Improve Gnome Maps location accuracy with your Android phone.

Gnome Maps, the desktop app powered by OpenStreetMap enables fantastic features on the desktop like route planning, street map and satellite views. but also the ability to find your current location by various means. The Majority of Linux devices such as laptops don’t come with GPS or other location tracking hardware built in. In such cases Maps attempts to gain location from other sources such as IP Address, this can put your location anywhere up to 10km away from your actual location. Android phones, however, have excellent location services, able to use GPS, WiFi and the cellular network to gain location data. So let’s pass this on to gnome maps with an app called GeoclueShare.

Install Gnome Maps

Either through the software centre in Ubuntu 18.04 or by typing

sudo apt-get install gnome-maps

Open up the maps application and right click on the maps window button in the top left to either sign in or sign up for a new OpenStreetMap account.

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Once done click the location icon in the top left of the gnome maps window, it will find where it thinks you are. Clicking on the blue dot will provide information about accuracy.

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In this case, it has given the Accuracy as correct within 5km, A big margin for error. So let’s improve it, Head over to the Google Play Store and install the GeoClueShare app on your android phone.

Make sure that location services are switched on in Gnome Shell. Open the app on your phone and toggle the Location Sharing button. Please note that both devices must be connected to the same wifi network

Now head back to maps and click the location icon (you may need to close the window and reopen) and the accuracy should dramatically improve.

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In this case down to 50m, a big improvement. It should be noted that I was indoors at the time, being outdoors in direct view of a GPS satellite should increase the accuracy further. Although it still only read an accuracy of 50m, it should be more accurate within that area.

No excuse for ever getting lost again!

 

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