d9780 Let me explain.
Location is is tracked is 3 ways.
- As long as your main cellular antenna is "on" (airplane mode off) The cellular network can triangulate your location, know your IMEI, know your sim card. Even if you don't have a sim, your phone is still connecting to the cell network and the network knows your IMEI and your location. They don't give you this location information, they keep it for themselves. If at somepoint in the past or in the future they findout who the IMEI belongs to then they know who it was, retrospectively too.
- The GPS system in your phone looks directly to the sky and finds sattelites, and gives "you" your location, and doesn't give it to anybody else on grapheneOS (not the case on other phones). it takes 2-4 minutes for this GPS to "find itself". Having internet access allows your phone to download a "file" from the internet which helps your GPS find "itself" much quicker than 1-4 minutes. But without internet it works just fine. Needs direct sky view, doesn't work indoors.
- Wifi triangulation. Your phone gather's data about all nearby wifi devices and passes it to the particular map "app". The app then submits that info to its server, and the server tells you where you are, quickly and accurately. This requires being connected to the internet. I don't know of an app that can use nearby wifi data to give you location without checking in with some server through the internet (if I'm wrong please correct me someone).
Under the "location" setting there is a "services" tab, and if you enable wifi location, then when your location is "on" the wifi data is also passed on to the app. If this setting is off then the wifi data is not passed on (right guys? am I correct?)
If you ever put a sim card in your device that is registered to your name, it will permanently associate your IMEI with your identity in the future forever. And anywhere you go, as long as the entenna is on the "network" knows your IMEI.
If you want to "disappear" from the network and get location, you need to turn on airplane mode and use gps and use an offline map. For a map app to be able to use the wifi to help with wifi triangulation, if it doesn't have internet then it has to have a local database of all wifi names and their hard locations, which I don't think any map app does. If you want to use wifi triangulation benefits, likely you will have to have internet, and you can't have internet from wifi while you are moving, so you will need to turn on your mobile data, which connects you to the cell network. This means you get good location data but the network knows where you are as well. And since your internet is "on" if the map app you are using is "malicious" then it too gets all that data.
Damn, hope I've made sense!
I think waze needs internet to work. Thats why you have to have airplane mode off and have mobile internet on. ITs not an offline map.