“This was the next logical step,” explains Markus Semm, the managing director of ENAiKOON, the maintainer of OpenCellID. “After we took over the project in 2013, our first priority was to solidify the backend platform for rapid growth. This process has finally come to an end with the commissioning of MongoDB clusters and software, such as Kafka queue, that is optimised for highly fluctuating demands. The infrastructure is now ready for growth and we’re ready for the activation of additional data sources.”
The newly-released OpenCellID Android library was created to help accelerate the completion of cell ID data collection. There are 50 million known cell towers worldwide with the numbers increasing constantly. OpenCellID has collected over 5 million cell IDs to date, which means there are 90% that remain undiscovered.
The use of OpenCellID data has many benefits for app developers, including:
• A significant improvement of time to first fix (TTFF). GPS can take a while for it to deliver its first GPS position after switching it on. Meanwhile, OpenCellID data is available instantly.
• A dramatic improvement in battery life because of reduced GPS usage. The use of GPS can significantly drain the battery, even in the most up-to-date phones. Unlike GPS, the influence of OpenCellID on the power consumption of your app is almost undetectable. For many use cases, the position delivered by OpenCellID is a perfect replacement of the GPS position, only to be refined with GPS data in rare cases. This approach can considerably reduce the power consumption of an app, generating a better user experience.
• Effective localisation, even inside buildings. The current position of the phone can be determined even in areas where GPS is not available (e.g. inside buildings and underground)
OpenCellID has currently over 13,000 registered members that submit 2 million “measurements”
OpenCellID: background information
OpenCellID is a free, open-source project that collects cell tower locations to improve localisation accuracy in areas with little to no GPS reception. Initiated in 2008 by Thomas Landspurg in France, the project was taken over in 2013 by ENAiKOON, who is now responsible for the project’s funding.
The second half of 2014 is focused on the accelerated data growth and support for LTE and CDMA.
Future plans for 2015 include the support of WiFi and iBeacon and, for those that wish to publish their contribution to OpenCellID, the addition of statistics per user.
Website with updated information:
Database download: downloads.opencellid.org