Posts Tagged ‘N80’

Nokia phones automatically tagging photos with cell ID

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

I wonder how many people know that their Nokia phone may be automatically tagging all their photos with enough information to track where they go? – even if they don’t have GPS.

This is certainly the case if you have a Nokia N80 with Lifeblog installed. When the photos are synced to your PC so is the location information. It is easily viewable in the Lifeblog database.

To view this information in your Lifeblog database get the SQLite Database Browser from SourceForge. Fire it up and select the Lifeblog database which should be at \NokiaLifeblogData\DataBase_2\NokiaLifeblogDataBase.db3. I’d advise you to back up the database before you try this.

Locate the LbObjectXT table. This links the object id (i.e. the photo) to the place.

LbObjectXT table in the Nokia Lifeblog database

In the LbObjectFileReference table you’ll be able to turn the LbObjectID into something meaningful.

The LBPlace table then contains the information about the place. It has the MCC (country code), MNC (network code), LAC (local area code) and CellID.

LBPlace table in the Nokia Lifeblog database

This is enough information to pinpoint your photo to an area of less than half a mile square in built up areas. In less populated areas the accuracy may only be in the order of several miles.

Depending on how you feel about things this is either a really cool feature of your Nokia phone / Lifeblog or something you might worry about. If you take a lot of photos then it would be possible to work out roughly where you were each time you took a photo – if it were possible to convert the cell ids to co-ordinates.

There are several databases around which show you where the cell ids are located, however most are very incomplete. The best database is likely to be owned by Google – they currently have a database linking cell Ids to location which is populated by users of its Google Maps application. If they were ever to publicly release this database then it would be relatively easy to work out where all you photos were taken.

Open questions I have are:

  • Is this information only recorded if you have Lifeblog installed?
  • What other phones are recording your cell ids as you take photos?

Installing Nokia Maps on a Nokia N80

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

I recently bought a Nokia LD-W3 external bluetooth GPS unit that is working well when used with Nokia’s Sport Tracker application. It allows you to record your tracks that can later be overlaid onto Google Maps. It doesn’t however have a built in map so you can see where you are.

I wanted a mapping application so that I could navigate using the GPS unit. Nokia have an application for Series 60 phones called ‘Nokia Maps’. Even though the Nokia N80 is not listed as one of the compatible phones I’ve found out that if you just download the N73 version it will work fine on the N80.

Maps are retrieved from a server and stored on your phone. Nokia Maps works best (and won’t incur any call charges) if you download the maps that you need offline using the Nokia Map Loader application. The maps can be quite large, England is 114mb.

The Nokia Maps page says that you can connect your GPS receiver via bluetooth. Unfortunately it doesn’t tell you how to do it. The information is in the FAQ. The trick is to press ‘0’. Obviously. Once it is connected to the GPS ‘0’ will take you straight to your current location. As you move around you will see where you are on the map in real time as you would with a car GPS.

You can use Sport Tracker and Nokia Maps at the same time if you start Sport Tracker first and then Nokia Maps.

This is an essential download if you have a Series 60 phone and a GPS unit.

Linking photos to locations

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

I’ve wanted to be able to GPS tag my photos for a while now so I know where they have been taken. This will be great for when I go on walks around the city. The first thing I need to do this is a GPS module. I did some research into GPS modules which can connect to my Series 60 phone – a Nokia N80. To connect to the phone it the module needs to be bluetooth enabled and support the NMEA protocol. NMEA is a standard protocol which allows GPS information to be retrieved. There are several pieces of software for the phone which can then record the co-ordinates as you move. One of these pieces of software is the free Sport Tracker written by Nokia’s Research Center.

Sport Tracker can record your tracks as you walk, run, drive, etc. It can then export the data as KML files (which can then be overlaid onto Google Maps) or as GPX data which contains the co-ordinates and the time codes.

The module I decided on was the Nokia LD-3W Wireless GPS Module from Amazon which when I bought it cost around £50. It arrived a few days ago and so far the results are very promising. The GPS module and the phone connect seamlessly. It is able to acquire the satellite signals relatively quickly – about 30 seconds to a minute when it is started. Once it has aquired the sattelites then you can walk around at will and it will record where you are going.

You can read my review of the Nokia LD-3W here.