Strange Wifi iPad+ Mifi device GPS?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by RalfTheDog, May 19, 2010.

  1. RalfTheDog macrumors 65816


    Feb 23, 2010
    Lagrange Point
    A strange thing happened on the way to 7-11. Just for the fun of it, I drove out to a spot in the middle of nowhere to to try out Google Maps. I checked to see if I was in range of any wifi spots. Noting showed up. I turned on my Myfi and when connected hit Google Maps. It showed my exact location.

    The only reason I can think of this working is:

    1. The iPad was able to see hotspots mapped by Google that were too week to show on the list.

    2. The Mifi has a GPS and was talking to my iPad.

    I think 1 is far more likely than 2. If my house is not destroyed by a tornado this afternoon, I will do some more playing around with it.

    Any thoughts?
  2. kezza47 macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2007
    Did you find anything else out about this? Would be interested to see how it tracked your location. I believe another thread also mentioned that using only a mifi device it found their location.

  3. Yzord macrumors member


    Apr 21, 2010
    I will test it out tonight with a Huawei E5830
  4. the_fellowship macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    London, UK
    Would the MyFi device make use of cell towers to determine the location?
  5. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Yeah, I've had the same thing when using a MiFi with an iPod Touch and navigating through London, practically realtime updating.

    The MiFi definately does NOT have a GPS in it so the only reasons I can think of are:

    1) When the MiFi establishes a connection there's something present that lets it triangulate its current position and pass it to the iDevice somehow.

    2) There are enough network points nearby that you can't see to let location services do their thing.

    3) The MFi ends up with some location data (maybe the nearest cell tower?) and that can be enough to help location services work out where you are in conjunction with other network points.

    Personaly I'd go with number 3, just because I've used the MiFi in other locations and will sometimes get a within ten feet marker and sometimes it's a half-mile radius. That to me suggests it's getting location data from the cell tower the 3G card is connecting to but that data alone isn't enough to pinpoint you.
  6. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I would also think that the quality of location based services using cell-tower triangulation would be much more accurate in a dense metropolitan area given there will be a much more dense concentration of cell-towers

    If i use that technique where i am (suburbs) i get a location about 700m away from where i actually am.
  7. Halon X macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2005
    Malibu, CA
    The Sprint MiFi has a built in GPS chip. I've always left mine disabled but may have to play around with the config a little and see what happens.
  8. Kcautodoc macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2012
    Any more on this? I just posted this question and was wondering if your iPad will map for you. Here is my post
  9. RalfTheDog, May 3, 2012
    Last edited: May 3, 2012

    RalfTheDog thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 23, 2010
    Lagrange Point
    The WiFi iPad I owned was stolen from me on a train. I replaced it with an ATT iPad, so, I have not had a chance to play with it.

    As far as the tornado, If it is the storm I am thinking of, it destroyed a town four miles from where I live, (large, long track F5). It missed my house completely. It did come a bit closer to the 7-11 I was talking about.

    Edited to say: I checked the date on the post, and I was thinking of the wrong tornado. The one that ripped apart the town near me was on May 24, 2011. Not that I minded all that much. I never go into Piedmont, because, every time I do, I get a speeding ticket. I get one even when I am not driving fast. The police say, they don't like people who drive fast cars.

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