Wifi positioning backends

Andrew Turner ajturner at highearthorbit.com
Tue Jul 24 05:48:42 PDT 2007

First, the "brilliance" of geoclue is that anyone can write a backend,
so you could have as many backends as you want - for whatever service
you want, commercial, open, etc.

PlaceLab (http://www.placelab.org/) - an Intel Research project, was
the impetus behind most of these projects. They mapped out an area,
and then developed software that would use this data and also
contribute additional data back to the system. They used Cell, GPS,
Wifi, etc.

Here are the other cell location projects that I know of:
- GSMLoc (http://gsmloc.org) - open, free
- CellSpotting (http://www.cellspotting.com) - closed, free, stagnant?
- ZoneTag (http://research.yahoo.com/zonetag/) - kinda open (have to
mine flickr photos)
- Sitefinder (http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/) ?
- Telin (http://client338.lab.telin.nl:8080/wasp/jsp/CellStats.jsp)

- HereCast (http://www.herecast.com/) - open, free
- Loki (http://loki.com) - closed, free
- WiGLE (http://www.wigle.net/) - open, free
- Any wardriving (http://www.wardriving.com/) database could give a
rough estimate of location
- Ekahau (http://www.ekahau.com/) - closed, costs

Wifi & Cell
- Navizon (http://www.navizon.com/) - closed, costs?
- Georgia Tech Mobile Technologies Group (http://mtg.gatech.edu/current.php)

- FindU (http://findu.com/) APRS - free, open

And no doubt more. So we could go and ping any number of these, or a
better is to build a couple of example backends and then let them come
to us. ;)

Regarding sharing the cell info over bluetooth - the only way this
would work from our capabilities (unable to access the underlying
info) is to build a small python app to poll the connected tower info
and put that over bluetooth.


On 7/24/07, Stephen Wing <stephen at wintoncourt.co.uk> wrote:
> As I added to the ITT thread, Navizon (the service in question) uses the
> cell ID information from the mobile phone (GSM) network that the mobile
> phone needs to work correctly.  Navizon are taking this information and
> using a database lookup to work out a rough location...
> To be fair, Navizon can also use Wifi network information too, but I
> think it's power is in the mobile cell location information.
> I added:
> "Navizon isn't so much about true WiFi, but using the cell ID provided
> by the cellular networks for a mobile phone to provide rough location.
> However, thinking this through, I'm not sure whether mobile phones can
> provide the cell ID information via a Bluetooth connection, so it may
> still require the Navizon client on the phone to calculate the
> information, and then the Geoclue Navizon backend would simply need to
> access the client on the phone somehow to get the position, and then
> provide it forward.
> It might be worth asking Navizon whether there is any way to access the
> client directly - I know there is a way to access it - you can publish
> your location via an XML feed for use on the web - maybe a Geoclue
> backend could be written to access this over the internet to provide the
> information...
> Certainly most people who carry a 770 / N800 will also have a mobile
> phone with them, so somehow being able to utilise the mobile phone
> network as a location information provider makes some sense to me."
> Stephen
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> GeoClue at lists.freedesktop.org
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Andrew Turner
ajturner at highearthorbit.com      42.2774N x 83.7611W
http://highearthorbit.com              Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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