Discover the difference: Tracing is not the same as tracking!

Tracking vs. Tracing

Tracking without K!

The time component and the context are decisive factors that make the difference between tracking and tracing even clearer:

Tracking is about tracking the exact position and movement of an object in real time. For this purpose, high-precision location data is often continuously recorded and transmitted in order to know the exact location at all times. However, this real-time localization involves a great deal of effort and expense.

Tracing, on the other hand, does not record continuous real-time data, but only individual waypoints or contextual information at specific points in time.

A rough position or condition survey is often sufficient as long as the context is known.

This context-related data acquisition at relevant points in time, which can be determined on the “Edge” itself, means that the course of movement can be reconstructed very efficiently in retrospect without having to constantly transmit high-precision location data. At the same time, with other data and the use of machine learning, precise localization from network information can still be made possible by linking the edge with the network in the cloud ex post.

Tracing is significantly more resource-efficient than tracking.

The key is therefore not always to strive for precise direct real-time localization on site, but rather to specifically record the context information relevant to the respective use case – be it the transport status, the environmental conditions in the network or the contacts to other objects or people, in order to then achieve indirect but nevertheless precise localization. In combination with the time component, the course of movement can be tracked very efficiently and cost-effectively.

Short and sweet

Tracing therefore only records important waypoints or context information, making it resource-efficient and cost-effective. It enables efficient reconstruction of the movement without continuous, precise data transmission. This makes it particularly suitable for applications that do not require constant real-time localization and significantly reduces the effort involved.


  • Real-time tracking of the exact position and movement of an object

  • Continuous and high-precision location data acquisition

  • High costs and resource intensity

  • Suitable for applications that require constant precision


  • Recording of waypoints or context information at specific times

  • Rough, but sufficient positioning

  • Resource-saving and cost-effective

  • Efficient reconstruction of movement through contextual data acquisition

Press contact Heliot