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  1. Goyena's Avatar
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       #1  
    I've read that it was possible to determine the position of cell phones through different methods, one of them being a sort of triangulation using the lag time for microwaves to travel from the phone to the transmitter and/or satellite.

    I've heard the applications for this are more for service providers who can than push geographically specific information to a phone (e.g. restaurant advertisements when you're in the neighborhood), or even for government watchdogs.

    - Does anyone know how precise this is, or if can be used with the already existing hardware in the Treo?

    - Can this information be used as a alternative to a GPS? Perhaps not with the accuracy for a route planner, but for other applications...
  2. #2  
    A GSM provider can determine which cell the phone is in (if turned on)
    The size of the cell depents on where you are. In cities the cells will be smaller than in the countryside...

    I don't thing providers will give this info to end users to replace a GPS system.. but in theory it could kinda work...
    At the moment they only give this kind of info to 911 operators etc. (and probably law enforcment)
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
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  3. #3  
    Actually digital cell phones are in touch with several cell transmitters simultaneously. Providers can triangulate between those that your phone is on to approximate where you are within usually 100-300 feet. That is to say it is possible. Only a few providers are actually making use of this information, usually for emergency calls. It won't compare to GSM, which can be as accurate as 12 feet depending on your receiver. But yeah it would be nice for providers to take better advantage of this information, maybe just return the location when you SMS some command, which can then be fed into map software.
  4. #4  
    well, the nokia communicator has a screen where
    you can see the current cell station you're in touch with.

    Hopefully the same is true for the Treo, at least once
    it is hacked enough.

    Once we have at least the active station, we could give
    an approx. location if we had a database of station names
    or Ids (station id -> Lon/Lan coordintes)

    of course, if the Treo provides other alternate cell he
    could contact but does not (due to signal stength)
    we can pinpoint the location to probably 300 meter.
    not too bad...

    if we have software to show station-id, a database can
    be built by users corporation pretty easily...

    any takers?


    btw, it is a shame the Nokia communicator has been around
    for 3 years and the Treo isn't any better except for the size
    and the OS. In fact, the latest communicator has a color
    display and allow for memory expansion, which I think
    the Treo has a real problem with (I want 1Gb CF card!!!!)
  5. #5  
    There's a company near Cambridge (the UK one, of course ;-) ) that specialises in triangulation software for GSM networks.

    However, I'm not sure if many networks actually have this available at the moment, though it's certainly technically possible to the sort of accuracy another poster mentioned.

    This being Europe, of course, privacy is taken seriously, and there have been suggestions of, eg, a prefix that could be dialled before a number to suppress geographic information, if that were normally going to be passed. Exceptions, naturally, are made for emergency services.

    As a side note, for those who don't know how it works here, on a UK phone network you just dial 141 before the number you're calling to suppress caller ID. Other countries may use other codes. But regulations make it necessary a) for people to be able to withhold their id and b) for fixed networks to provide the facility to reject calls where the id has been withheld.

    Additionally, on cross-network calls (more usually international), you won't be given the caller's number unless they had the option of withholding it. So even if the number is known to the network, it may appear as "Withheld" or "Unavailable" - usually the latter.

    Similar rules will most likely be applied to location data when such systems are more widespread within the EU.

    Those who are interested in cell phones that really locate you should look at the Benefon ESC (www.benefon.com) which combines a GSM phone with a GPS receiver and has a web site system that will allow (if you wish) anyone on the net to see where your phone is!

    Nigel.
  6. #6  
    Here In Israel Orange (GSM) offers two services, which are localizaition dependend. One is for coupons. after you join this service for free, Orenge sends you an sms coupon when you are near a store to offer on. The other service is for dating. you enter your profile, and the profile of the partner you are looking for. when you are near someone that matchs your wishs, you get smsed.

    The other provider that uses CDMA offers a service where you can pick from a list of stores like movie therteres,pharmery etc. and it will give you instracions on how to get to the closest store.

    Niv
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by mgolanlan
    well, the nokia communicator has a screen where
    you can see the current cell station you're in touch with.

    Hopefully the same is true for the Treo, at least once
    it is hacked enough.

    Once we have at least the active station, we could give
    an approx. location if we had a database of station names
    or Ids (station id -> Lon/Lan coordintes)

    of course, if the Treo provides other alternate cell he
    could contact but does not (due to signal stength)
    we can pinpoint the location to probably 300 meter.
    not too bad...

    if we have software to show station-id, a database can
    be built by users corporation pretty easily...

    any takers?


    btw, it is a shame the Nokia communicator has been around
    for 3 years and the Treo isn't any better except for the size
    and the OS. In fact, the latest communicator has a color
    display and allow for memory expansion, which I think
    the Treo has a real problem with (I want 1Gb CF card!!!!)
    Pretty cool the Nokia lets you do that

    I like the nokia, but it is a bit bulky, expensive and doesn't have a touchscreen...
    Also the Epoc OS is dying... which is a shames since I really like my Mako...
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?

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