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How can I get a sender's location information from SMS (Text Message) in my application?

Posted on 2010-08-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
First of all, is such thing possible?

Location means identifying the 'antenna' or the area the sender texted. We would run a server that we want to grab the SMS information using probably ASP.NET application.
By using any way, such as AT commands (GMS), SMS gateway, or SMS gateway provider?
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Question by:furi2
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7 Comments
 
LVL 37

Accepted Solution

by:
Neil Russell earned 1600 total points
ID: 33548631
As far as I am aware there is no way to identify WHERE a cell phone was when it texted it you. This would open up all kinds of civil rights and privicy issues.
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Author Comment

by:furi2
ID: 33548724
Thanks Neilsr!

Actually that was my impression when the requirement was given.. Not sure how to get around this then. I agree with you, but let me open this question for a little while to get other people's opnion...
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Jerry Miller
Jerry Miller earned 400 total points
ID: 33548766
I agree with Neilsr that this would open up many privacy issues that may land you (and the company) in court at some point.

AT&T has a Family Map software that displays phone locations for registered phones in  GPS format that are on MY OWN account and it sends messages to the users (my kids) whenever they are being tracked. So AT&T is covering its bases even within the same user account.
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Author Comment

by:furi2
ID: 33554398
Thanks a lot for your responses. Here's a question again.

So then, how is such a service like 'location-based ad' SMS technology possible? For example, http://www.placecast.net/ provides service as ShopAlert, which gives you information of your interests near where you are located at.

Obviously the placecast.net is getting sender's location information through SMS, isn't it?
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 33561753
No, the clue is in the word CAST.
It works by doing a broadcast to all cellphones, that accept the service, on a particular cellsite.
When you move around your phone registers with different cellsites as you go, it is this that seems to let them target ad's at you. The add comp knows nothing of your location.
 
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Author Comment

by:furi2
ID: 33562096
Interestingggg, thankx Neilsr!

While waiting for comments, I did more research. One SMS gateway provider actually provides the real time apploximate coordinates(Lat&Let) using LBS. They explained that LBS figures out the location through three cell towers. (Probably this is nothing related to SMS anymore)

So Does this mean the gateway company has contracts or something with all the carriers to share the location infromation of cell phone?
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Author Closing Comment

by:furi2
ID: 33759019
Simple and clear
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