
What information does the GPS device collect?
All GPS tracking devices collect three main components of information – Latitude and Longitude (which is how the device figures out the location of the asset), speed and direction.
Today most devices will also offer a host of options from collecting additional information (such as ignition on times) to monitoring temperature or water levels. Some even offer OBD/CAN-Bus information and more.
When considering what GPS device to choose we recommend focusing on what key data you would like to collect. Remember either you, or someone in your organisation, needs to be able to spend the time reviewing the data and then doing something with it to make it worthwhile gathering in the first place.
How accurate is the GPS location data from the GPS device?
Different GPS devices offer differing levels of accuracy so always ask the question. Gigasec GPS devices have a high level of GPS accuracy of between 5 and 10 metres or better with clear skies.
How do I access the GPS data collected? And what format is it in?
Many GPS tracking devices, including Gigasec devices are available through Gigasec Link, transmit to a computer allowing you to log in to our platform and view the tracking information displayed against a map backdrop either in real time or by accessing recorded history. This gives you a great visual representation of the tracked asset’s movements and location.
However, you can’t easily follow months of GPS logs on the map and that is where reporting comes in. A good tracking company will have a range of reports to help you make sense of the tracking history. The most basic and useful report is the trip and idle report. This will tell you where a vehicle stopped and for how long over a defined period.
Note: When evaluating a GPS company make sure the reports are easy to read – if you can’t make sense of the report within 30 seconds then it’s too complicated. Some GPS providers can email reports directly to you so you spend less time trying to gather the information you need.
Gigasec GPS Tracking offers a number of easy to use, simple reports that you can download directly from the website for single or multiple trackers. Customised reporting is also available. Reports can also be set up by you to be emailed at a frequency that suits making it very user friendly.
Do I need to install GPS software on my computer?
Different GPS companies offer different software platforms and some will require you to install software on your computer. Historically this was the only option but with today’s web browser technology the best solutions are delivered online through the internet using a web browser. This technology is called Software as a Service (SaaS). The advantage with SaaS is that you can access your tracking information anywhere in the world with an internet connected computer or portable device.
With Gigasec Link you will be given a secure login for the website which can be accessed through any internet connected PC or Apple Mac. You will be able to access live view as well as tracking data and you can download reports directly from the website. Different admin levels can be set if required and multiple trackers are all shown on one map. The other advantage with Gigasec GPS Tracking is that regular system updates and upgrades are handled remotely and free of charge so you always have the latest GPS solution at your fingertips.
Can I access tracking data from my smart phone or tablet?
Another thing to think about with modern technology is whether or not you want to be able to see your GPS devices from your smart phone or portable device. Not all GPS providers offer this service.
When you login to Gigasec Link from a smart phone or tablet the system will automatically switch to the mobile application. This simplified version of the website speeds up access when using mobile data.
Are there ongoing costs?
Yes, most real time GPS tracking companies charge a monthly service fee. The fee will vary depending on what features are being provided and whether the data used by the tracker is also included. Gigasec GPS Tracking has a relatively low monthly service fee and there is no initial cost of procuring hardware nor installation and training fee making it easy for you to adopt new technology. Gigasec Services are pocket friendly with fixed contract term.
How will GPS tracking benefit my business?
Being able to locate and track your vehicles, machinery or other assets, as well as collect additional information, offers a huge advantage to any business whether you are using one, multiple or hundreds of tracking devices.
Our experience has shown that most business owners and managers find out some pretty useful information within the first couple of months and with the benefit of the data can quickly and easily improve efficiencies within the business.
Some of the most common improvements we see are:
Is GPS tracking worthwhile for my private car?
Insurance companies are now beginning to require GPS tracking devices on high-risk vehicles and this trend is increasing. Plus if you have an alarm on your vehicle, Gigasec GPS devices, available through Gigasec Services, can send an alert notification text if the alarm is triggered. This offers such a valuable advantage in helping to keep your vehicle safe.
If you have a family car GPS tracking can be a great way to discretely monitor the activities of teenagers while using the vehicle. Being able to see when and where the vehicle is and receive over speed alerts etc can make driving a safer experience for everyone.
What about some of the really cheap GPS devices I can buy online and track myself?
Not all GPS tracking devices are created equal and cheaper hardware is usually made form poor quality parts and poorly developed and unreliable firmware. And while in theory you may able to track it yourself what happens when it doesn’t work? We recommend you choose a GPS provider that is an established and Certified with a proven support and warranty process.
What is a GPS locator?
A GPS locator does not record regular position updates, it will only log its position on command. Simply send a TXT to the tracker and it will TXT back its’ location. Some GPS locators will send GPS co-ordinates (Latitude and Longitude) which can then be entered into Google to bring up a map. Other devices,
There is usually no monthly service fee with a GPS locator which makes them an affordable GPS option for private use vehicles and other personal assets. They usually run on a pre-pay SIM card which you just need to keep in credit. Good GPS locators, can also send alarm trigger alerts and control other functions by text as well. However it is important to remember that locators do not record any GPS history. If the GPS locator is removed by a thief before you realise your asset is missing there is no way to track it.
Limitations of GPS tracking
GPS tracking is not invincible and no GPS hardware will be able to guarantee position logs 100% of the time. GPS devices rely on being able to communicate with the satellites in space and so in highly built up areas or underground carparks reception can be blocked.
Another limitation is GPS bouncing or drifting. This is when the location fix seems to ‘bounce’ around on the map even though the asset is in one place. It tends to happen if the asset is located in an insulated area such as a carpark or garage and is something that can affect all GPS devices to varying degrees.
Employees may try and remove or unplug the device or the antenna to prevent it from tracking (or even use illegal GPS jammers). Many GPS trackers (including Gigasec GPS devices) have measures in place that detect tamper or power loss in the device.
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