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Essentials of Positioning and Location Technology by David Bartlett

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7 Techniques and performance

7.1 Understanding accuracy and precision

Determining the position of an object is a statistical task. It is based on measurements and observations of the environment around and signals from neighbouring devices – which are also affected by the environment. All of the measurements are subject to noise and uncertainty. When the measurements are combined to compute an estimate of the position, the result is statistical. This means that any position we compute has a probability and error margin associated with it.

It is common practice to describe a positioning system as ‘accurate to 2.5 metres’ (or some other number according to the system and technology used). So what does this actually mean?

What it does not mean is that ...

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