Geographic location using multiple location estimators

CAFC
  • US 7,298,327 B2
  • Filed: 09/30/2002
  • Issued: 11/20/2007
  • Est. Priority Date: 09/09/1996
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A method for locating communication devices in communication with a communications network having a plurality of geographically dispersed network communication components operably connected together for communicating with the communication devices, comprising:

  • performing the steps (1) and (2) following for locating each communication device (CD) of various ones of the communication devices, wherein each one of a plurality of location determiners is used for determining corresponding geographic location information for locating each communication device of various ones of the communication devices, and wherein at least a first and a second of the location determiners utilize a different geographic location process from the other, such that (A1) and (A2) following hold;

    (A1) for at least one actual geographic location (L) of at least one of the communication devices, a difference between the first location determiner and the second location determiner includes one or more processing steps that result in a geographical location or extent such that (A1-1) and (A1-2) following hold;

    (A1-1) an identification of a potential geographic location of L, output by the first location determiner, is substantially dependent upon an instance of the geographical location or extent resulting from performing the one or more processing steps, and an identification of a potential geographic location of L, output by the second location determiner, is not substantially dependent upon an instance of the geographical location or extent resulting from performing the one or more processing steps, and(A1-2)) the one or more processing steps are used by the first location determiner for locating communication devices in a plurality of geographically spaced apart locations; and

    (A2) for at least one actual geographical location of at least one of the communication devices, each of (A2-1) and (A2-2) following does not substantially affect a determination of the other of (A2-1) and (A2-2);

    (A2-1) a first identification of a potential first geographic location or geographic extent output by the first location determiner, and(A2-2) a second identification of a potential second geographic location or geographic extent output by the second location determiner;

    (1) obtaining, from each of one or more of the location determiners, corresponding output geographic location information for locating CD when the one or more location determiners are each provided with a corresponding input of geolocation indicative data from transmissions between the communication device CD and at least one of the network communication components, wherein the corresponding output geographic location information for at least one of the location determiners includes one or more geographic identifications, each geographic identification representing at least one of;

    a potential geographic location and a potential geographic extent for an actual location of CD;

    (2) providing resulting geographic location information of the communication device CD, wherein said resulting location information is obtained by accessing, for each of the one or more of the location determiners, its corresponding output geographic location information;

    wherein for at least one instance of locating the communications device CD, a corresponding performance of said steps of obtaining and providing includes performing at least two of (B1) through (B4) following;

    (B1) for at least two of the geographic identifications (GI1 and GI2) for CD, obtained, in said obtaining step, from different ones of the location determiners, a step of at least one of;

    (a) combining, or (b) resolving a difference between;

    (i) GI1 (or location data derived therefrom) and (ii) GI2 (or location data derived therefrom) so that said resulting geographic location information is dependent on each of GI1 and GI2;

    (B2) for each of at least two of the geographic identifications (GI3 and GI4) for CD, obtained from different corresponding ones of the location determiners, a step of obtaining a corresponding rating value for each of G13 (or location data derived therefrom), and GI4 (or location data derived therefrom), wherein said rating values are indicative of relative expected performances of the different corresponding location determiners in locating the communication devices, and wherein each corresponding rating value is determined after its corresponding geographic identification is identified by its location determiner;

    (B3) for each of at least two of the geographic identifications (GI5 and GI6) for CD, obtained from different corresponding ones of the location determiners, a step of selecting one of;

    GI5 (or location data derived therefrom), and GI6 (or location data derived therefrom), for receiving a preference in determining said resulting geographic location information; and

    (B4) obtaining information indicative of a reliability of at least one geographic identification (GI7) of CD from one of the one or more location determiners, wherein the reliability represents a likelihood that CD is within the potential geographic location or the potential geographic extent identified by GI7, and wherein the reliability is determined after the at least one geographic identification is obtained from its location determiner.

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