Of course, the company’s entire business is predicated on taking without asking. So it was no big surprise when it finally emerged that for three years its Street View sneak view snoopmobiles had been secretly vacuuming up and storing unsecured WiFi data.
When it was caught, it strenuously denied it was doing this deliberately and knowingly. ‘Gosh, folks, it was just a mistake on the part of a lone engineer (or was it two?)!’ – it exclaimed, and still exclaims. ‘It was him (them?), not us.’
But there’s WiFi data gathering of another kind.
found this map of all wi-fi networks in north america, even mine is there.
You have to zoom out, scroll to where you live, then zoom in.
I see a lot of Bell SSID’s and MAC addresses in Ottawa :p
Seems to be some sort of google Android app collecting these, if I understood it correctly.
Further down another comment says “Also see: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r25060031-all-private-wifi-mapped-” and over at dslreports, among other posts is this, from cpb >>>
Hmm, I was thinking….
If we re-program all the wireless routers everywhere, with a custom firmware that would allow P2P like connection, using a small percentage of wifi bandwidth, wouldn’t we be able to create a wireless internet of sorts?
Plug a booster here and there and voila, wireless P2P internet.
Meanwhile, here’s the FAQ
What is This Thing For?
We consolidate location and information of wireless networks world-wide to a central database, and have user-friendly java, windows, and web applications that can map, query and update the database via the web.
We currently accept files in any of NetStumbler’s exported file formats, DStumbler’s text output, Kismet’s CWGD, XML, CSV, or GPS formats, Pocket Warrior’s text output, as well as via our online form.
To have your record removed from our database, or if you have any questions or suggestions, send an email to: WiGLE-admin[at]WiGLE.net or irc chat on #wigle at wigle.net:6667
Who are you people?
- arkasha worked on the java client (JiGLE) and is writing the palm client (PRInGLE) and windows/linux native client
- bobzilla works on the web/db (WiGLE), map generation (RiGLE), and the java client (JiGLE)
- uhtu works on the java client (JiGLE)
- thuddwhir wrote the vector-based map generation (SquiGLE)
- wos wrote the Mac OSX native client (TinGLE)
All are members of Mimezine.
How does triangulation work?
The “triangulation” is actually just an average of the latitudes and longitudes gathered using the signal strength (squared) as a weight. This assumes that signal strength will change at the inverse square of the distance. This is reasonable as long is you don’t get a one sided view of the network (IE only sample it on the west side) since it will be skewed in that direction. Perhaps a better way would be choosing a signal of 70 as being the ultimate, and every other point being a radius from 70 and trying to find where all the circles intersect, but we’ll see. This should be good enough for the real world for now.
How do I Get Started?
WiGLE.net is a submission-based catalog of wireless networks. Submissions are not paired with actual people; rather name/password identities which people use to associate their data. It’s basically a “gee isn’t this neat” engine for learning about the spread of wireless computer usage.
WiGLE concerns itself entirely with 802.11b networks right now, since it’s REALLY hard to deal with cellular networks, 802.11a is so hard to catch, and everything else is so small-share. 802.11b appears to be experiencing an explosive growth, and it’s neat to see it cover cities.
the first step in using WiGLE is to create a username for yourself. You don’t have to submit anything other than a made-up name and password, validation is immediate, and we will not contact you (unless you wanna chat on our message boards). This will give you access to our query engine and software downloads.
once you’ve done this, you’re free to send us wireless network traces (in any of our listed formats, usually pairings of wireless sample, names and network hardware addresses (for uniqueness), data/SNR triples and GPS coordinates) or enter networks manually. Note, your username gets “credit” for these, but of course some people don’t want their networks listed (various reasons), so we delist these immediately upon request. If you’re visiting us to ask for removal, just make an ID and ask about your network through the query page. Once you make a user id, you can look at the submissions statistics page to see how users stack up.
To view networks, you can 1.) ask the website, 2.) download one of our clients. The clients are particularly fun to look at, but require either a java-1.3-and-up machine (windows, sunOS, MacOS-X, linux, mostly) or a windows box, for the new windows-native prototype. This will superimpose “points” from a live query onto a map of an area. Maps can be downloaded in “packs” from our mapping engine and are installed simply by unzipping them into your client installation directory. Mappacks are created and served by-state-by-county, or in the case of large cities, by-state-by-city. If we haven’t generated a map for your area of interest yet, ask for it, and come back after the rendering engine’s had a minute or 5 to think about it.
Overall, WiGLE aims to show people about wireless in a more-technical capacity then your average static map or newspaper article.
If your network is in WiGLE and you don’t like it, we’ll take it out immediately, but you should look into making your network harder to detect AND more secure; remember that you’re the one bombarding passers-by with your signal. We aren’t affiliated directly with any particular community or interest (other than our own), but we applaud the efforts of the people who wrote the stumbling software that feeds our project, the people looking to use wireless in innovative ways, and especially the community of people who just dig wireless network access and dig sharing it. (freenets)
What’s the license for all this?
The official legal End User License Agreement. We basically just offer no warranties on our software, and don’t want our software to be used for unlicensed commercial gain.
To help fund WiGLE operations, we offer licenses to a subset of the data derived from postings that our users have permited us to use for commercial purposes. As a matter of policy, we will not comment on future, past, or hypothetical customers.
We additionally refuse to claim or disclaim any involvement with the alleged moon landings, area 51 and ‘bigfoot’.
Why Don’t You Offer Non US Maps?
We’d love to offer world-wide, street-level mapping information, but there’s nothing free for our use. WiGLE relies on the TIGER and VMAP0 mapping data sets for our current maps, which allows us to produce our maps without intellectual property entanglement or licensing fees. We’re certainly interested in hearing from you about candidate datasets which we can use under similar terms, but we’re not necessarily going to write a new parser for each country/city/neighborhood in the world. See The forums for an up-to-date status on our search and instructions for composing your own raster mappacks!
How Can I Change My Password?
The main site and forums use linked but seperate authentication systems. One of the problems this can cause is that if you use (or have used) forum tools to update your password, it may no longer match your main password for the site. We recommend you use the change password page to update both passwords simultaneously and avoid complication. If you’ve forgotten your password, we recommend you contact us via WiGLE-admin[at]WiGLE.net and include your registration information for proof of identity.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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