I am trying to create a solution where my Pi sends GPS coordinates to a database server and at the same time keep my cost of items as low as possible.

I have the Pi and a USB dongle which I will be connecting to the internet to relay my position.

I have also ran into this link Raspberry Pi Location Tracker which suggest that latitude and longitude can be gotten based on sim card/cell tower.

In your experience, will that be accurate enough? It doesn't have to exactly pin point but will I get accuracy for at least 100 meters? If it points the device is on a street... if it's on the next street over that is acceptable. Just not... two football fields away.

  • The link you mention assumes your USB dongle has a web interface with cell info. Over the past 15 years I have played with many dongles, but I cannot recall even one of them having such an interface. You probably have more chance to get this information via old fashioned AT-commands.
    – EDP
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 7:01
  • @EDP food for thought, but shouldnt all devices have a page? but say it doesnt have one, can't i just use python to pull the needed information?
    – Niana
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 7:08
  • I suggest you use AT commands for getting stuff out of the dongle. I won't use python for that. Have a look at atinout. This is probably what the web interface uses anyway under the hood. Mileage might vary on different modem brands/models. AT commands specific for your model might not even be publicly available on the net. Perhaps Hayes command set might get you in the right direction
    – EDP
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 11:10
  • @EDP thanks for setting me on the correct path. However my ultimate goal is to take this latitude / longitude information and put it in a python script then make that script a crod. so every 5 minutes the sever will be uploaded with the information on the dog's collar
    – Niana
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 12:11
  • A dog with a Raspberry, USB Dongle and battery pack around his neck. Please share a picture with us when he comes out of the puddle in the back of the garden.
    – EDP
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


A-GPS is what you're talking about. It is not bad, but it depends on a place : in a busy city centre it can be even more accurate, than a normal/true GPS, because it lacks of satellite signals due to high towers/houses and there's usually more cell base stations around. But in an open places classical GPS is the best and more accurate, usually.

  • Thanks, apart from the link I posted, do you have any other resource that shows getting latitude / longitude from cell towers? want to get acquainted with the subject and read before my dongle gets here.
    – Niana
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 3:21

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