6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 3, 2013 12:19 AM by John Galt
ErikkSatie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I know that Apple works with a database where routers are saved with its locations. When your iDevice is connected to a wifi network it copies part of the database and part of the map corresponding to your actual location to its caché.

I once read that Street View's cars uploaded routers and their locations when working.

However I live in a small town in Argentina, and I get my location on my iPod while walking.


One of my thoughts was that iPhone, which owns GPS and satellital network, could upload routers to that database, am I right?

How does it work?

iPod touch, iOS 6
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    An iPod's location is determined by the Wi-Fi router it is using.


    The iPhone's location can be determined by that method, as well as its internal GPS receiver and cell tower triangulation. The cell tower method is sometimes the most accurate.


    Google's Street View may have uploaded the location of those routers to its database, but anyone can submit their router's location information voluntarily.


    Locating your iPod or iPhone is disabled by default. If you do not wish to use it, turn off Location Services in Settings > Privacy.


    iOS 6: Understanding Location Services

  • ErikkSatie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, I know that, but I guess there's something else Galt. Almost anybody in my town would know how to submit their router, not even have the interest to do it.

  • ErikkSatie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    In my first post, I meant to say "people with iPhone" could be uploading routers and its locations unconsciously.


    Yes, I was close, thanks for that article, I should have read it before. However it would be more simple to understand if we just post this:


    Crowd-sourced Wi-Fi and cellular Location Services

    If Location Services is on, your device will periodically send the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple, to augment Apple's crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations. In addition, if you are traveling (for example, in a car) and Location Services is on, a GPS-enabled iOS device will also periodically send GPS locations and travel speed information in an anonymous and encrypted form to Apple, to be used for building up Apple's crowd-sourced road traffic database. The crowd-sourced location data gathered by Apple does not personally identify you.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    That's it.

  • ErikkSatie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just one more question. It is reasonable that routers only can provide their 48-bit MAC address when just listening around, so that it is associated with its location; but what about repeated MAC addresses? I've been told that although they're are supposed to be unique identifiers, it could happen that they get repeated in another part of the world.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    You are correct. The router database can easily contain incorrect information for a number of reasons.