Location-Aware Application

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What Does Location-Aware Application Mean?

A location-aware application presents online content to users, specifically based on their geographical location.


Different technologies implement cellular phone infrastructure, wireless access points or GPS to determine the physical location of electronic gadgets like cellphones or laptops. The users can then opt to share this information with the location-aware applications. The location-aware applications can then present the users with resources, for instance, an exact location marker on a map, restaurant reviews in that specific area, a snooze alarm set for a particular stop while using a commuter train service, updates or cautions regarding nearby bottlenecks in traffic, etc.

Techopedia Explains Location-Aware Application

Location-aware applications not only build an incredibly focused marketing potential for retailers, but also offer improved social connectivity and superior environmental awareness, providing users with a location-based filter for online data.

Location tools could be browser plug-ins installed in gadgets like smartphones or other Web-enabled devices. Mobile phone towers, wireless access points, GPS satellites or a combination of these can be used to determine the physical location of the user. When it comes to access points and cell towers, physical location is decided according to the connectivity to the independent connection point. This information is then mapped and logged into databases that are constantly updated.

When a user with a compatible mobile device opts for a location-based service, that info is delivered to location-aware applications, which aim to present resources according to the spot where the user presently is. On the other hand, a location-aware application may forward the physical location of a user to other location-aware or social media applications. Users are able to define which application should get the information and how detailed the information should be, or they could bypass all other data simply by manually entering the location coordinates.

A location-aware application offers the following advantages:

  • Presents an affordable implementation without resorting to extra hardware like those needed for GPS-centered systems
  • Offers location awareness within buildings or areas where GPS cannot be used
  • Offers convenience to define user-specific locations, which helps build a fully customized map

Location-aware applications are useful in, but are not limited to, the following cases:

  • Fleet management
  • Tourism
  • Electronic queuing
  • Finding the nearest area of interest
  • Finding the nearest social media contact

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

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.