GloboAfrique is a designer, developer and provider of geolocation solutions in Africa. We are a member of the GloboConnect network and are present in approximately thirty countries in Africa. Our experience in the implementation of reliable geolocation solutions as well as our interest in adapting clients’ needs to their macroeconomic context allows us to be present all over Africa. In addition, our sales policy geared toward continual improvement and the personal care we provide place our partners at the center of our mission.
The term geolocation is relatively generic. Its exact meaning is: Method allowing to obtain and eventually transmit the geographical position of a person or a resource. Literally, geolocation is not necessarily linked to a system via satellite even if today we systematically associate geolocation with an AVL (Automated Vehicle Location) system or more recently with Personal Trackers (small personal transmitters) that use a GPS chip.
The reality is different and today there are a multitude of ways to track your goods and people without using a GPS system. It all depends on the purpose of the desired application and the accuracy of the final information. While the following list does not contain all possible methods, it does include a large variety.
The most used technique is Cellid. This method tracks systems with GSM modems of which the most common is, of course, the mobile phone. It retrieves the identifiers from the GSM antennas to which the device is connected. Thereafter, through a database linking the identifiers of the cells and the geographical positions of the antennas, the terminal can determine position and issue an approximate location. GSM positioning accuracy can range from around ten meters to several kilometers depending on where the terminal is in urban areas (enough antenna density) or in a rural area.
This method determines the geographical position of a computer or any other terminal connected to the Internet based on the IP address. IP addresses are managed by IANA, an organization that cuts sections of the available IP addresses and distributes them in a controlled fashion to countries who request them. Since all allocations are well documented, it is possible to know in which country a terminal is connected to the Internet through its IP address. Based on the distribution of IP addresses by the Internet providers, the level of accuracy reached can be as precise as knowing the city in which the terminal is located.
Similarly to the way a GSM terminal can be located by the Cell ID method on a GSM network, a WiFi terminal can use the same method based on the detected WiFi terminal identifiers (MAC addresses). There are databases consisting of a large number of WiFi access points and their geographical position. These databases may belong to private companies or communities who publish them for free. They are built using a method called War Driving which means going down streets in a city by car with a laptop computer equipped with WiFi and connected to a GPS receiver in order to identify a maximum of WiFi access points. The accuracy of WiFi tracking is better than that of GSM by tens of meters. However, it is quite random because many areas are not covered which makes tracking impossible.
RFID technology can be used for indoor tracking. To do so, a series of RFID readers equipped with different types of antenna are positioned to cover an entire area. The area is then separated into quadrants whose surface varies according to the number of readers deployed and their strength. When a person is equipped with an active RFID tag in these areas, the system will be able to calculate his position based on the numbers of readers that detect the tag and infer the approximate position of the individual according to the established quadrants. In real time, this technique provides an approximate location and its accuracy only allows for the determination of the room or corridor in which the person can be found.
Tracking via satellite entails calculating the actual position on the Earth’s surface of a terminal equipped with a compatible chip using signals emitted from a constellations of satellites designated for this purpose,. This position is then translated into latitude, longitude and sometimes altitude and can then become a physical representation on a map. The best known satellite network for positioning is the GPS (Global Positioning System) although there is a European alternative, called Galileo, being rolled out. In the case of GPS, in order for spatial location to work, an enormous network is needed. This network is made up of 27 satellites (including 3 back-ups) revolving around the Earth (2 orbits in 24 hours) at an altitude of 20 200 km spread out over 6 orbits (4 per orbit).
This system allows for the analysis of frequency spectra noises around a more or less restricted point. Analyzed frequency spectra will allow for the creation of acoustic images of a place and will very accurately locate the source of the noise as long as we know exactly what we seek. This type of geolocation can be used for finding leaks, locating persons in an underground environment, etc.
The Machine to Machine concept, abbreviated to M2M, uses telecommunications and computers to allow machines to communicate amongst themselves without human intervention. A more general definition of « communication from one machine to another » would be the association of information technology and communication (ITC) with intelligent and communicative objects - the purpose being to provide machines with the means to interact with the information system without human interaction. Like all emerging technologies, this definition continues to evolve but it generally refers to telemetry or telematics. This technology works by using either networks, in particular public wireless networks (like GPRS), or short distance links such as Bluetooth or RFID.
Communication between machines tends to become communication from one machine or network of machines with a server that not only consolidates data they report but also insures the ability to control them remotely. There can therefore be remote management of a fleet of machines (remote devices management). The deployment, operation and maintenance of large networks of machines translates into a new activity with the need for specialized telecom operators for the machines, M2M operators.
The main components of a M2M type system includes:
M2M meets the concrete needs of companies. This technology is gradually inserted in (or on) not only machines, devices, vehicles, packaging, everyday objects, equipment or in public spaces, but also on trees, flood areas, incendiary forests, household and wild animals and even in (or on) human bodies. Here are a few examples of use:
These are only a few examples. GloboConnect offers a complete range of products for M2M users and can undertake related applications for any need ranging from simple transmission of information to a server to more complex telemetric readings to decision-making tools.
A total understanding of the solution from the software to the hardware which ensures:
This dual expertise in « technical abilities » and « customer support » allows us to tailor our solutions to your needs: « Our client’s imagination is our only boundary »
With a young, dynamic, responsive and available team, GloboAfrique offers customized services adapted to your needs. .
We guarantee rigorous and personalized monitoring of your equipment.
No need to check anymore, GLOBO does it for you !