Symptom

After moving a router/WAP to a new location, Android (or Google services on other operating systems) incorrectly reports geolocation as the location where the router/wap was previously located.

Cause

The “problem” seems to be rooted in the way Google obtains location information — and prioritizes “speed” over “accuracy”.

Rather than trying to use your GPS chip to find your device, Google’s servers “remember” the GPS locations of devices connecting through your router (presumably by associating your location to the router’s MAC address), and “assumes” that all devices connecting through that router are at the location which it remembered. So far, so good. Right?

The problem occurs when that router is moved to another location. Google appears to still “remembers” the location it “assumed” before to help save you time and battery life (by not requiring a GPS location from your phone). This is not a function of the router, but a function of Google’s services because the router in question was used at another location, and Google “assumed” its location over time.

Solution

Go into your Settings, Connections, Location, and make sure the following are set:

  1. The Location slider is ON
  2. The Locating method is set to High accuracy
  3. Open Improve accuracy and set Wi-Fi scanning ON, and set Bluetooth scanning ON

Over time, Google’s services will “learn” and “remember” the new location of the router. To accelerate the process, while at the location exhibiting the symptom:

  1. Connect to Google Maps over your cellular connection and observe your “current location”
  2. Connect to WiFi and ensure Google Maps shows you in the right location (you may need to tap on the “you are here” reticle)
  3. Repeat until Google’s services have “assumed” that you’re at the current location

From the research we’ve done, there’s no way to manually request that Google “forgets” the assumed location.


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