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Understanding Location Data: Uses, Importance and How it's Collected

Updated: May 12


What is Location Data?

Location data is information about the geographical position of a device at a specific time. Some devices may be standalone such as a smartphone that can collect and transmit data about its whereabouts, and others may be placed on or connected to another object or person in order to track its location. 

Why is Location Data Important?

Location data is important to companies in many industries for slightly different reasons. Marketers, for example, can use location data to customize advertisements and ensure that potential customers are served a particular ad at just the right time (i.e. when they are standing outside a particular store, they can receive a discount coupon). 


For other companies, the use of location data for asset tracking can also be critically important, especially when it comes to manufacturing, shipping logistics, and backend retail. In these industries, where companies are dealing with hundreds or thousands of product components, packages, and inventory as well as expensive tools and equipment, knowing the precise location of each asset saves valuable time, money, and resources. 

How Location Data is Collected

Three things are needed in order for location data to be collected: a receiver, a signal and an identifier. The device or item that is being tracked is the receiver and must be equipped with the technology that allows it to receive signals.


The signals themselves can come from one or more of the following:


  • GPS - The global positioning system (known as GPS) consists of 31 satellites that are continuously orbiting the earth. GPS signals are used to determine location by calculating the amount of time it takes for the signal to reach a particular device from the satellite.

  • Cell Tower - Mobile devices connect to nearby cell towers in order to receive communication signals. The signal strength that the device receives from towers in its vicinity determines the device’s location.

  • Wi-Fi - Wi-Fi access points are used to allow devices to connect to wireless networks. Similar to GPS, location is determined by calculating the distance between the access point and the device.

  • Beacons - Beacons are installed in specific locations and use Bluetooth signals to transmit data. Like with cell towers, the signal strength provides information on how far away a device is from a beacon. 


The receiving devices are assigned an identifier (called a device ID) in order to track their movement over time. 

Contact us to learn how you can use Deeyook to track the location of your business’ most important assets anywhere and anytime.

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