So I am not exactly sure how to put this question because it is very specific and I am not sure of there a hard concrete answer, but I am just looking for some enlightenment on the matter and it is related to Pokemon GO.

Here is what is happening in my app. I am on it, while at work, and connected to our company WiFi. while connected (it seems to happen randomly) my character will just start running and he always seem to run to the same spots. The game somehow reads that my GPS location changes even though I am not even touching my phone. It only seems to happen when connected to my companies WiFi.

Does anyone have some sort of clue as to what could be possible be happening? If it helps, I am using the latest version of android with a Galaxy S6 Edge.

Thank You

1 Answer 1


There are distinct sources of location information that are commonly called "GPS", but are more accurately called location services.

Sources in decreasing order of accuracy:

  1. Bluetooth - Due to its short range, if you can hear known Bluetooth devices, you know you must be close.
  2. Actual GPS - Your phone listens for satellites and computes its location based on distances to these satellites. This works best when you are outside with a clear view of the sky.
  3. WiFi - Using wardriving and people using GPS, a map has been constructed of the world that basically tells you where you are based on the strongest WiFi signals you hear.
  4. Cell - In addition to techniques similar to WiFi, cellular providers have additional technologies they can use to locate your phone, based on angles from antenna arrays, signal strengths, and distance estimations.

If your phone is using WiFi location, which is likely if you are inside an office building, the strongest WiFi signal will strongly influence where location services think you are. Since WiFi signals fluctuate quite a bit when people move around, doors open/close, furniture moves, etc., your estimated location will also change accordingly, which shows up as your character running around. The resolution of the WiFi database is roughly the range of a WiFi AP, which indoors is ~50m. The database is storage-limited, so there are likely only a few points around you, which explains why only a few distinct locations show up for you in the game.

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