Re: J2ME location API (JSR 179) on non-GPS devices - how realisitc?

Patricia Shanahan <>
Thu, 17 May 2007 06:40:07 -0700
<f2hlvu$2p3u$> wrote:

Hi all,

couple quick questions - I have been playing with the Location API -
"in theory" it can use a number of sources to provide location based
info but I wonder, in reality - how truly useful is it on non-GPS
enabled devices?

MUST the phone company provide the information via a becon or
something or can the API infer a location based on simple data
provided as standard during connection to any cell (I dont know what
handshaking goes on during moving from one cell to another).....

Non-GPS geolocation is a subject of active research in the ubiquitous
computing community. The Placelab project,, is
a good starting point for finding out more. Most current papers on this
topic reference one or more of the Placelab papers.

The phone hardware knows the identity and signal strength for each
within-range cell phone tower, which is sufficient for approximate
location. However, the phone companies tend not to make the information
very conveniently available - I think perhaps they would rather have
everyone pay for them to tell us where we are.


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