Geo-localization is the identification of the geographic location of a given object in the real world, such as a cell phone or a computer connected to the Internet, depending on various possible techniques.

The most used technologies for geolocalizing objects can be radio-based location (radio-localization) systems, wired systems (wireless wifi) or hybrid systems. They can be summarized by the following techniques:

GPS: based on radio signals obtained from artificial satellites in orbit around the Earth;

Localization is made via cells of the cellular telephone network: it is analyzed the power of the radio signal of each cell in relation to the respective base station (which has known and defined geographic coordinates) connected to the mobile or terminal device and determines the distance from this in relation of the knowledge of the attenuation of the radio propagation environment;


Through WiFi or WLAN: it is based on the signal of the various WiFi sources, which are in turn located through the Internet Network;

Internet Network: Through the IP address of your Internet network, where location depends on link logging to a database;

On-site localization: through ARVA (Avalanche search appliance) or RECCO (which is used to quickly find people buried in snow after an avalanche).

Over the years, companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook, favored by the exponential growth of mobile devices such as smartphones, have introduced the geolocation of their users by increasing the number of services available on their platforms, such as geomarketing (an approach marketing that uses land-related information to analyze, plan and implement marketing activities) and integration into social networks.


Cellular geolocation services are increasingly used by law enforcement and law enforcement officers in their investigative activities in criminal cases due to the ability of the user to store user data (eg, to a cell) by the system or in cases of public security or missing people’s search.


Another application of a geolocation system is the satellite anti-theft and can also be performed with a mapping system, as it was in the pre-computer age.


Note that georeferencing and geolocation are not synonyms: the first is the attribution of a geographic metadata to a set of data, the second is the dynamic determination of an object in the real world.