As we know, in order to locate our position indoors, Android utilizes the nearby Wi-Fi Hotspots' location for triangulation. But how may I submit the Wi-Fi hotspots in my neighborhood to Google's/Android's database to benefit from better triangulation? I live in Turkey, and Google Street View Cars-which are claimed to collect these Hotspots in USA-don't exist here. For further info in triangulation take a look at similar threads here:

Why does google maps need WiFi?

How does Android get the coarse location?

Thanks in advance.

4 Answers 4


TL;DR version: Just use the GPS.

Long version: Turn on Wifi positioning ("Location & Security > Use wireless network"), turn on GPS ("Location & Security > Use wireless network"), use Google Maps (or other GPS applications), then walk/drive around your city.

When you turn on both of these services, before the GPS acquires a "fix", Android will send the Wifi's MAC/SSID and Cell Tower base stations CID/LAC around you to Google's server and Google's server will send back your location information; after the GPS acquires a "fix", your device will send the Wifi MAC/SSID, Cell Tower CID/LAC, and your GPS location to Google's server and Google's server will collect this information to refine their own Wifi database.

note: I believe the device could also be sending other data, like signal strength and possibly ping latency; but I'm not sure about the specifics of these.

Also from Google's support forum:

by Christopher (Google Employee)

If your location is being incorrectly detected by a Google Maps or Latitude using Google's cell ID (cell tower) or WiFi (wireless network) location database, you can help provide updated info to correct Google's database using Google Maps for mobile. At this time, you cannot provide individual updates to Google's location databases, though they are being updated and improved constantly over time.

Open Google Maps on an Android 2.0+, Windows Mobile, or Symbian S60 phone and enable GPS. While Maps is simultaneously connected to a GPS satellite and a cell tower or WiFi router, you will be providing updated anonymous geographic data for the cell tower or WiFi router to which you're connected. Please note that this data is anonymous and may require a significant amount of data from you and other users before changes are made to Google's location database.

Android: You must enable Settings > Location & security > Use wireless networks and have previously given consent for anonymous location data collection. You can check if you've given consent by un-checking and re-checking the 'Use wireless networks' setting.

  • "Please note that this data is anonymous and may require a significant amount of data from you and other users before changes are made to Google's location database." So walking near to HotSpots isn't a guaranteed way to send their locations to Google's Database. Yet it is the only one that I can make use of? Do you think there is a minimum duration of walking near to them so that their locations will be saved from Google? If not, how may I check if my Wi-Fi's locations are sent? Is there any way to query Google's db to check for my HotSpots? I asked a lot. thanks for your help.
    – Özgür
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 10:38
  • 1
    @Comptrol: No, your data is always send to Google's database when you are using Wifi positioning and GPS simultaneously; however, your data may not be immediately used until several other users confirmed that the particular hotspot exists on that particular area. Google's will "cluster" all the data points for a particular MAC/SSID from various users and calculate the most likely position of the Wifi station. If you want to help map your location, tell everyone you know that have GPS-enabled phone to drive around your area.
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 11:49
  • 1
    Note that Wifi was originally never meant for positioning, therefore there is no way for a single device sitting in a single location to determine the position of a Wifi's access point (or even estimate the distance between the device and the access point).
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 12:14
  • 1
    "Is there any way to query Google's db to check for my HotSpots?" I don't think so, as far as I can tell. However, Google Gears have Geolocation API that allows developers to query their database, you might be able to try to send a query that consists only of your own hotspot, though I never used Gears, so I can't tell you if that would work or even be possible.
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Jan 14, 2011 at 12:25
  • although Wifi was never meant for positioning, its limited range (10s of meters, compared to cellphone towers' 100s to 1000s of meters) means that a good triangulation isn't necessary for a coarse location. A lot of the time, just being able to pick up the wifi signal already gets your rough location reasonably accurately.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Jan 18, 2011 at 11:22

Apart from Lie Ryan's great answer above, I think this Wireless Location Bug Form is quite suitable for correcting mislocated Hotspots and as a result for submitting new ones. Has anyone tried this? :)

Please use this form if a Google product reported a very incorrect location (e.g. wrong city, state, or country) while your device was connected to a WiFi or wireless network and using Google's WiFi Location database. You'll need to use a computer on the same wireless network you were connected to when your location was incorrectly reported to submit this form.

Note: Submitting this information may not immediately correct your specific router or access point's location in Google's WiFi Location database but will be used to improve the overall quality of Google's products and services, including the WiFi location database.

  • 1
    I have used it once and it didn't seem to change anything. Even after six month or so I was located where I lived before. :) The link shows now: This form has expired.
    – Flow
    Commented Oct 26, 2011 at 14:54

Why don't you just update the SID of your wifi AP? I believe location will then be free from previous data.

  • 1
    How do you update the SID? The answer is too short. Might be best to re-edit to give a summary on how to achieve this?
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 15:05

If you have access to your router, you can clone its wireless MAC address. I did it on mine with DD-WRT, and now I get the correct location. All I needed to do was to change part of the MAC address.

Two things that can go wrong, though: 1. Your router may not enable you to do it (and you may be unable to install DD-WRT on it) 2. The wi-fi network that's causing the wrong location is not from your router. Other than that, its a quick fix.

  • 1
    Cloning MAC addresses just tends to cause problems later on, and is very rarely a good solution to a problem. Especially in this case, where just using the GPS in Google Maps near the wifi point (with wifi switched on in your device) will get the new AP registered, and the more devices that use GPS near your building, the quicker the database will update.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 0:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .