AP's showing old Geolocation

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Hi,
I have recently used some 7372's in Barcelona (fw 9.9.0.212). AP's received a full reset before being deployed. Deployed with a ZD1200.

All appeared to be fine except some of the time devices would show location being in London. These AP's were used 3 weeks earlier in central London (on a different ZD1100) and it was this location that devices thought they were.
 
This caused problems with some devices showing UK time and services available in the UK and Spain. The most notable being Uber (luckily Uber is not available in Spain).

I have never seen this before with AP's moving from one location to the other.
Is this in the FW learning and advertising their location? More importantly can this be disabled or changed?
Has anyone seen this before or found a work around? It is concerning for moving setups around.
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Jamie Cheetham

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Posted 3 years ago

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John D, AlphaDog

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I'm surprised you've never seen this with other devices. It's a common technique for devices to use wifi AP MAC addresses to determine your location when indoors. This is a technique used by Android and iOS devices alike.

When you transplant a ton of access points from London to Barcelona, it might make the devices confident enough that they're in London. Whether or not this happens depends on the number of AP's and whether or not any other AP's are visible to devices to convince them that they still are in Barcelona.

This is not a feature that Ruckus is responsible for, but rather something that the device's software does. Moving entire setups around seems to incur this risk more. When I've done this, it took around a month for the devices to break free from this illusion.

One thing you may try to do is request Skyhook to update your location information: http://www.skyhookwireless.com/submit-access-point


Skyhook is one of the most popular vendors of this kind of location database. A lot of devices have contracts with Skyhook, so they use Skyhook's data and also contribute to their databases. However, there's no guarantee that everyone is using Skyhook, instead of inventing their own system in-house.
(Edited)
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Jamie Cheetham

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Thanks John,

After a monstrous amount of reading online it seems that this is a problem which has been around for some time without a simple instant workaround.

It appears that Google and Apple now have their own in-house databases and offer no manual way of updating their system other than 'learning' unlike Skyhook and other public databases.

I am surprised I have not come across\noticed this before as I move around with large numbers of setups to various events.

The only suggestions seem to be enabling location services on multiple mobile devices and get a good gps lock and try to update location on apps such as maps. This appears to have mixed results ranging from almost immediate to 3 weeks in order to make the change.

Although I am all for improving clients experience on devices which the location services provide, I feel somewhat annoyed that some vendors do not provide a opt out (apart from the ugly _nomap prefix).

As location based service databases increase in reach and popularity this could have a serious effect on the industry of events and rapid WiFi deployments. Time will tell.

I am guessing a opt out of Skyhook is as good a start as anywhere for now.

Thanks
Jamie
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John D, AlphaDog

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It would be nice too if we could have a little bit of control over the MAC addresses too -- even just a few bits would be enough for 3 or 4 moves, which should be more than enough unless you're a traveling wifi salesman!