iPhone and CellID

Since my first contact with GIS in general and after finding OpenCellID database, I have developed an obsession with CellID-s. I need to map them. I need to see mapped cell towers on the map. I need to figure out the range of cell towers. And if the tower was 2G only or was also supporting 3G. And of course I needed to create my own GIS server to support all this.

In the old days You could access mobile towers cell id on almost any feature phone. With J2ME on SonyEricsson and  Nokia phones it was a cake walk. With Android everything got even better. Loved my HTC Hero (European version with the chin). But since my day job consists mainly of iOS development, I have also moved to iPhone 4. And the problem is - there is no way to access CellID data programmatically on iOS. You can access MNC and MCC, but no CellID.

As a developer this little detail can’t stop me from writing a map application with CellID mapping support. I still have the old Hero laying around and with the iOS 4.3 update I got the most brilliant idea - would it not be possible to connect Hero to iPhone’s WiFi hotspot and access needed data somehow this way?

Initial tests have  been positive. Using i-jetty on Android I was able to access the device from iPhone providing WiFi connection. Now I just need to check if I can also access required device data from Jetty servlets. If everything works out, I could connect multiple Android devices simultaneously and map all towers for operators in Estonia at the same time.

What will I do with the data? Probably just some pretty graphics  and nothing more. It’s more about the journey…

Tags: ios and cellid