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Cisco Meraki Documentation

AP Auto Locate

AP Auto Locate


Network planning and deployment require significant time and effort, as each AP has to be carefully located and labeled in the network layout/floor plan. Additionally, maintaining accurate and up-to-date information about Access Point (AP) locations is an added difficulty. Time constraints, resource limitations, and the ever-evolving nature of network configurations can lead to inaccuracies that impact client device location accuracy. 

AP Auto Locate automatically determines AP locations and places them on floor plans, saving time, reducing complexity, and enhancing overall network performance.

This solution delivers accurate, automated, up-to-date AP location leveraging Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) when available. If GNSS is not accessible, you must place a few manual anchors per floor. This feature requires an AP density such that neighboring APs can hear each other at maximum power. The accuracy of the Access Point Auto Location feature depends on the building type and the distances between APs.


MR31 and above


AP Auto Locate is supported on the following models:

  • MR78

  • MR36H

  • MR36

  • MR46

  • MR56

  • MR57 (GPS capable)

  • CW9162 (GPS capable)

  • CW9164 (GPS capable)

  • CW9166 (GPS capable)

Anchor APs 

Ensure your network is equipped with a minimum of 4 anchor APs that can either have their location determined via GPS module or can be manually placed based on their relative position to serve in calculating the position of remaining APs in the network. 

Anchor AP Placement

Compatible AP models with a built-in USB port i.e MR57, CW9166, CW9164, and CW9162 will be able to be automatically placed on the floor plan based on their reported GNSS measurements. APs without an attached Gypsum module can have their position manually set as an anchor on the floorplan to aid in the calculation of other AP positions on the floor.

CW-ACC-GPS1 Requirements Edit section

  • Compatible with AP models with built-in USB port, i.e. MR57, CW9162, CW9164, CW9166

  • Access Points (at least 1 or 2) need to be mounted where they can obtain satellite signals (e.g., near a window). 

Installation  Edit section

  1. Insert the GPS module into the USB port of the access point.

  1. Ensure the USB port is receiving power via dashboard.

GNSS Antenna Installation 


APs installed further away from a window can extend satellite reception by 10 meters by utilizing the CW-ANT-GPS1-M-00 GNSS antenna.

  1. Insert the CW-ACC-GPS1 GPS module into the USB port of the access point.
  2. Remove the covering on the GPS module to reveal the GNSS port and insert the antenna. 
  3. Determine the desired placement of the antenna bracket on a window pane that allows for a clear line of sight to the sky.
  4. Apply the adhesive strips to the top and bottom portions of the bracket.
  5. Apply adhesive strips to the inside of the bracket to secure the antenna.
  6. Insert the antenna into the bracket and ensure proper adhesion to the strips.
  7. Clip the outer casing to the bracket and thread the cabling through the case opening.

Outdoor GPS antenna deployments require a 180-degree rotation of the mounting bracket to allow the antenna to be positioned toward the sky.


Mounting GPS-Capable Anchor APs


  1. Ensure the AP is mounted near a window or has a clear line of sight to the sky to allow the GPS module to obtain the satellite signal.

AP Auto Locate Configuration

  1. Navigate Wireless Network-wide -> Maps and Floor Plans, 

  2. At the top of the page, select “Schedule auto locate”


  1. From the provided list, select the appropriate floor plans you wish to auto-place APs to.
    You can either upload a new floor plan or select from the existing one.


  1. Select APs from the presented list that you are certain to exist on the floor plan.

  2. Click Assign floor plan

  1. Select the floorplan to assign APs to.

  1. Click Save.

  2. Once the Assign APs pop-up closes, select Done.

  3. On the floor plan list screen, select Auto-placement.

  1. Choose the scheduling option to generate AP Any Locate measurement data.

    1. Schedule: Select this option to specify a date and time to generate AP Any Locate Measurement data.

  1. Generate now: Select this option to proceed with generating AP Any Locate Measurement data.

Note: The RF measurement process can be scheduled to run during off-peak times to minimize impact on client performance.

  1.  Once a date and time are set for the floorplan’s ranging process, select Define more anchors from the Auto-placement status column to be used in the ranging calculation.

  1. Select APs from the list to be used as anchors in calculating the relative location of other APs on the floor.

Note: All GPS-capable APs are automatically placed on the map based on their reported GPS measurements. Adjust the positions of any APs to establish them as anchors to provide more accurate positions for all APs on the floor.

  1. Select the AP to adjust its position manually. The APs are color-coded as:
    Red- Manually placed
    Green- Automatically placed (GNSS and FTM, or FTM only)

  1. Once at least 4 Anchor APs have been selected and placed on the floor plan, select Done to start the measurement process.

AP Auto Locate utilizes FTM to accurately measure the time it takes for a signal to travel between APs. When the calculation is run AP channel settings are temporarily adjusted to establish FTM links between APs. This creates a webbed layout of APs’ calculated locations in the network. Unknown APs will get their relative location by measuring distances to anchor APs. Measurements are stored in  dashboard, and once the process is complete, AP channel settings are returned to their previous state, and AutoRF is re-enabled.


Note: The calculation process will take ~10 mins to complete for manually placed anchor APs. If anchor APs are using GPS auto location will take 24 hours to complete.


  1. Once the FTM Measurement process is complete the Auto-placement status will update to review and publish.



  1. Once satisfied with the final placement, click 'Publish' to save the AP's location coordinates.

Note: While reviewing placement, you will be able to drag and drop APs to override the auto location latitude and longitude values of the APs.

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