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Why am I being asked to put in a manual location?

I need to add a manual location because my GPS location isn't accurate enough or out of date.

GPS signals are very, very weak. That is the nature of how they were designed by the USAF. When you consider this and the fact that they are located in space it becomes apparent that having a good line of sight for you phone to see as many satellites as possible is important. When you are in an office building, likely with windows that have metal tint or bug screens, the likelihood of your phone obtaining an accurate GPS location is very low. Now add in other office things that emit RF noise like computers, microwave ovens etc... your chances are getting smaller.

When you try to reset your timer or check-in your app may indicate that your GPS position is old and that you need to enter a Manual Location. This is exactly how our app was designed to work. We do want to know where you are right now and not x minutes ago. That's where the manual location comes in.

The manual location field is an open text box. It does not do address lookups. It is the responsibility of each individual to put in an accurate and contextual location. For this reason it was designed to be an open text box. Let me give you some examples of how this could apply for different job roles.

Salesperson at a client office: 555 8th Ave SW, Calgary 8th Floor Boardroom B
Social Worker on home visit: 1234 Greenwood Lane, Houston
Oilfield Service Tech: LSD: 02-30-39-3-W
Camp Chef: Camp 132 3 miles north of 97 @ Tindon

So as you can see, depending on who you are and what you are doing, the manual location can be very different things. The idea of the manual location is to give the people in your escalation plan the information and context of your location. These may mean nothing to emergency services but the folks identified in your escalation plan will know exactly where that location is and be able to provide those details to the emergency services if required.

Even if you put a manual location in the app will continue to try to get a good GPS signal.  As soon as that happens, the GPS light at the top of the screen will go solid (and will not have a line through it).  This means that your position is known and is being sent back to the Control Centre.

I hope that this clears up GPS and manual locations.