Wardriving in Charlottetown with Dad

A perfect storm of technology became available this morning that allowed Dad and I to go on a wardriving expedition around Charlottetown — an upgrade from my earlier warwalking experiments.

We ended up finding just over 200 wireless access points; put on a map they look like this (red markers are secured wifi access points, green markers are open ones; click on the map for an interactive Google Map):

Wifi Map

In terms of gear, our setup looked like this:

NetStumbler worked very well with Dad’s cheap USB wifi card and Dan’s GPS receiver; we needed the inverter in the car because the ThinkPad battery only lasts 15 minutes, and it only has one USB port where we needed two, thus the powered hub and the need to plug it in someplace.

I would be horrible if every asked to run a “grid pattern search” in a search and rescue situation, so our wardriving pattern wasn’t exactly comprehensive; we tried to get a representative sample from several neighbourhoods, but my sense is that there are 10-20x more access points out there that we missed.

Not sure how that one marker ended up out in Charlottetown Harbour — we didn’t actually drive the car out there.

If you want to fool with the raw data we gathered yourself, here are a couple of files:

I created the Google Maps map and the Google Earth datafile using the excellent GPSVisualizer site: it simply slurps in the NetStumbler files and spits out maps. Neato.

Some kids go hunting with their Dad, some kids play ball; I run wires all around my Volkswagen and go hunting for radio signals with my Dad.

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