Cellumap: Real-time Cellular Coverage Plotting
Greetings CrackBerry-heads. I'd like to announce that Cellumap is now available for GPS-enabled BlackBerrys OS 4.5 and higher. ...what is Cellumap? It's a real-time cellular mapping application, that has been available on Symbian only for the past year.
How does it work?
1- Download the app OTA by pointing your BlackBerry browser to: cellumap.com/ota
2- Run the app, and once you have a GPS lock, press the "Send Data" button to plot your point on the Cellumap main page
(Cellumap running on a Bold2 9700)
3- To view your point (and everyone elses) go to Cellumap Cellular Coverage Maps and zoom in an area (type a city or zip code in the maps search box), select the network/technology/time-fram, and then hit the "Signal Strength" button to see all points. If no points are available in your area, that means nobody plotted any yet (..so get out there!).
(example of coverage point viewing)
Theres a small tutorial here to help you get started with the map-viewing if it's a little complicated: Cellumap Map Tutorial
So have fun with the app! Get out and plot some points!
Any questions can be posted here, or contact me via the Cellumap website.
PS- Right now it's only 1 point per button press. An "auto-logging" type feature that will automatically send points based on distance will come in a future release.
ATOLL, ASSET, etc.) where you enter the site (tower) locations, along with antenna directions, power settings, etc, and then it makes a simulation of what the coverage should look like. But since it's all done without ever leaving the office, it's not reality. It's more like playing a video game
...reality is when the operators make drive-tests to verify the simulations (with tools like TEMS). But drive tests are expensive and time consuming, and operators never release the drive test plots because they are not complete maps, just certain routes. And then they make changes to the network and the drive test results become invalid soon anyway.
...so since the coverage maps are only simulations, and drive test results are never made public, how do you know the reality of your networks coverage?
Enter Cellumap (*ominous drum-beat*). You map out your own cellular coverage, and show the reality of the network. And you can see where others have mapped out their coverage.
Here's a nice example of Centennial's (now AT&T) publicly released coverage map alongside some Cellumap points. In this case, the coverage map seems to match the reality nicely:
...it looks like according to Centennial "Excellent" coverage is in the -80dBm's or better, and "good" is in the -90dBm's
Last edited by RadioRaiders; 03-11-10 at 02:21 AM. Reason: added map pic
...it's also interesting to see where the operator made changes to their network. Here's one example, all the red dot's with the signal around -100dBm were made in Aug.2009. A recent dot made in March.2010 shows the signal is now improved at around -70dBm. So it appears AT&T improved the coverage in this are in the last few months. Interestingly, it's the same (short) Cell ID, so maybe they just changed the direction of the existing antennas, or were allowed to increase the output power...it's hard to guess without knowing the network from the inside, but it is clear something changed here...
Last edited by RadioRaiders; 03-12-10 at 07:46 AM.
Update 18.March: ***Please upgrade to Version 1.02****
Fixes were made to the GSM/UMTS part. Previous versions sometimes displayed "UMTS" when in GSM when wifi was turned on. Also GSM 1800 was displaying instead of 1900 in some cases. This is now corrected in the app and on the database.
No changes made to CDMA or IDEN.
PS- Funny, when I zoom in the Google map satellite picture has clouds covering parts of your area. I never saw clouds on Google maps before
- 03-21-10, 02:20 PM #16
Here is what U.S. Cellular says my coverage should be for my City (Tomah, WI)
Here is my coverage again, zoomed in:
When I put in my exact address on the US Cellular coverage map it said I was in 'GOOD' coverage, which went as follows:
In Building: 2/5 stars
In Car: 3/5 Stars
Outside: 4/5 Stars
Last edited by Seven.07; 03-21-10 at 02:28 PM.
...here's the generic color scale I use on Cellumap (based on my experience from years of making coverage maps for several different operators). It's for all technologies, altho UMTS and CDMA can still work down to around -110dBm while GSM stops working a few dB higher, at around -105dBm <--for voice. Data can still work even a few dB's lower, because it doesn't require a solid connection.
59 < ... Very Dark Green - Very Excellent Signal
60 to 69 ... Dark Green - Excellent Signal
70 to79 ... Green - Very Good Signal
80 to 89 ... Light Green - Good Signal
90 to 99 ... Yellow - Weak Signal
100 to 109 ... Red - Marginal Signal
110 to 119 ... Dark Red - Almost no signal
120 > ... Grey - Shouldn't be any signal
Last edited by RadioRaiders; 03-21-10 at 02:48 PM.
...actually, the points you made have differen BID's so it's not the same cell you were on inside as you were outside. So my math above doesn't apply. But the "weak" comment still applies
Last edited by RadioRaiders; 03-21-10 at 03:30 PM.
- 03-21-10, 03:40 PM #21
I'm constantly switching towers where I am. They are all owned by Verizon I believe. I had someone that knew how to find who owns what towers around me and at least that's what they told me. Do you know of a site that I could look for my self?
- CrackBerry Addict
03-21-10, 04:08 PM #22
- 989 Posts
This looks very similar to what Root Wireless is doing...I think it was at this past CES where CB did an article about Root and their offerings. They are running a cimilar service, where you run an app in the background which constantly tests cell signal stregnth, as well as upload/download speeds. It is a beta program, so you must be selected after signing up - however their coverage map is public. I believe it is on CNET's website. A google search will pull it up. You can see upload/download speeds, dropped callsn dead zones, and a pretty similar DB rating. Its VERY interesting to compare/contrast your real-time coverage against that of your carriers map. Also, with Root, you can compare/contrast the other carriers in your area. I am the first person to begin plotting information in my area, however a friend of mine was also selected - he has vzw, I have sprint. I viewed his account theother day, and its pretty clear who comes out on top in my area...even though the carrier coverage maps say otherwise. Pretty neat stuff! Ill give this app a shot as well.
Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
- 03-21-10, 07:37 PM #25