Location Services

Pathlight® uses the GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular functionality – collectively known as “location services” – in your iPhone or Android to determine your location and provide data to the NDSU Communications Call Center. It’s important to keep in mind that there are limitations to these technologies, and what you can do to maximize their accuracy.


Pathlight needs certain functions in your smartphone set specific ways for it to operate properly. – See Optimal Settings.

Pathlight also has settings that allow it to provide a warning if Wi-Fi or location services are disabled. To verify they are turned on, tap the Tools icon in Android or the Settings button in iPhone. See the screenshots below:

Location Data Limitations

As with any mobile app that uses location service technologies, there are situations and circumstances that impact accuracy or keep the service from functioning at all:

  • Obstruction to the sky, such as when you’re in some buildings, in a tunnel or under a bridge
  • Poor smartphone orientation
  • Relation to other materials like books in a backpack or metal objects in a pocket
  • Low battery
  • Severe weather
  • Network congestion

It can take two or more minutes for a phone’s location services to function properly if an assist is started within a building.  It’s best to begin an assist outside.

Location Services Icons

Depending on which smartphone you use, either a small GPS or Pathlight icon in the top header bar indicates data is being sent properly. Pathlight needs to be running for these icons to appear, whether it’s in the forefront or background or whether your phone is locked or unlocked.

Location Data Accuracy

You can determine the general accuracy level of location data being sent from Pathlight at any time by looking at the bars to the right or left of the escort timer. The more green bars, the better, and yellow bars are better than more red bars. If there are no bars, location information is not being sent.

In addition, under the timer there will be information about when location services data were last updated.

Pathlight is a registered trademark of the CBORD Group, Inc.

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