locating via GSM, revisited

Cesar Eduardo Barros cesarb at cesarb.net
Tue Apr 22 13:42:18 CEST 2008

Harald Welte escreveu:
> On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 05:59:29PM +0800, joerg at openmoko.org wrote:
>> Am Mo  21. April 2008 schrieb Werner Almesberger:
>>> joerg at openmoko.org wrote:
>>>> For many countries there are ageold databases created by hobbyists doing 
>>>> antenna-spotting. In Germany, carrier O2 sends quite exact Gauss-Krueger 
>>>> coordinates on CBC 221 for each of his stations.
>>> Okay, that's good. So we can have a comprehensive geographical database
>>> we can put our "GSM n-space" in relation to. (Although no motivation
>>> was ever stated, I'm assuming here that the goal of the whole exercise
>>> is to avoid using GPS. Thus we can't correlate vectors we measure in
>>> GSM n-space to 2D or 3D real-world vectors we measure with GPS.)
>>> Is there something like openstreetmap with these antenna locations or
>>> does one have to hunt and gather from scattered repositories ?
>> Dunno...
> At least in Germany the location of the cellular towers (especially
> combined with the information if they're GPRS, EDGE, UMTS or HSDPA) is
> considered a trade secret by the operator.
> If you create free databases with that kind of stuff, be sure you have
> sufficient stack to fight the legal battles.

Here in Brazil the location of all cellular base stations is public, but 
there is no cell id/etc on that database; as far as I understand it, 
it's just a database of all the licenses from ANATEL (the federal 
telecommunications agency) to the carriers. Other than lacking the GSM 
identifiers (and in fact whether it's GSM at all), it's fairly complete, 
including not only lat/long but also street addresses.

It's located at 

Cesar Eduardo Barros
cesarb at cesarb.net
cesar.barros at gmail.com

More information about the openmoko-kernel mailing list