Recently there has been a surge in the number of internet users that are using mobile devices to access the internet. Desktop PC and laptop sales are in decline as users prefer the flexibility of using mobile handheld devices. As older technology is being replaced, this helps web developer access a range of new features when building websites.
If you run a business that relies on customers requiring assistance whilst out on the road, it's more than likely that customers will make contact from a mobile phone, they may have access to a tablet of some kind. It's unlikely that they will have reached your website via a desktop PC or laptop unless they have called friends or family for help and they are using the Internet for assistance.
Nearly all of the latest smart phones and tablets have a GPS chip inside, and the chip uses satellite data to calculate your exact position. When a GPS signal is unavailable, geolocation apps can use information from cell towers to triangulate your approximate position, a method that isn't as accurate as GPS but is has greatly improveds in recent years. This is a huge benefit to web developers, instead of asking a customer where they are located the website simply needs to confirm whether they wish to share their location. If accepted, the website can pin the user on a map - using Google Maps for example.
It allows websites that run on mobile devices to provide a richer experience than those that run on desktop PCs and laptops because the relevant data you send and receive changes as your location changes. It all happens in real time too, without any human intervention.
Case Study: Geolocation
On establishing the users location, we are able to:
- Display the exact location on the page, including the road name if there is a one.
- From a list of partners, establish which partner is nearest and provide their name, phone number and a link to their website.
- Display a pin on map showing the exact location, it is provided by Google Maps - the area can be zoomed in and panned around.
If the exact location of the user cannot be determined, a fall-back handles the situation with a suitable message.
Please contact us using the contact form if you would like more details about adding geolocation to your website.