How to GPS Track a Cell Phone


daily iphone GPS, or Global Positioning System, originally developed for the military, has since become a staple of modern life for so many. It can pinpoint our location in 3D. space with an accuracy of just a few feet or meters. We may not always know how we got where we are,......Read more

GPS, or Global Positioning System, originally developed for the military, has since become a staple of modern life for so many. It can pinpoint our location in 3D. space with an accuracy of just a few feet or meters. We may not always know how we got where we are, but do we know where we are, and how long it will take us to get where we're going. Thanks to our smart phones, we can let other people know where we are, too! This article will show you a few ways to make that happen, and why that's generally a good thing. EditSteps

1Understand the benefits. There are many reasons to use GPS-based location services. As a parent, you may want to locate a teen that has missed curfew. Are they at the school, or with a trusted friend, or in that part of town? As an employer, you may wish to monitor the movements of your employees during work hours. Will Sandy in truck 7 be able to reach the warehouse in time with that traffic jam, or an alternate route make more sense? Why is Pat still parked out by the golf course? Lunch was over 2 hours ago! As a consumer, you may be hungry for lunch and want to know where the Starbucks nearest you is. And oh, by the way—where the closest gas station is! GPS tracking can also prove useful in crisis situations, as many wireless networks allow emergency services teams to receive information from cell phones that have been used to contact them for help.

2Determine the best service. Whatever the reason for using GPS tracking services to find a mobile device, there are many resources and methods that assist in the process. Location sharing enables cell phone users to broadcast their whereabouts within the social media framework. Virtually all the primary social media players include location sharing as part of their feature set: Yelp!, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Local, Foursquare—all of these encourage users to tag their location when they post status updates.

Many corporate entities are now investing in the proprietary development of social media and networking services that enable employees to voluntarily share location information with coworkers and management. Voluntary tracking involves smart phone features or a cellular service plan that includes tracking of the device via Web browser or other mobile device. These services allow users to set up alerts and configure accounts to pinpoint locations of other users in a certain approved area or send a message when users travel outside of a set parameter. Don't like Peggy Sue crossing out of the dry county on Friday nights? Set an alert! If she crosses 110th Avenue heading south, you receive a text message and shortly thereafter, Peggy Sue gets a call—from you! 3Choose a cellular network service provider that offers GPS-enabled devices. While some providers of smartphones offer tracking services as a standard feature, basic phones and plans may not include this functionality. For example, AT&T offers a service called FamilyMap. With this paid service you can track, at any time, the location of a family member. They will be notified that you are tracking them, so you won't be able to surprise them—but it may give you peace of mind knowing your child got home from school each day.

If you have a current cellular contract, inquire about adding tracking features to your plan and upgrade to GPS-enabled devices if the option exists. If you are in the market for a new service, weigh all of your options and research consumer sources to get advice and ratings information that can aid in the selection of the most advantageous offer and most cost-effective plan for your needs. Compare devices, as well as tracking services, to ensure that you choose the most compatible options for simple tracking of family members or complex services, such as international traveler tracking.

4Match the appropriate device with the required technology and start tracking. Once you have the right tools and the user’s consent, you need only to keep the GPS tracking option enabled. You can GPS track a cell phone by permitting GPS data to be collected by the cell phone and transmitted via the network you choose. Your installed technology will communicate via web-based services to maps and the software will report the user’s location to the online service. Depending upon the device used and the tracking purposes, you may need a monthly subscription to a tracking service in addition to installation of technology on a GPS-enabled phone. You will also need to ensure that the user keeps the tracking function enabled for constant location. EditVideo

EditTips

You can research and install applicable technology using video tutorials and free services if you want to try GPS tracking before adding the functionality to your existing plan. Ensure that if you are paying for tracking services that all parties involved—tracker (parent, employer, spouse) and mobile user (child, employee, spouse)—agree to keep the tracking device activated or vow to not tamper with or disable the device. Inquire about and use corporate services—many of which are offered by providers of popular smartphones used by large organizations to communicate effectively with a massive global workforce. These services are customizable based on the models of phones and the business requirements of the users. EditWarnings

Secret tracking, though illegal, is the practice of tracking cell users without their knowledge and/or consent. These services are not available via legitimate mobile services providers.

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