Is it possible to get GPS data without using a GPS, but instead using the internet provided from a 3G or 4G connection to get GPS data?

Maybe if you used the HTML5 geolocation API somehow?

I have already used a GPS module together with a GSM modem, but i only used the GSM modem for SMS and not potential internet capabilities.

The beneftis from this , besides cost, would be a smaller program, intended for arduino nano, as TInyGPS and TinyGPS++ libraries are already big enough.

So my question really is twofold: 1. Is there any way to utilize the internet connection from GSM modems (besides the obvious SMS/call function)? 2. Is there a way to utilize the internet connection to get GPS data, without using an actual GPS module?

  • Step 1: read the manual for the modem.
    – Majenko
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 13:49
  • Regarding the GPS library, check out NeoGPS. It's faster and more robust than other libraries, and it can be configured to be really small, depending on how many GPS "fields" you really need (not all, I bet). The examples are structured correctly, and can be modified without breaking them.
    – slash-dev
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


You cannot get GPS data without getting GPS data. That's like wanting to get milk from a cow without using a cow.

Some GSM modem modules also include a GPS chip. If yours does you can use that. If not then the closest you can get is:

  • Country (or maybe city) the IP address is registered in
  • Cell ID and location of the tower you are communicating with

Both of those are only very rough "somewhere within this square few miles" or "somewhere in this country" kind of data. Any more than that and you need GPS.

Mobile phones augment the GPS / Cell data with WiFi data by matching BSSIDs with an online database (within Google etc) to get rough location information.

  • Thanks! Do you know a reference where i can browse a list with available GSM modems that include GPS to find one i can use? Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 14:03

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