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Gaia GPS (premium) has cell phone coverage maps


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#1 Old Crow

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 02:48 PM

Find Phone Signal With Cell Phone Coverage Maps blog post on Gaia's web site

 

I added the Verizon coverage overlay to Gaia on my iPad and viewed a few areas where I know coverage is iffy.  The map seemed to be pretty accurate where I live but not very accurate in a nearby state forest. 

 

I was up in the state forest (Tuscarora State Forest here in PA) recently and had checked cell signal at about a dozen campsites.  The map doesn't appear to match up very well with what my iPad was showing at those sites. Perhaps I'm expecting too much as I zoom in to those places on the map.

 

I'll be back up there in a few weeks so I'll have to look at this in more detail.  I guess the question is can the new overlay help me find a better signal.


Edited by Old Crow, 08 May 2022 - 02:49 PM.

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#2 buckland

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Posted 08 May 2022 - 11:39 PM

Just a note from my own AT&T coverage 'map' experience... it is not accurate at all. It is IMO someone at a desk making the map. In reality the contours and signal strength are in flux with weather, leaf coverage and load volume ... I have traveled to places expecting coverage and there was zero. I always download my maps and use Maps.me extremely accurate and free... I have a $20 usb gps unit in my truck in center console for when I have no cell it keeps all my positions on the map smoothly. Where I live cell is very patchy due to rural hills.  Forgot to mention I also use the iPad 


Edited by buckland, 08 May 2022 - 11:40 PM.

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#3 2Z Bundok

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 12:57 PM

Anybody have a signal tracking app for all carriers?..I would love to compare in the wild!

 

I am very interested in this topic and the science / facts around (the art) cellular communications.  "the art" because as mentioned above, varying factors contribute to signal strength.  Doubt that?  Read reviews about cell phone boosters, compare results with 2 identical phones, read about the different technologies used by primary providers or check signal strength at the same place on different days. 

 

I have an app called "Network Cell Info Lite" that gives very interesting signal data that is somewhat inaccurate.  Only once, the map took me to a "tower"...it was a house!  It has also accurately located towers that are shorter that the trees (~35').

 

I have parked at a store with no connection and watched people on their cell phones!  Called T-Mobil about this and believe they are trained never to say "Sorry sir we don't cover that area."  Fear of being fired requires them to engage me for a long time.  I consider this "Customer DIS-service."

 

Great idea with the coverage overlay!  I also have tried Gila Premium (one east coast, week long trip) but haven't learned the complexity of overlays, thus finding On-X Offroad premium of more use.  We enjoy IOverlander for its off-line functionality!  I would like to hear more as you discover and I'll try the link provided.


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#4 Old Crow

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 03:20 PM

2Z...  This isn't what you asked for but I thought you might like to see it given your interest in the topic...

 

After my post, I ran onto this article about the FCC's efforts to make a multi-vendor cell phone coverage map.

 

FCC Puts Out It's First Mobile Coverage Maps: Why They Differ From Carrier Maps

 

I don't see a link to the map in that article but found this FCC website with an explanation and the map.

 

FCC Mobile LTE Coverage Map

 

I took a quick look at Verizon coverage at the state forest campsites I mentioned and noticed it seems to show coverage is better than I remember it.  But I'm only going on a teeny, tiny bit of experience and a not-always-reliable memory.  I need to check further.

 

This map is of course of no use when you're in the field with no signal and you need to find it.  That's what I was hoping would be available with the Gaia GPS cell coverage overlay. 

 

Given that most signal coverage maps appear to depend on radio-signal propagation models (or, as Buckland says 'someone at a desk'), perhaps we'll never get great coverage maps for fringe areas. Still, they may be useful to guide us toward more likely signal areas.

.


Edited by Old Crow, 15 May 2022 - 03:47 PM.

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#5 searching for nowhere

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 03:53 PM

I'll add my experience.  I was on Verison and coverage at home gradually got worse, making a phone call difficult.  The Verison coverage map showed that I had good coverage.  I called to complain and the person on the phone looked up my address and agreed with me that I had poor coverage.  Hum.  I think coverage maps are fictional.  I switched to AT&T.  


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#6 2Z Bundok

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 10:35 PM

Now there is a map! Thanks Old Crow, I'll fool with that for awhile.  

FCC Mobile LTE Coverage Map

 The PC mag article lead me to a Vermont Driving map with interesting data on all major carriers too...I wonder what software was used for that volunteer feedback  / development.

 

FYI T-Mobil (also AT&T I believe) Customer service can make adjustments to their systems to better serve you at one given location like home. All Usless when in Wanderer mode!


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#7 Vic Harder

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 11:18 PM

Now there is a map! Thanks Old Crow, I'll fool with that for awhile.
FCC Mobile LTE Coverage Map
The PC mag article lead me to a Vermont Driving map with interesting data on all major carriers too...I wonder what software was used for that volunteer feedback / development.

FYI T-Mobil (also AT&T I believe) Customer service can make adjustments to their systems to better serve you at one given location like home. All Usless when in Wanderer mode!


I’ve got an app that was made by the good folks at MIRC and it looks to me like it just pulls the data from the cell providers. On this trip in Utah I’ve got both a Verizon SIM in my cell phone, and a T-mobile SIM in my wireless router. The router has the advantage of a really good antenna. We’ve been able to get good internet in really bizarre places (White Pocket, Az for one) and none in places where the maps say it exists (Red Canyon, UT).

You also need to consider that good “bars” or signal strength does NOT equal good bandwidth. In southern Utah where there are only a very few towers, those towers can get overloaded.

Interesting feature of the cell router is showing and selecting which bands the carrier is using and picking bands that are less overloaded. Have not played with that too much yet!
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