Written by Thomas Godwin
Updated: May 4, 2023
Image Credit © CLICKMANIS/Shutterstock.com


There are many aspects to location, far more than where you happen to be standing now. There’s word-of-mouth location, such as talking on a smartphone and telling someone where you are, GPS location (Global Positioning System using L1, L2, and L5 frequency satellites to triangulate a specific point), and IP addresses, just to name a few.

GPS includes standard GPS location, GLONASS (works better in mountainous regions), and Galileo (works better in urban areas). Location is also a reference to a certain point, such as “We’re going to start filming in Tokyo, Japan next Tuesday.

Zip codes and IP addresses are forms of geolocation. A zip code references an area within a specific state and city. IP addresses are applied to internet-capable devices so other devices know what location to send packets of data.

Even the official definition of location uses a number of references, including the following:

  • A place of settlement
  • A place that’s either occupied or available for occupancy
  • The process of locating
  • Residence
  • IP addresses
  • A section of land that exists for a specific purpose

Location may seem like a simple word that’s easy to define but, in the modern era, there’s a lot more to it than simply where you happen to stand at any given moment.

Global Positioning System

GPS is a communication system, using radio frequencies, that transfers data from one satellite to another to triangulate a position. There are three parts to GPS—the satellites themselves, ground stations, and receivers. The satellites are the obvious part. The ground stations are used to check up on the satellites, ensuring they are in the right place.

A smartphone is a good example of a receiver, using any of the built-in GPS software or third-party software downloaded after purchasing the smartphone. The receiver listens for satellite signals and will only triangulate your position once it’s located multiple satellites and determined your distance from them.

It’s not an exact science but today’s technology allows civilian-owned, GPS devices to determine location down to a yard, maybe two. Smartphones are slightly more inaccurate but they will still report your location within a few yards of where you stand.

IP Address Location

Every device that is part of a computer network, whether it’s a closed network, a LAN, a WAN, or a MAN. (Local Area Network, Wide Area Network, and Metropolitan Area Network), has an IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol and an IP address is a set of four numbers that defines a device on the network.

This definition is the location of the device on the network. Without an IP address, different devices would have difficulty communicating on the network. IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is responsible for assigning an IP address to a new device on the network.

Location Pronunciation

Location is pronounced: “low-kay-shn”

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About the Author

Thomas is a freelance writer with an affinity for the great outdoors and Doberman Pinschers. When he's not sitting behind the computer, pounding out stories on black bears and reindeer, he's spending time with his family, two Dobermans (Ares and Athena), and a Ragdoll cat named Heimdal. He also tends his Appleyard Ducks and a variety of overly curious and occasionally vexatious chickens.