Location-Based Services: Definition and Examples

Real-time geodata from cellphones is used by location-based services to provide information, entertainment, or security. Here is how companies are using this technology:

Mobile devices are used by location-based services to provide interactive features and relevant adverts to users.

GPS data, Wi-Fi data, cellular tower pings, QR codes, and RFID technologies are all used for location tracking.

Uber, a ride-sharing service, and Pokemon Go, a well-known smartphone game, are examples of location-based services.

Owners of businesses that are interested in learning more about location-based services and how to exploit user data from nearby areas for marketing should read this article.

Location-based services (LBS) provide information, entertainment, or security using real-time geodata from a smartphone. Customers may check in at restaurants, coffee shops, retailers, concerts, and other locations or events using these services. Businesses often reward customers who check in at their locations with prizes, vouchers, or discounts. Location-based services are used by Google Maps, Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook check-ins, among others. Making the Most of Yelp for Your Small Business is a related guide.

If the user has given permission, location-based services may be able to monitor a person’s whereabouts using the GPS capabilities of a smartphone. The programme can pinpoint a smartphone user’s position to the street address if they opt in, all without having to manually enter any information.

The LBS market, which accounted for more than $36 billion in 2020, is expected to grow to more than $318 billion by 2030, according to research from Allied Market Research. Since so many businesses are using location-based services, it’s critical to comprehend the advantages and disadvantages of LBS as well as how to maximise this technology for your small company.

What is loction-based tecnology?

Any system that requires real-time location monitoring to operate is referred to as a location-based service. The user’s physical and geographic location are permanently identified by the technology and utilised to carry out services and operations.

Although location-based technology is often utilised with mobile devices, it may also be used with desktop PCs and any other device that can offer a location.

How does location technology track your movements?

A typical mobile device has a number of technologies that may offer location data. GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, and cellular technology are the most widely used technologies. They all function according to the same general principles, which we’ll go over in more depth in the next section.

To operate, a mobile device must interact with other devices and hubs, including satellites, routers, and towers. The exact position of the mobile device may be triangulated since it pings off many connection hubs.

Examples of location-tracking technology

Examples will help to demonstrate how various location-tracking techniques operate. The location-tracking systems that are the most accurate include many of these technologies.


The Global Positioning System is a constellation of satellites that exists only to aid in the global search for objects. Any gadget with a GPS receiver may ping these satellites, including the majority of smartphones. The gadget can communicate with at least four satellites thanks to this capacity. To determine the signal’s origin, the satellites compare the signal delay.

Through this procedure, your phone will be able to deliver turn-by-turn navigation and know exactly where you are. GPS fleet monitoring software, used by corporations to remotely monitor their corporate cars and drivers’ performance, is a common commercial use for GPS technology.


The way that Wi-Fi location monitoring works differs from previous approaches. A device typically only joins one Wi-Fi network at a time, obviating the chance of triangulation. Instead, Wi-Fi location tracking makes use of IP addresses. Every network has a physical IP address that tells the wider internet where it is and enables reliable information transmission over the internet infrastructure. Location services may determine your present address since your phone couples with the actual IP address of the Wi-Fi network when you connect to it.

Cellular technology

Similar to GPS, cellular tracking operates. Your gadget, however, links to cellular towers rather than satellites. Typically, you’ll be close to two towers or more, which is sufficient for the system to utilise triangulation to determine your position.

QR codes

In theory, quick response (QR) tracking is analogous to Wi-Fi. A dynamic QR code records information about the scan when it is scanned. Once the QR code is operational, its precise position may be noted. Anytime the code is scanned, that site may then be labeled.


RFID  a static position is normal for an RFID scanner. When the Gscanner pings off other networks, you may record its position. The position of the RFID scanner is tagged when it records an access when it is turned on. The location of the device accessing the scanner may be determined by this technique.

Key fobs for keyless entry systems, RFID-enabled timeclocks for staff monitoring, and the top inventory management programmes that track the whereabouts of your physical goods all use RFID technology.

Uses of location-based services

Companies have come up with several uses for device location data.

Retail shoppers may use store locators to discover the closest store location fast.

The term “proximity-based marketing” refers to the practise of local businesses pushing advertisements solely to those nearby. By identifying prospective clients who are likely to take action after receiving the information, location-based mobile data may enhance local marketing campaigns.

Travel-related information: A location-based service may provide real-time information to a smartphone, such as traffic updates or weather forecasts, so the user can make the necessary plans.

Towing services: If the user encounters a flat tyre or auto accident, several roadside help businesses offer an app that enables them to monitor your precise position so they don’t need to give instructions.

Mobile workforce management: An LBS enables workers to check in at predetermined places using their mobile devices for logistics-dependent businesses that employ people in the field or at several locations. Businesses that manage remote employees often depend on geolocation information to make sure employees are where they should be.

Fraud prevention: Location-based services help reduce the security concerns associated with credit cards. For instance, by connecting a customer’s location to a credit card transaction, an LBS adds an additional layer of protection. By connecting the location of the smartphone to a credit card, the business may identify transactions that took place quickly in numerous different places.

LBS companies

Many mobile app developers leverage existing solutions via an API to save time and money since they lack the resources to create software that can understand a smartphone’s location. To link businesses with smartphone users’ geolocation, these organisations work with cellular providers. They provide resources to boost user interaction and reach out to as many mobile phone users as they can.

AT&T, Esri, and HERE are companies widely recognised for their LBS software.

Examples of location-based service apps

Some of these LBS applications may already be in your arsenal.

Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing apps

The effectiveness of location-based services is essential for using your phone to hail a transport. It would be inconvenient to always have to manually input your destination’s address into your preferred ridesharing app.

Your ridesharing app quickly knows where you are thanks to location-based services. When you request a ride, the app finds drivers nearby and finds you a speedy trip.

Carrot Weather

Most weather applications only display predictions from one local source. To go beyond this conventional architecture, Carrot Weather makes advantage of location-based services and APIs.

The Carrot Weather app for your phone creates a prediction specific to your precise area by combining weather information from many sources. It also places a strong emphasis on data security and never divulges your private information to other parties.

In addition to weather predictions backed by location-based services, Carrot Weather has a unique personality that users can customise and offers access to more than 100 hidden places.

Pokemon Go

An incredibly popular location-based app is Pokemon Go. Everywhere you travel, you’ll discover a distinct set of Pokemon to capture. This game’s whole concept is location-based. Even some places have Pokemon you can only find there. Pokemon Go demonstrates the potential of LBS for leisure as well as for business.

Location-based services FAQs

Who uses location-based services?

Location-based services are used and benefited by nearby companies and their clients. LBS is used by businesses from a variety of sectors to monitor consumer behaviour, give them relevant offers and information, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Customers help location-based services by enabling them to get to their locations, measure their physical activities, receive information and timely promotional offers that are relevant to them, support location-specific services like food delivery and ridesharing, and much more.

What are some common types of location-based apps?

While all firms may profit from location-based technology, certain sectors are more likely to do so than others.

Applications for travel and tourism: Location-based travel apps provide users with the best routes, suggestions for nearby points of interest, activities, and events, as well as local weather updates.

Retail apps: With an LBS app, you can maximise proximity-based marketing and assess the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns while directing prospective consumers to the closest shop.

Apps for health and fitness: Thanks to LBS, an app may track users’ exercise routines and routes and even let them to post their sporting achievements on social media. These applications may also propose local establishments that provide healthy food and other pertinent businesses.

Apps for restaurants and hotels: If you own a restaurant or hotel, you may utilise a food delivery app to provide takeout to your clients. For real-time delivery tracking, status updates, and estimated arrival times, the majority of food delivery applications employ LBS. Additionally, a firm may notify neighbouring clients of promotional deals.

Should you employ location-based services for your company?

Before employing LBS, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the technology. Location-based services must heavily stress user privacy even if they may make conversion monitoring easier and make your products more relevant.

Businesses in the retail, hotel, and travel sectors may especially profit from LBS. However, digital businesses as well as those that concentrate on web traffic or global marketplaces could not fully use the technology.

What are the benefits of location-based services?

Customers who use location-based services feel more secure in dire situations. For instance, if there is an accident, ambulance services may arrive right away and they can readily obtain auto help. Additionally, LBS reduces the risk of fraud, enables customers to get relevant material and tailored adverts, and enhances their travel experience.

There are several reasons to embrace LBS:

Enhance the experience for customers. Instead of bothering clients with generic adverts and marketing pitches, you can use LBS to provide them relevant information and services. They may be guided to the closest retail location with your assistance. You may recognise and honour your greatest customers by keeping track of frequent check-ins and providing loyalty programmes.

Obtain thorough information about consumer behaviour. You may learn more about your clients’ purchasing habits by using location-based services, such as how often they visit your establishment, if they take advantage of your offers, and more.

Boost your marketing initiatives. You may inform clients who are close to the location of your company about current deals and unique events because of LBS. A location-based app’s comments and ratings may also assist it draw in new users.

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