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Do I Need To Have Cellular Data Or WiFi Connectivity To Aquire An Accurate Location In SkySafari 6 Pro? (Answer: No. SkySafari Includes Preset Locations To Choose From - Read On!)

When I go to schools with my Astronomy club, I want to buy multiple tablets for kids to use SkySafari Six. Do I need to spend the extra money for cellular. How does location services work if devices does not have cellular.

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    Tim Campbell

    Cellular isn't needed.  It will still determine your location.

    Technically, a non-cellular iPad does not have GPS ... but it doesn't matter.  They work out your geo-location based on the WiFi network you are using.

    When you see those Google street-map cars driving around... they are also sniffing for WiFi networks.  Each WiFi base station on a network has something called a "BSSID" (the SSID is the network name ... but the BSSID is the hardware address of the base station.  Each base station ... even on the same WiFi network ... will have it's own unique BSSID.)  These are all recorded as the street-map cars encounter them and they get mapped to the geo-location where they were discovered.  This allows devices to auto-identify their approximate geo-location based on which WiFi network (specifically which BSSID) they are using.  This means the iPad wouldn't *precisely* know where you are standing on a property ... such as a school ... but it will be accurate enough to know you are *somewhere* at that school.

    iOS devices (and Android devices) can work out location using GPS if the device has one... but they can also work out approximate location via cell tower triangulation *or* via WiFi network locations.  These aren't as precise as GPS, but are good enough for purposes of showing the correct sky view.

    Also... in the location menu of Sky Safari ... you can pick your location off a map.

     

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    davewhite10

    Thank you Tim for responding to my question. . I am still not clear, so here are three more.
    1 - Are you using a WiFi signal (BSSID) if it appears in lis of “WiFi Networks Detected.,,, or is password logon required?
    2 - What if you are out in the Footballfield and there are no WiFi Networks detected?
    3 - If tablet is Cellular, but you are not paying for data plan. Does cellular GPS still work?
    Dave

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    Tim Campbell

    Dave, I did a bit of checking ... the "current" generation of iPads all have GPS ... it doesn't matter if it's a WiFi only unit.

    This did not used to be the case a few years back -- when only cellular models had GPS.

     

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    Keiron Smith

    HI Dave, 

    As Tim suggested "...in the location menu of Sky Safari ... you can pick your location off a map."

    First, if you are going to use SkySafari + LiveSky (highly recommended) with your iPads then one easy solution is to look up your location in advance and add it to LiveSky > Sites, then sync all your devices beforehand.

    Second, SkySafari is developed for use without any WiFi or cellular data.  There is a extensive preset list (long/lat) of global locations (all major cities, and lots of minor ones too) for selecting from within the app.  

    So, regardless of whether you have WiFi or cellular data you should have no problem setting up and syncing all these devices to the same location in SkySafari.

    Thanks Tim, as always, for your very knowledgeable answer!

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    davewhite10

    Wow! I like choosing a location from the map because I can name the location anything.

    Now when I go to a school to demonstrate, the “School Name” will appear on main View instead of “Current Location” This a nice touch, another way to reach people on a personal level. I will learn LiveSky so I can easily sync the tablets with which the kids play.

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