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Wi-Fi-positioning

Topic: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello dear partners!

We periodically receive a request for the implementation of Wi-Fi positioning functionality, which allows to get the location of units not only using GPS or LBS but also through Wi-Fi points. Using GPS is not always possible indoors due to high signal attenuation by walls and ceilings of buildings, LBS is generally less accurate and depends on many extraneous factors. In this regard, the use of location based on wi-fi points for indoor and personal monitoring is becoming relevant.

There is equipment on the market that provides geolocation through a Wi-Fi access point using built-in Wi-Fi technology that analyses its environment and incorporates the detected MAC addresses into the device's syntax structure in its protocol. Some of these types are integrated into Wialon and can be used to determine location similar to the existing LBS feature.

We plan to make a development that will allow getting location by mac addresses of nearby wi-fi points. We assume that the implementation will be similar to LBS, i.e. for some units of suitable type it will be possible to enable wi-fi positioning.

Therefore, I would like to ask you a few questions that would make this functionality useful and suitable for solving your problems and tasks:
1. How relevant is this functionality to you?
2. For which of your tasks would this enhancement be useful?
3. What features would you like to see added as part of the implementation of the task?

You can also write any suggestions and ideas for wi-fi positioning. We will certainly consider them!

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

(edited by Fernando Brochetto 10/12/2020 21:52:56)

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello mana,

I think that the idea of indoor location is very promising and I would be very happy to see inside Wialon.
We already had some demands for using mesh connection and we intend to start testing this technology next year. I know that ELA and Minew have some devices for solutions like this:

https://elainnovation.com/wirepas-mesh.html
https://www.minew.com/bluetooth-beacons

--

1. We only have some demands for now, but it is increasing because I had never received it in other years.

2. Our idea was to help clients locating and counting people in companyes and tunnels, assets (like machines in hospitals, for example), automatic inventory and actually work with other IoT sollutions too, like smart buildings.

3. I don't have much knowledge on the subject yet, but if I had such a solution I would like to be able to include inside Wialon the floor plan of the place I want to monitor (3D would be really cool), to be able to divide it into several rooms and generate reports similar to geofences.

Fernando Brochetto
Technical Support, Rastreasul

fernando@rastreasul.com.br
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello mana,

We would also be very interested in this solution as we do have a few clients seeking this kind of tracking.

1. We do have clients who have asked us about indoor tracking and want to track their cleaning machines in shopping centers and ports.

2. Mostly for tracking electric machinery inside shopping centres or port buildings, this selection can be expanded in the future.

3. A possibility to add a custom layer on top of a geofence or something similar so you could see more details about a shopping center.

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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello CarCops Autovalve,

thank you for your response. In the first quarter, we will only implement the option of determining the location by Wi-Fi points. We are not planning to implement floor plans, building plans, etc. in the near future, as this was not a requirement in the original request and we have not deeply analysed the possibilities of such functionality.

But I would like you to clarify a few things on this point:
1. Are you aware of monitoring systems that allow tracking objects indoors using data from WiFi hotspots?
2. Do you have any information about services/products that allow to form a layer with room description (building plans, premises)?

I would be grateful for answers!

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

(edited by hhamedk 18/01/2021 17:05:13)

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

mana, indoor positioning is really interesting idea and we are receiving requests for RTLS systems time to time.
But I don't know how you want to implement it, because as I know such systems are totally different from what you are doing now.
As CarCops Autovalve mentioned such systems need some layers on top of map to locate the moving object accurately and this is a must.
BTW, if what you want to do can be reach the accuracy of LBS, that won't be useful for our market, otherwise if you will reach to accuracy of Google like services (which can determine laptops' exact location without GPS) then I will be surprised and can see huge demand in market for that.

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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

hhamedk,
the implementation will be similar to LBS, accuracy will not be the same as with LBS. We will receive coordinates from Google - they claim an accuracy of 10-20 m.

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello mana, I've never worked with those devices, but when working with them, isn't there a way of creating your own referencials for having a more precise location system? If the accuracy is around 10-20 I don't think we'll have demmands.

Fernando Brochetto
Technical Support, Rastreasul

fernando@rastreasul.com.br
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello Mana

Nice to see that new solutions are a priority.
We got our first wifi location working.
Here is some raw data
wifi_mac_1=ac:92:32:98:6c:f7, wifi_rssi_1=-64, wifi_mac_2=34:e3:80:97:2e:04, wifi_rssi_2=-82, wifi_mac_3=58:98:35:7e:73:9b, wifi_rssi_3=-89, wifi_mac_4=08:76:ff:82:f7:e6, wifi_rssi_4=-93

As you can see our device sees 4 wifi networks but there is not much more we can do with this data. It's still a bit unclear how the wifi data turns into location info.

Could you please help to clear it out as you recently published that now you support wifi location
https://gurtam.com/en/blog/updates-what … march-2021

Thanks

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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello Riho CarCops Autovalve,

Thank you for noticing our work! We are also pleased that the new functionality is useful to you.

And now back to your question. I will try to describe in detail the process of getting coordinates via Wi-Fi hotspots:

1) Choice of equipment. First of all, it should be noted that not all trackers support Wi-Fi positioning. The list of such equipment can be found on the website by setting an appropriate filter. For example, personal trackers that support wi-fi positioning are available at https://gurtam.com/en/gps-hardware/personal.
If you are sure that your equipment supports this function, but it is not on the list, please let us know.

2) Selection of setting values. If your equipment supports Wi-Fi positioning, the "Determine the location by Wi-Fi points" block with the following options will become available in the "Advanced" tab of the unit settings:
- Minimum number of Wi-Fi points. The setting specifies what the minimum number of mac addresses must be in a message for it to be considered valid. Note: You cannot enter a value less than 2, as a minimum of 2 points is required for location determination by triangulation;
- Maximum number of Wi-Fi points. The default value is 3. The setting specifies the maximum number of mac addresses to consider when determining a location. If there are more mac addresses than specified in the setting, we select the specified number. The selection criterion is signal strength. The higher the signal strength, the higher the priority point.
- Location accuracy, m. The default value is 10.

3) The next step is just getting the coordinates.
In order for us to send a request for coordinates to Google, we need to get information about the mac addresses of the points and the signal strength. These can be seen in the message with the names wifi_mac_¹ and wifi_rssi_¹.
If this information is received and the location option described in step 2 is enabled, we will select the points that fit the limits you set, generate a request and send it to Google. If Google has information about these points in its databases, we will receive the coordinates of the unit’s location in response.
The next step is to check the accuracy of the defined location. If the accuracy obtained is not less than the accuracy you set in the settings, then we consider such coordinates as valid. In this case, we will substitute them in the message and add the accuracy information to the message (parameter wifi_acc) We will also add the information to the message.

If the coordinates do not appear in the message, then it is likely that the coordinates did not pass the accuracy validation or Google could not determine the location from the points. In this case you need to check details with technical support (we don't display errors in the interface yet).

I also want to talk about how we decide whether or not to change coordinates:
When we receive a message from a unit with the "Determine location by wi-fi points" option enabled, we determine the coordinates as follows:
- If the message only contains information about GPS coordinates, but no information about wi-fi points (i.e. mac addresses), we will leave the GPS coordinates.
The message validity filtering settings must be taken into account, if specified.
- If there is no GPS information or mac addresses in the message, the coordinates will not be defined;
- If the data are only about wi-fi points (mac addresses), then check the validity of the data using the criteria from the block "Locate by wi-fi points", and if the check is passed, then we accept the data as valid and can further determine coordinates, i.e. send a request for coordinates to Google.
- If the message contains both GPS and wi-fi information, then the wi-fi points will have priority if they are valid. If not, we will leave GPS coordinates (if valid).

4) Highlighting in the message panel. Messages with wi-fi coordinates will be marked in purple in the interface.
https://i2.paste.pics/742fa885209a26b456afee3dbbffc3db.png

5) New motion states in the worklist and Dashboard. An appropriate icon will be added to the worklist to indicate that the data is received via wi-fi, as in Dashboard.
https://i2.paste.pics/3553ef3adc5fa976605ff56276252ec5.png
https://i2.paste.pics/341fdb4f2e4944a04975d0bc1a3d1cc7.png
In conclusion, there is no need to manually send any requests for coordinates. You just need to make the settings in step 2, and everything will happen automatically from there.

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello Mana

Thanks for the detailed description. We got it working now.

You said: If the message contains both GPS and wi-fi information, then the wi-fi points will have priority if they are valid. If not, we will leave GPS coordinates (if valid).

But we have activated GPS, LBS and WIFI

If you get all three valid locations or let's say GPS is blocked or jammed by GPS jammer and we get LBS and WIFI information then which of them is used as a priority?

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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

CarCops Autovalve, thanks for your question.

In this case, the Wi-Fi coordinates will still have priority as they are more accurate.

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello mana

As I understand correctly them the priority is
1. WIFI
2. GPS
3. LBS

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Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

CarCops Autovalve,

you are absolutely right. For those units that have the ability to determine locations by wi-fi points, the priority will be the same as you described.

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello Mana

Just to continue the discussion then isn't it better to have priority
1. GPS
2. WIFI
3. LBS

Because 99.9% of tracking happens outdoors where GPS signal is accurate. If the device enters the building then it loses GPS and would switch to WIFI.

The priorities are set by wialon?

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Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

CarCops Autovalve,

Priorities are set at the software code level.
If the device enters the street, it will not have enough information about wi-fi points, so in such situations, gps will have priority. I.e. determination by wi-fi is typical for indoor monitoring. So you can not worry - everything should work as you say: in a building (with sufficient points and accuracy) will have priority wi-fi, in the street (in the absence of information about wi-fi) - gps.
Also, if you have 2+ wi-fi points outside, you can increase the accuracy, then most likely such coordinates will not be validated and gps data will be taken into account.

You can do tests inside buildings as well as outside. If you find any inaccuracies or suggestions, you can send me information in private messages or at mana@gurtam.com. We will certainly consider everything and suggest options.

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam
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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

Hello Mana

Does any of your mobile applications like the new WiaTag support wifi positioning as well?  It would be nice to track the phone by GPS, LBS and WIFI

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Wi-Fi-positioning

Re: Wi-Fi-positioning

CarCops Autovalve,

unfortunately, they do not support it yet. We also do not plan any improvements in the nearest future.

Nastassia Maslovskaya
Business Analyst, Gurtam