Google location incorrect – what’s that all about?
So recently I’ve moved house and it’s been bugging me that my Google Now / Location keeps syncing me back to my old home address (I’m using a Samsung S4 for what its worth but this applies to all modern Android devices and possibly IOS if using google Maps). I find Google Now pretty useful because it tells me in the morning how long / far to my first meeting or any increased traffic levels on the roads before I set off. This sort of data is useful but only if it knows where you are right?
Example here is it showing my estimated time to home from work, normal traffic levels for this time of night which is a good 🙂
Now my route from work to home is always accurate and always syncs me correctly at my work address. The problem is when I’m at my new home I always sync at my old address – over 50 miles away. It’s started to become annoying so I thought I’d try and get it fixed.
To give you an example we can see how the data is incorrect
As you can see there is a huge straight line to Mellor which is where it believes I am in the mornings. As soon as I step out the house it is accurate because it fixes my location on GPS. I can see my normal route to work today then I popped out for a meeting over in Trafford Park.
I thought it would be a simple fix by updating my home address in google maps.
Unfortunately this wasn’t quite the easy fix I was hoping for. As it turns out not only does Google use the GPS technology inside your phone to get a fix on your location it will also use WiFi location detection technology – it can be much faster to sync to WiFi than get a GPS fix or triangulate via a GRPS signal.
To be fair its fairly clever how they have done this. With the Google street vans that have been driving around the UK they also sucked in all the SSID data being transmitted via your Sky / BT or whatever make router. The SSID was then tied to the known GPS location of the street van, bound to a hardware (MAC) address of the router and pinpointed a particular SSID on the google map. So in the absence of GPS technology on your device (Mac book / PC etc) or for speed then WiFi based positioning system will be used to locate you.
The problem now is I’ve moved 50 miles away and its still fixing me in my old home address even though I’m nowhere near it. I’ve trawled Google search to see how I can update my SSID location but there is no tool. I guess I have to wait for another drive by from a Google street car and then the data to be updated? How long this could take is anybody’s guess.
My only alternative is to change my SSID name to something new which can be done but seems a pain just to fix my location on my android device.. I now have to update all my home devices to the new SSID and password (PS3, Smart TV, multiple laptops, multiple phones, guest devices etc etc).
If you want to stop Google using your SSID in their Wi-Fi positioning database then there is an option of putting “_nomap” at the end of your SSID for example MYWIFNAME_nomap. Details on wifi opt out can be read here – https://support.google.com/maps/answer/1725632?hl=en
If anybody knows away of changing my location on my current SSID / router then please let me know but from what I can tell we are at the mercy of Google on this one.