An open source approach to wireless positioning techniques

Seamus Rooney, Dublin Institute of Technology
Keith Gardiner, Dublin Institute of Technology
James D. Carswell, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Conference Paper

The 5th International Symposium on Mobile Mapping Technology (MMT’07) Padua , Italy, 28-31, May, 2007


There are several problems encountered when trying to determine the location of a mobile phone, including weather you are in an urban or rural environment. Also, it is well known that different positioning technologies can work better than others depending on the environment they are in. For example, GPS works well in rural areas but not as well in urban areas, GSM positioning accuracy can be acceptable in urban areas with the right triangulation technology, but is less accurate in rural areas. Positioning with other technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, and Semacode all have their own advantages and disadvantages also, depending on the overall environment in which they are used. One research task of the ICiNG project is to address these issues and introduce the next logical step for freely available mobile positioning, advancing the pioneering work done by Place Lab at Intel. The EU-FP6 ICiNG project component that initiates this advance is called the ILC (ICiNG Location Client). The ILC integrates all the above location finding technologies into one positioning module. This paper outlines the technique we developed to combine these technologies and the architecture used to deploy them on a mobile phone. With all these technologies finally available on one device, it is now possible to employ a personal positioning system that can work effectively in any environment. Another important advantage of the ILC is its ability to do this without any direct communication with outside sources, so users need not worry about “big brother” tracking their every movement. The ILC only “listens” for, and makes use of, radio signals that are freely available in the current environment, and does not actively connect to any external network or other services to triangulate its position.