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Techniques and Methods for the Collection of Location Data

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Techniques and Methods for the Collection of Location Data

Concept for a Seminar Paper

International Business and Administration Master Program University of Vienna

December 2016

“What are my whereabouts and how do I get to Oskar-Morgenstern Platz?” If you would go out to the street and ask this question to anyone with a smartphone, you would get an answer almost instantly. How is this made possible?

According to Statista, in 2016 the number of smartphone users was astonishing 2,1 billion1, which is almost 30% of world population2. Thus, every 3rd person owns a smartphone, which opens a world of possibilities. Smartphones are not a regular phone anymore, they became a lot more by offering their users many different services besides making calls and sending messages. One of their amenities is location service. However, not only phones are able to collect location data. Nowadays we have access to many other devices and gadgets contributing to the same, such as tablets, personal computers, navigation devices, smart watches, etc.

Therefore, in order to answer the question of anybody’s whereabouts, all we need to do is look for the specific applications enabling us to do so. For example, a quick look at Google Maps will tell us where are we are at the moment. The app is able to give us this information because we have allowed it to use our phone’s built is GPS3. In Vienna, and other large cities, the applications specified for tracking public transport have been developed. Consequently, not only are we able to determine our exact location on the map, but we can get different routes in order to reach a certain destination, by using an app such as Qando4 for example. Furthermore, location services are used by many other apps: for playing games with people around you, dating, tracking your daily sport activity etc.

It is obvious that location services have become an important part of daily life. For that reason, the goal of this seminar paper is to identify and closely examine techniques and methods of collecting location data, the tools that are used and their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, the paper will explore future possibilities for collecting location data.

The paper will begin by categorizing most prevalent technologies of data collection: Cell ID, WLAN and GPS5. It will explain how their methods function, what are their advantages and disadvantages and for what purposes are they best suited to. Afterwards, the paper will talk about the RFID technology that is used to identify objects or people using the RFID transponder6. This particular



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