Does your WiFi iPad show your location incorrectly?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by knock, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. knock

    knock
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Thanks Received:
    0
    It is very likely something in your wireless router. Unless you are using a 3g iPad with the 3g cell towers triangulating your position, your iPad uses something that is broadcast from wireless routers around you...and you do not need to be connected to that router for this to take place. The iPad appears to read the strongest wifi signal and sets your location based upon what location that particular router you are detecting is reporting.
    I bought two wifi iPads, one for myself and one for my Mom. I set both up at my house. I have the widely popular Linksys wrt54g2 router. Both iPads hit my location very quickly and are quite accurate. I then took my Mom's iPad to her house with a Tenda router and the map starts showing my location as South Korea! If I walked down the street one way about 100 yards, it would lose her router's signal and pick up one down the street, jumping the location back to my vicinity. When I walked back to her house, it took me back to Korea. I walked up the street in another direction and back again, with the same results.
    After thinking this through, even considering that maybe her house was on top of some phenominal magnetic or radioactive deposits, I finally got down to unplugging her router and bam! I was instantly transported back to a logical location position. I took her iPad back to my house, and location works correctly on both iPads. I can also recreate the issue with my own iPad. So there is no doubt it is her router. BUT, I cannot find anything in the Tenda router's setup/settings web page that fixes this. I have changed the date and time and time zone on the router, rebooted everything multiple times and still no luck. I wanted to share this with the community so anyone else with similar issues might gain some insight.
    I'm going to dig into the router a little deeper and come up with a solution to get it to report it's location properly. I have a feeling it is something in its SSID broadcast since I have validated that it is not necessary for the iPad to be connected to a router in order to get its location.
     
  2. iPadCharlie

    iPadCharlie
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,231
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Have you checked the Tenda website (http://www.tenda.cn/) to make sure you have the most current firmware?
     
  3. RAC

    RAC
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    615
    Thanks Received:
    7
    My theory, as just posted on a similar thread, is that when the Google car drives down your street taking StreetView images it also grabs the MAC addresses of wireless routers that is can pick up and stores them, with approximate locations, in a database.

    As for the Korean location, perhaps we have run out of unique MAC addresses and they are repeated in various parts of the world. I not really sure about the that though.


    This Apple KB sheds some light on the subject iPhone and iPod touch: Understanding Location Services
     
  4. knock

    knock
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Thanks Received:
    0
    google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=6bef39e72c3abbb5&hl=en Despite fixing router location online using MAC address, WiFi devices still show up 3000 miles off on Latitude - Google Mobile Help

    You are going to have to copy/paste the link above because Im still too new here on this forum to post active links

    I just found the link above showing that the problem may be related to google's map database having an incorrect location associated with the router's Mac address. It also appears there is no way to fix it with a wifi iPad alone. The database uses the Mac address as the main record. It stores cell tower, wifi, and gps location data that is reported along with that Mac address. If I get several people with cell phones to turn on gps,wifi, and cell tower assisted location, it will begin to update the location of the wifi Mac address associated with the router.
    I could clone the Mac address of another router that has yet to be pinpointed in googles database onto my Mom's router, but gee whiz.
    Here is how I think this went down.

    The time zone on the router was set by default to Korea. The first device to connect to the router and access google maps location service was her wifi-only iPad. The router reported itself to google as in the time zone of Korea and nothing conflicting was presented, so it pegged the first part of the longitude. Next came the internal compass's contribution to the location. This appears to set a bearing and somehow triangulate position. What this means is that wifi iPads and other such devices are going to corrupt googles location database for any particular router they access if that router's time zone setting is not consistent with it's actual location. Since people may move from say, Florida to Washington, even if they reset their routers time zone, google will still report the location as Florida. Google has basically allowed movable landmarks to be interpreted as fixed positions on the globe.
     
  5. knock

    knock
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Thanks for the link RAC
     
  6. iVan

    iVan
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,929
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Can that be legal?
     
  7. knock

    knock
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Thanks Received:
    0
    1991-c4,

    To answer your question, yes, I have scoured their website.

    Before I posted this thread, I did do a search on this forum and really didn't hit on anything, but mainly because I did not include "GPS" in my search for obvious reasons.

    Since this issue appears to be restricted to wifi-only iPads, could you edit the OP's title to say "Does your wifi iPad show your location incorrectly?".

    After reading the similar GPS thread, i was just thinking it may be prudent to separate the issues a little better.
     
  8. GaurhothW

    GaurhothW
    Expand Collapse
    iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Apple uses a service called skyhook for wifi positioning. They basically wardrive populated areas and record locations along with details about a wifi access point. In this case it appears that their database has an error. You might can submit a correction at (i would post a link, but i am new...:)

    Google search for skyhook wireless and look around the site for the submission form.
     
  9. iPadCharlie

    iPadCharlie
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,231
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Done!
     
  10. RAC

    RAC
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    615
    Thanks Received:
    7
    There was an outcry about this (and StreetView as well) by Civil Liberties groups in Australia about a year ago but it must have come to nothing.
     

Share This Page



Search tags for this page
ipad current location wrong
,
ipad has wrong location
,

ipad location wrong

,
ipad showing wrong location
,
ipad shows wrong location
,
ipad wrong location
,
my ipad location is wrong
,
my ipad shows the wrong location
,

my location is wrong on my ipad

,
why is my ipad location wrong