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WiFi GPS locator

GPS WiFi Directory
  [vote for,

A PDA or laptop based directory tool that uses GPS location information to find your nearest WiFi hotspot.

This seems so simple to me, so I can't comprehend that no-one has built the software yet. All we need are the following components to be connected together - a database of hotspot locations (e.g. boingo) - a laptop or PDA - and a connected GPS (either by serial or bluetooth)

Then you can query the software to find you the closest WiFi hotspot. If it is integrated with navigation software such as Tom-Tom, then it could even direct you to the hotspot in question.

andybryant, Jun 27 2004

(?) Boingo PDA http://www.boingo.com/pr/pr79.html
Boingo now have PDA software, although no mention of GPS yet [andybryant, Oct 04 2004]

(?) is this it? http://www.kensington.com/html/3720.html
[cromagnon, Oct 04 2004]

netstumbler.com http://www.netstumbler.com/
See the netstumbler kit [Porsche911, Oct 04 2004]


       The kensington wifi finder and other similar devices will only find a hotspot if you're close enough to it to pick it up on the laptop. Netstumbler is exactly the same.   

       The thing I'm talking about would direct you to the closest hotspot by GPS, even if you are miles away...
andybryant, Jul 02 2004

       I think the thing with hotspots is there's limited roaming. Unless of course, you're talking about the free WLANs discovered during warchalking. It would suck if I walked for miles to find I was at (label A)'s hotspot versus (label B)'s hotspot (where I have my access).
lcllam2, Jul 03 2004

       2 things:   

       1) this can already be done; all you have to do is write a netstumbler database plugin and tie it to gps.   

       Wardrivers can already tell you how to wire everything to get netstumbler to save a gps location on any wifi point, and most cities are mapped. Just build something that you can run locally (dl a 100 mile range), that ties into gps and netstumbler: "You are 550 feet away from the outer fringe of an unencrypted private hotspot: Would you like to connect once close enough?"   

       2) The reason this doesn't work on a commerical level is that noone has a broad enough network yet: You could be with a provider that has 2 hotspots within 20 miles, let there is an open one evey 2 feet that doesn't belong to them.   

       Doable right now if you only use public wardriving data. Start a sourceforge project and see where it goes :)
JackandJohn, Jul 03 2004

       It's a good idea for now, but I think that wifi network coverage will improve so rapidly that this will soon be unneccessary, just as a similar feature for locating cell-phone towers would be.
gabe, Jul 03 2004


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