i just came across a very neat service: the norwegian post and telecommunications authority have launched the website finnsenderen.no, which allows you to see all the cell towers around the place that you live (or anywhere else).
that in itself may not be very useful information, but it does give some indication of signal strength – and perhaps the accuracy of cell tower-based positioning – in any given area. more importantly, if the authorities would also release the information in a more suitable format, e.g. a database, it could be used to build hybrid positioning systems of the kind used by google maps, skyhook, navizon etc. this could even be done as an open source project. (in its current form, the map doesn’t seem to include all the info that is needed – some kind of tower id would at least be necessary). imagine that, the norwegian authorities supplying public data free of charge back to the public! it would be so logical and reasonable that we can only dream that it will ever happen.