Location Awareness

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What Does Location Awareness Mean?

Location awareness refers to a presence – technology component that provides information about the physical location of a device to another application or user. This term is frequently used to refer to cameras and mobile communication devices; however, it may also be used with websites that request the zip code of a user for delivering targeted information.


Techopedia Explains Location Awareness

Location awareness also signifies devices that feature the ability to actively or passively discover their location. For vehicles and vessels, navigational instruments offer location coordinates. Surveying devices recognize the location with regards to a popular locational wireless communication device. Network location awareness (NLA) represents the location of a node within a network.

The location of a device is often identified using one of the three methods:

  • Global positioning system (GPS) satellite tracking
  • Tower triangulation
  • Media access control (MAC) address of a device in a Wi-Fi network

Location awareness is a rapidly growing trend when it comes to software and hardware. Listed below are a few applications of location awareness:

  • Navigation: Navigation as well as reckoning are main worries for aviators, seafarers and professional drivers. The job is to dynamically identify the present location and also the distance, direction and time to the destination.
  • Surveying: It's the static complement to navigation. It is vital for delineating land ownership and also for civil engineers and architects who design construction projects.
  • Memory cards of cameras, which automate the location tagging of a picture
  • Applications or software programs on smartphones
  • GPS systems used in vehicles
  • Healthcare device management
  • Supply chain management (SCM)
  • Warehouse and routing

Concerns regarding security and privacy grow with the prevalent usage of location awareness. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) includes a working group known as Geographic Location/Privacy (geopriv) for exploring strategies to protect users while advancing the technology.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.