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  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    Question Find mobile location from web app

    Hello,

    I am new to mobile development. I am looking to develop a location based service. I have a few questions, would be great if someone can provide some inputs...

    1) Can I find out the cellID of the nearest tower from a web application? Or is it only possible to gt that info from an app installed on the phone? Same wih GPS. Can I find out the location using GPS from a web application. I know that Google Buzz mobile app does have the ability to fetch the location info from a web app on iPhone. Not sure if the same can be acheieved on all phones.
    2) Will the method to find out the cellID vary from phone to phone? Is there any standard way all companies adopt which will make it easier for deelopers? I am looking only from the java perspective right now.
    3) any sample code would be great.


    Thanks,
    Sharad

  2. #2
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    Re: Find mobile location from web app

    Quote Originally Posted by sharball View Post
    1) Can I find out the cellID of the nearest tower from a web application? Or is it only possible to gt that info from an app installed on the phone? Same wih GPS. Can I find out the location using GPS from a web application. I know that Google Buzz mobile app does have the ability to fetch the location info from a web app on iPhone. Not sure if the same can be acheieved on all phones.
    I'm assuming you mean an application running on a web server, access by the device's browser. There are applications of this kind that can determine where the phone is. However, this information is obtained from the network operator, and you need a close commercial relationship with individual operators to get this information.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharball View Post
    2) Will the method to find out the cellID vary from phone to phone? Is there any standard way all companies adopt which will make it easier for deelopers? I am looking only from the java perspective right now.
    Yes. Not only will it vary, but such a method might not even exist. There is no standard. The only standard for location information is JSR 179 (Location API).

    Quote Originally Posted by sharball View Post
    3) any sample code would be great.
    In the wiki, you'll find information on how to get the cell ID on Nokia devices, which also tells you which devices support this information.

    For Nokia, you can get the cell ID (in Java) on Series 60 devices, 3rd Edition FP2 and later. This means you cannot get it on older devices (such as the N95), unless you develop a native, Symbian application. You cannot get this information on any Series 40 device. The wiki document appears to say that you can, but watch out for the phrase "the MIDlet needs to be signed to a manufacturer or operator domain", which is not possible without a close commercial relationship. Usually, this is reserved for applications pre-installed before the device is sold, and is not available to third-party developers.

    Graham.

  3. #3
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    Re: Find mobile location from web app

    Thank you Graham for the detailed info..
    So that would mean it will be very hard to develop some service which can be used accross all platforms. We need to develop different app for every phone & again diff apps for different series of the same company...

    One more questions, is that a standard way to fetch the GPS info? From an application running on a web server (or) J2ME?

    Thanks,
    Sharad

  4. #4
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    Re: Find mobile location from web app

    Quote Originally Posted by sharball View Post
    We need to develop different app for every phone & again diff apps for different series of the same company...
    More than that... on many devices, it would simply be impossible to determine the cell ID. For example, all Nokia Series 40 devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharball View Post
    is that a standard way to fetch the GPS info? From an application running on a web server (or) J2ME?
    No way to do this from a web server, since the GPS is in the device. You'd need to send the GPS data to the server from an application on the device.

    In Java, yes, there is a standard: JSR 179. This is the standard way to get location information on the device. Location information might come from GPS, but JSR 179 is not GPS-specific. The device might determine its location using some other technology, but your application can access that in the same way. Obviously, different technologies have different levels of accuracy - JSR 179 provides information about the level of accuracy available.

    Graham.

  5. #5
    Nokia Developer Champion
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    2,708

    Re: Find mobile location from web app

    GPS works by using a receiver, which establishes the position...
    The receiver is a real physical receiver, which is hardware, and you can compare it with a radio receiver... There is no such thing as a software radio receiver or a software radar...
    This receiver can only establish it's own GPS coordinates, so a web server won't be able to establish GPS cooridnates for a device which is somewhere on the world... A web server with a GPS receiver will be able to establish it's OWN GPS location...

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