CloudServices/Location/Software

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Software

As of 2021, there are no Mozilla-supported projects to contribute new data to MLS. There are a few ways to use MLS in Firefox and other tools, which will confirm in MLS that WiFi and Cell stations are still active.

Firefox Desktop

  • Firefox Desktop allows you to use the service instead of the default location provider. In about:config change the geo.provider.network.url setting to:
   https://location.services.mozilla.com/v1/geolocate?key=%MOZILLA_API_KEY%
  • Some Firefox Desktop versions distributed by third-parties, especially Linux distros use MLS by default. Currently this includes Firefox for Fedora, Firefox on ArchLinux, Firefox for PacBSD / ArchBSD, Firefox for OpenSolaris and Firefox for Debian (Iceweasel).

Android

  • Ichnaea NLP Backend is a UnifiedNlp backend that uses MLS to resolve locations.
  • Mapzen has shown interest in integrating MLS into their LOST library in the future.
  • Network Cell Info (Lite) is an Android application for cell network monitoring, uses MLS and can be configured to optionally contribute data back to MLS.
  • Tower Collector lets you contribute to OpenCellID.org and Mozilla Location Services projects by uploading GPS locations of seen GSM/UMTS/LTE/CDMA cell towers

Linux

  • GeoClue is a D-Bus service that provides location information, using for example GPS daemons but also MLS.
  • KDE Plasma Desktop uses MLS to get country level and precise geolocation information.

iOS

Apple's iOS is a closed environment, which limits the kinds of applications you can develop. Apps need access and gather data about cell and WiFi networks, but Apple purposefully prevents access to this information. There is no way to even ask the user to allow this collection, the operating system itself just doesn't expose this information to app developers in the form of API's.

Windows Phone

Same story as iOS, there are no APIs available to get at the required cell ids for our purposes.

Firefox for Android

MLS contributions were a feature of versions 68 and earlier (the "Fennec" codebase). It is not present in 79 and later (the Fenix codebase).

Mozilla Stumbler for Android

Mozilla Stumbler was an open-source wireless network scanner that collected GPS and wireless network data for our crowd-sourced location database. It was retired in February 2021.

The source code is still available, but has not been updated to current Android development practices. The libstumbler library, an embeddable Android library supporting both stumbling and location lookups, may also need updates for current Android development tools.