My Google Location history is amazingly helpful and informative, and generally accurate. I have all settings set to highest so I can always get the best location accuracy. I've read several posts about how Google estimates my location, using cell towers, wifi SSIDs/BSSIDs, etc and it all makes sense. But when I go on my daily hike, the accuracy is 'way off' by a few miles. I take photos on my hike and their Geo-location tagging is accurate to within a few feet, so I know the location information is available with GPS.
The following screen shot gives an example. The red line was drawn by me and represents my hike. The blue lines are the estimation by Google Location. My hike follows a ridgeline that surrounds a residential neighborhood. Obviously, my phone's location sensor is latching onto either cell-towers or wifi access points in the neighborhood.
Is there any way I can tell my phone to use GPS to report location, rather than wifi or cell tower, during a hike? If I launch google maps during the hike, will that cause my accuracy to improve? I often take photos at various locations along the hike (and these are accurately geo-tagged) but this doesn't seem to help the location map below. I did notice that, if I use a 'hiking app' such as 'map my walk' or 'strava', the location as reported to Google is very accurate. So do I need to launch 'any app that uses GPS' to make the GPS location available to Google?
Also, I've read that I can click on 'blue dots' on the map to see where it's getting the location information from, but I see no blue dots no matter how much I zoom in.