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OpenCellID logo.jpg
Type of site Collaborative cell spotting
Owner OpenCellID Community
Created by Thomas Landspurg
Slogan(s) The Free Wiki CellID Map
Registration Required for software developers
Launched 2 April 2008; 8 years ago (2008-04-02)
Content license
CC-BY-SA 3.0 unported

OpenCellID is a collaborative project to create a free worldwide database of Cell IDs and their corresponding location area identity. The OpenCellID project was primarily created to serve as a data source for GSM localization in areas bereft of satellite navigation coverage. As of June 21, 2014 the database contained 5.6 million unique cells and 870 million measurements.[1]


OpenCellID heatmap, 2013

Data on Cell IDs and their locations can be used to provide location information to mobile devices. Using Cell ID locations to find device location is more power efficient and often faster[2] than using satellite-based navigation systems, although it is less precise because of the lack of known Cell IDs.[3]

The database is also used to determine the strength of available wireless connections and which mobile phone service providers have coverage in specific geographic locations.

Data sources[edit]

The unique location area identities of the cell towers can be collected by devices that utilize the wireless network provided by those cell towers.[4] This data is primarily contributed by smartphone users who have installed apps, such as OpenCellID[5] or OpenCellID Client,[6] and commercial tracking devices such as blackboxes, but also by wholesale data donation by corporations. This is then collected and transferred into the OpenCellID API database.[7][8]


The OpenCellID database is published under a Creative Commons open content license with the intention of promoting free use and redistribution of the data.


  1. ^ "Stats OpenCellID". Retrieved 2014-06-21. 
  2. ^ Trevisani, Emiliano; Andrea Vitaletti (2004). "Cell-ID location technique, limits and benefits: an experimental study" (PDF). Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems Proceedings of the Sixth IEEE Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (WMCSA 2004). 
  3. ^ Jie Yang; Alexander Varshavsky; Hongbo Liu; Yingying Chen & Marco Gruteser (2010). "Accuracy characterization of cell tower localization.". Proceedings of the 12th ACM international conference on Ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp '10): 223–226. 
  4. ^ Kattan, Francisco. "Dynamic Cell-ID: Clever way to Block Google, but will it Backfire?". Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ inViu OpenCellID client "OpenCellID App" Check |url= value (help). 
  6. ^ Wolschon, Markus. "OpenCellID Client". 
  7. ^ "OpenCellID API". 
  8. ^ "OpenCellID API introduction". 

External links[edit]