Location Based Service (LBS)

Published on November 30, 2007
Location Based Service could be next big thing for mobile application.

There are 2 ways to localize your phone:
  1. GPS - Requires special hardware (ext/int) and uses more power.
  2. Network detection (celluar id) - Less accurate and depends on mobile operators .

Lets add another 2 ways:

  1. Ask the user! Yes, let user decide manually where he/she is. Then update to server eg. SMS or Internet
  2. Make use of IP Addresses to estimate the region.
Google's mobile Gmap has recently added a new feature which can pinpoint/estimate/triangulate your location. It uses both methods - GPS and cell id. There are some on going discussion about the how it works here.

Some Technicalities:
  • J2ME have System.Properties("phone.cid") or ("CellId") which will query for the cell id. But it works for some Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones only.
  • In Python S60, MCC, MNC, LocAreaCode and CellId can be retrieved easily. Symbian C++ would be able to retrieve them too. MIT J2me notes.
More resources: