What Is Geolocation?

Written by Caitlin Davidson

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Geolocation Defined

Geolocation is the identification of the real-world geographic location of an object. This identification is done by generating a set of geographic coordinates such a latitude and longitude through GPS and using the coordinates to determine a meaningful location. These objects could be an internet-connected computer, mobile phone, table or radar source.

Two different types of data can be collected through geolocation:

  • Active User/Device Based Information
  • Passive Server-Based Lookup/Data Correlation

By collecting these both types of data, it allows them to be cross-referenced against one another to create the most accurate geolocation result.

The co-ordinates needed for a geolocation don’t only have to determined by a GPS, they could also be identified through:

  • Internet Protocol (IP) address
  • Media Access Control (MAC) address
  • Radio Frequency (RF) systems
  • Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) data

Businesses can use geolocation to create:

  • Smart Navigation – step by step navigation allowing customers to access physical stores to enhance onsite experience
  • Personalised Communication – create instant alerts to promotions based on a users location
  • Geographical Data Analysis – optimize conversion by understanding the customers

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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