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AutoPi > Blog > What is Geofencing? Easily Explained

What is Geofencing? Easily Explained

Updated at 06 May, 2022

— Explore the functionalities of geofencing, what it is used for, and how it can be beneficial for a variety of objectives. Learn more!

What is Geofencing? Easily Explained
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Essentially, geofencing is a service that performs an activity when a device enters a predefined area. Businesses are devising novel methods to exploit these virtual restrictions, both internally and externally.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a location-based technology service in which a mobile, desktop, or cloud-based app or other software utilizes GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data to activate a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or departs a virtual border set up around a geographical area. A geofence can be as tiny as a structure or a residence, or as vast as a mile or even a zip code.

However, it is the placement of that determined border that enables geofencing.

Depending on how a geofence is set up, it can prompt mobile push notifications, trigger SMS messages or alerts, send targeted social media advertising, track vehicle fleets, deactivate particular technologies, or offer location-based data. Geofencing may also be used by industries such as Transportation, Police and First Responders, Utilities, Car leasing, etc.

Geofence shown in AutoPi cloud

What is Geofencing used for?

Geofencing has been a regular practice for many companies as mobile and GPS devices have grown in popularity. Once a geographical region has been specified, the possibilities for what corporations may do appear limitless, and it has become extremely popular in marketing and social media.

  • Social Media

    One of the most well-known applications for geofencing is found in popular social networking apps, most notably Snapchat. Location-based filters, stickers and other shareable content are all made possible with geofencing.

  • Marketing

    Geofencing is a popular way for businesses to deliver in-store promotions, changing you as soon as you enter the store's vicinity. Geofencing also allows companies target adverts to a specific audience to discover out what methods work best based off user's location data.

  • Audience

    Geofencing is used to engage large crowds at scheduled events such as concerts, festivals, and fairs. A concert venue, for example, may utilize a geofence to crowdsource social media postings or distribute event information.

  • Human resources

    Some businesses use geofencing to monitor employees, particularly those who spend time off-site conducting field work. It's also a simple way to automate time cards, clocking employees in and out as they arrive and depart.

  • Telematics

    Geofencing may also aid with telematics by allowing businesses to create virtual zones around premises, work spaces, and security areas. They can be activated by a vehicle or a person, and they can convey alerts or warnings to the fleet manager.

    Many trucking and fleet management companies are using geofencing to track their vehicles based on where they're going. Telematics geofencing is a REST API that allows fleet managers to track whether or not mobile assets are within specified geographical areas. Any trackable object, such as a person, automobile, smartphone, or delivery box, is considered an asset.

How does Geofencing technology work?

Geofences are built with mapping software, which allows the user to build the geofence across the required geographical region. It is composed of a set of coordinates (i.e., latitude and longitude) or, in the case of a circular geofence, a single point that serves as the center.

The geofencing technology consist of three critical elements that needs to work in unison:

  • The defined perimeter.

  • The device tracking system.

  • The device being tracked.


To employ geofencing, a system administrator or developer must first create a virtual border around a specific area in GPS- or RFID-enabled software. This may be as simple as drawing a 100-meter circle around a spot-on Google Maps. When an authorized device enters or quits that region, the virtual geofence will trigger a reaction as determined by the administrator or developer.

Many geofencing solutions include Google Earth, which allows administrators to construct borders on top of a satellite image of a given geographical region.

Geofencing technology benefits

Geofencing in fleet management is beneficial for a variety of objectives, including assessing fleet productivity and efficiency, as well as assisting with customer service.

Geofencing is used by service or transportation companies to build virtual perimeters around their customers' locations so that they know when a driver arrives or how long it takes to unload their freight.

Construction businesses may use it to assess whether or not a piece of equipment that leaves a construction site is being stolen or transferred improperly.

Geofencing software may provide significant benefits to businesses in a variety of sectors. Here are some of the most noteworthy advantages:

  • Accurate real-time data.

  • Efficient resource utilization.

  • Increased staff productivity.

  • Accountability and safety.

  • Process Automation.

  • Simple installation.

  • Data gathering.

  • Simplified coordination and communication.

How to create Geofence in

All the technology behind geofencing is already made by our professional developers, all you need is an AutoPi TMU device and access to AutoPi Management Cloud.

In simple terms, geofences can be created in two different ways.

  1. Draw circles on a specific centered point and size as desired.

  2. Draw polygons with specified corners.

Geofence shown in AutoPi cloud can construct zones both dynamically and procedurally. Simply click on our circle zone-import tool and click anywhere on the map, it will take the center point and you can size it however you want, and create a zone for you. E.g., you want to know when your trucks enter a specified area with you warehouse as the center point, so you will know beforehand and organize a staff to be ready to unload the goods and decrease waiting time.

A second way is to create zones by using corners. You accomplish this by clicking on a map and outlay the area of the corners of a zone to where you want them. E.g., you could want to know when an employee arrives or departs from a job site, as well as how long they stay.

Furthermore, geofences are essentially just digital shapes placed on a map. When used in combination with conditional triggers, geofence becomes quite strong. You may design your own triggers in to get notifications anytime an event occurs, such as when a truck enters the set geofence zone.

Explore additional benefits to the AutoPi IoT platform.

Article by

Malte Baden Hansen

CPO / Co-Founder / Architect / Developer

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