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Which one are the most accurate? Cell Mapper or Netmonitor doesn't seem to be accurate. What is everyone using?

 

Understand first that there is no app known around here that will map LTE towers directly. Some apps purport to do so, but they are misleading.

 

There are some apps that will map CDMA sectors, each with its own BSID (Base Station ID) from the coordinates broadcast by the tower transmitters. Sometimes those coordinates are the actual tower sites. But sometimes [sponsor-only link] each sector on a given tower squawks coordinates that are offset some distance away (maybe even miles). We don't know why that is. But since you as a S4GRU sponsor have available to you maps of actual Sprint towers, you can usually tell be trial and error which case is which: Either the coordinates are exactly at a tower site, or they are grouped in a triangle pattern around it, with BSID values that are sequential.

 

As for which app to use for that purpose, I don't like Netmonitor because I don't trust its permissions for privacy reasons. I prefer CDMA Field Test, which will only map a single BSID at a time. But is does support capturing all the IDs and coordinates in a log, which is exported as a KML map file or as a flat file you can use to build maps yourself.

 

One of the worst apps for "tower" mapping is Open Signal Maps, which really just computes a guess about tower locations by trying to triangulate crowd-sourced signal-strength data. This method can be wildly inaccurate. I have never seen it pinpoint a real tower.

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I was trying to find an app to match up with the maps. I have 3 towers near my house that is within 2 miles which I'm not sure I'm connected to.

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I was trying to find an app to match up with the maps. I have 3 towers near my house that is within 2 miles which I'm not sure I'm connected to.

 

Try CDMA Field Test to find CDMA connections. Just be aware of the anomaly about some towers squawking three different coordinates, one for each sector BSID. If the coordinates mapped by the test app don't match a tower site on the S4GRU map, then this apparently is the case for yours. You might have to explore around the towers to find the three sectors with sequentlally numbered BSIDs.

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Understand first that there is no app known around here that will map LTE towers directly. Some apps purport to do so, but they are misleading.

 

There are some apps that will map CDMA sectors, each with its own BSID (Base Station ID) from the coordinates broadcast by the tower transmitters. Sometimes those coordinates are the actual tower sites. But sometimes [sponsor-only link] each sector on a given tower squawks coordinates that are offset some distance away (maybe even miles). We don't know why that is. But since you as a S4GRU sponsor have available to you maps of actual Sprint towers, you can usually tell be trial and error which case is which: Either the coordinates are exactly at a tower site, or they are grouped in a triangle pattern around it, with BSID values that are sequential.

 

As for which app to use for that purpose, I don't like Netmonitor because I don't trust its permissions for privacy reasons. I prefer CDMA Field Test, which will only map a single BSID at a time. But is does support capturing all the IDs and coordinates in a log, which is exported as a KML map file or as a flat file you can use to build maps yourself.

 

One of the worst apps for "tower" mapping is Open Signal Maps, which really just computes a guess about tower locations by trying to triangulate crowd-sourced signal-strength data. This method can be wildly inaccurate. I have never seen it pinpoint a real tower.

Thats not true what you say about Open Signal Maps. It is not "one of the worst", it is actuall one of the best. It pinpoints 6 tower locations in my area to the exact location.

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Thats not true what you say about Open Signal Maps. It is not "one of the worst", it is actuall one of the best. It pinpoints 6 tower locations in my area to the exact location.

 

Could you post some screenshots of that? I haven't seen such a thing here or in other forums, but I have seen several examples of wildly inaccurate "tower" plots by Open Signal Maps. The developers even warn about errors on their own Google Play page:

 

Data is mainly crowd sourced - wireless and antenna locations are calculated by triangulation. This means they are not exact, and sometimes they may be way off. As more people use this app the data will improve.

 

So there may be such a unicorn as an accurate Open Signal Maps plot of Sprint towers. I just haven't seen one.

 

And if you do post a screenshot, could you explain how you confirmed that these "tower" sites were correct?

 

Using apps that track the broadcast CDMA coordinates, I have always been able to discern which tower I was connected to and where it is, even if it takes some work in the case of the many towers near me that squawk offset coordinates. But for this exercise I also have an asset you probably don't have, since I notice that you are not an S4GRU sponsor. I am, so I have the Rosetta Stone -- Robert's authoritative maps of where the Sprint towers actually are.

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I have used Open Signal Map. I try the other one too.

 

They are all hog wash! I went there to look, there are no towers there!

 

I just use Sprint map on their website. Just click on 4G (not LTE) and look at the yellow circle around it and in the middle is the tower.

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I just use Sprint map on their website. Just click on 4G (not LTE) and look at the yellow circle around it and in the middle is the tower.

 

The only tower sites I can find mapped on Sprint's website are a handful of "Recent" or "Future" 3G towers. These are a tiny fraction of Sprint's main-network antenna sites, of which there are about 40,000 (not including IDEN sites that will be decommissioned or Wimax sites, which are in Clearwires's own separate network.) I recall seeing some other maps on Sprint's site showing some towers scheduled for maintenance upgrades, but they are also relatively few.

 

The only place I have ever seen complete and accurate maps of Sprint towers are in S4GRU's sponsor forums.

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Could you post some screenshots of that? I haven't seen such a thing here or in other forums, but I have seen several examples of wildly inaccurate "tower" plots by Open Signal Maps. The developers even warn about errors on their own Google Play page:

 

 

 

So there may be such a unicorn as an accurate Open Signal Maps plot of Sprint towers. I just haven't seen one.

 

And if you do post a screenshot, could you explain how you confirmed that these "tower" sites were correct?

 

Using apps that track the broadcast CDMA coordinates, I have always been able to discern which tower I was connected to and where it is, even if it takes some work in the case of the many towers near me that squawk offset coordinates. But for this exercise I also have an asset you probably don't have, since I notice that you are not an S4GRU sponsor. I am, so I have the Rosetta Stone -- Robert's authoritative maps of where the Sprint towers actually are.

boomer, I'm sorry the app does'nt work for you, it does for me where I live. There are 2 3G Sprint towers towers in the exact location that Open Signal Map identifies. 1 is 3 houses from my house on the corner of 30th & Mt. View and the other is on Electric Ave and Pershing in San bernardino Ca. I also know because when I call Sprint to report dropped flippin calls, they always tell me those 2 towers are being serviced and blah blah blah. And whats the deall with being a sponser and having access to those top secret maps! Why not open them up to everyone.
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And whats the deall with being a sponser and having access to those top secret maps! Why not open them up to everyone.

 

S4GRU is not advertiser supported. The site costs considerable money to run and must maintain itself through donations.

 

Would you rather that S4GRU not exist at all?

 

AJ

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boomer, I'm sorry the app does'nt work for you, it does for me where I live. There are 2 3G Sprint towers towers in the exact location that Open Signal Map identifies. 1 is 3 houses from my house on the corner of 30th & Mt. View and the other is on Electric Ave and Pershing in San bernardino Ca. I also know because when I call Sprint to report dropped flippin calls, they always tell me those 2 towers are being serviced and blah blah blah.

 

I'm bending the rules to look this up for you, but other readers deserve to know how off your description is. According to the authoritative project maps, there is a Sprint tower at 30th & Mountain View, but not on the Open Signal Maps website. (Actually, as I compare that website with the master S4GRU map of the area, I find no decent correlation between the various "towers" mapped by Open Signal and the actual locations.) And there is no Sprint tower at Electric Ave. & Pershing. I can't explain what Sprint customer tells you, but I wouldn't be surprised if they agreed with your geographic analysis just to get you off the phone. That is not uncommon behavior among frontline CS reps, in my experience.

 

And whats the deall with being a sponser and having access to those top secret maps! Why not open them up to everyone.

 

This strikes me as a rather impertinent question from a newbie guest, but then this is not my site. I'm a guest here myself. But like other sponsors, I choose to chip in some to help pay the costs. FWIW, you can read about sponsorship here.

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figure better to post here than to make a new thread. i have been interested in tower apps, but I have an iPhone. obviously i won't be finding any 4G towers with it, but I am still interested nonetheless to see what 3G towers I pick up

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figure better to post here than to make a new thread. i have been interested in tower apps, but I have an iPhone. obviously i won't be finding any 4G towers with it, but I am still interested nonetheless to see what 3G towers I pick up

 

Okay, I guess iHeads are welcome to play, too. Is there some website we all can look at describing these iOS apps?

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Okay' date=' I guess iHeads are welcome to play, too. Is there some website we all can look at describing these iOS apps?[/quote']

 

There are no iOS apps available for this in the official app store. The API required to make the app is not available from Apple, and the only other option is to jailbreak and get the app off cydia, which is only compatible with GSM networks. So, for us with the CDMA iPhones, there's nothing out there to map towers :(

 

Sent from my JB iPhone 4S using Forum Runner

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I have NOT had good successes with Open Signal Maps site locations. Not in any market I have traveled. Many times OSM will show a real tower, and then people assume because it is a tower and OSM shows it is Sprint, they assume it is therefore accurate. However, in many of these instances, Sprint is not even on the site shown.

 

However, OSM gets it right occasionally. But so does a broken clock, twice a day.

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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In your area perhaps.

 

Actually, I already looked at that area (San Bernardino). See my comment above. Open Signal's mapped towers there don't correlate to actual tower sites well at all..

 

I think this is a good example of experimental placebo effects. Users invest time using this app, so they want to believe in it no matter what. (And most end users don't have our advantage at S4GRU -- master Sprint maps of the tower sites.)

 

The field crowdsourcing method is an interesting idea for plotting empirical signal-strength coverage in the corridors where the handsets themselves happen to travel (although I like Sensorly's site better for that purpose in the maps I have browsed.) But Open Signal's methods attempting to extrapolate that same data to impute tower locations just don't work very well.

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Maybe it's just me, but Open signal keeps FC'ing on my Galaxy Nexus and Epic Touch, running ICS and JB. Then again, none of those apps play nice for a market such as NYC with the extreme tower density.

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