Practical Metropolitan-Scale Positioning for GSM Phones

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4206)


This paper examines the positioning accuracy of a GSM beacon-based location system in a metropolitan environment. We explore five factors effecting positioning accuracy: location algorithm choice, scan set size, simultaneous use of cells from different providers, training and testing on different devices, and calibration data density. We collected a 208-hour, 4350Km driving trace of three different GSM networks covering the Seattle metropolitan area. We show a median error of 94m in downtown and 196m in residential areas using a single GSM network and the best algorithm for each area. Estimating location using multiple providers’ cells reduces median error to 65-134 meters and 95% error to 163m in the downtown area, which meets the accuracy requirements for E911. We also show that a small 60-hour calibration drive is sufficient for enabling a metropolitan area similar to Seattle.


Global Position System Gaussian Process Median Error Network Provider Monte Carlo Localization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intel Research SeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of California at San DiegoUSA
  3. 3.University of WashingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of TorontoCanada

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