How to Locate a Person With GPS


Using Global Positioning System tracking to locate someone is possible with mobile and PDA smart phones. GPS tracking is primarily used by parents to keep track of children or for adults with elderly parents. Information transmitted by the GPS tracking device is not completely accurate, according to Verizon Wireless. Location information can be delayed or misinterpreted depending on the location of the nearest satellite or cell tower transmitting the information.

Things You'll Need

  • GPS mobile equipped device
  • Cellular network provider
  • Location based service

Global Positioning System Locator

  • Make sure the person being located has a GPS-enabled cell phone. The phone has to be turned on in order for the GPS to pick up a signal. The GPS works by calculating the distance of an object from three aerials that are nearest to it.

  • Connect to a wireless network service provider. GPS tracking services are provided by cell phone carriers. Configure the GPS-enabled mobile device to the network in order to have data sent out on the internet or via a network tower.

  • Select a location-based service through the mobile provider, a means to have the location information accessible via an Internet website or call center. The LBS provider is able to give the approximate last known location of a person by the signals the GPS emits. Mapping locations, turn-by-turn directions and text message alert features are services also offered by some LBS providers

  • Compare LBS providers before purchasing a plan. Cell phone operators also act as LBS providers. Cheap is not always the best when dealing with technology. There are many costs with GPS for people tracking, including equipment costs that will allow GPS technology, Setup and activation fees to put the phone on a network and network access subscriptions to be able to access the location information on the particular phone. Charges may be incurred with each location report generated or you can take an option of a certain amount of reports per month.

  • Avoid legal repercussions. Permission to track someone with GPS tracking technology must be obtained by the subscriber prior to using the system. The most popular use of the GPS tracking services are for parents of school aged children between 8-14 and for adults with elderly parents to locate them in case of emergencies or when an elderly parent is out running errands. Being able to locate family members provides peace of mind and helps ensure safety.

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  • Photo Credit active grandmama and the mobile phone image by Alexey Klementiev from
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