Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mess around with Wifi and SkyHook

I recently had some spare time (and inspiration) to mess around with the SkyHook API (which you would already know if you follow me on twitter!). SkyHook invested the time and money to drive around the USA and Europe to map the location of wireless access points by MAC address. Note the vast majority of wireless access points can be easily identified by anyone within range using software such as NetStumbler or inSSIDer. SkyHook have got both my access point at home and at Shelley’s parents in their database so it looks like they’ve done a pretty good job at coverage!

Making use of both the DotNet Managed Wifi library and the SkyHook API, I wrote a quick C# console application that identifiers the MAC address of local access points and queries the SkyHook API for a location. If a location is found then a KML file is saved and opened with the default handler (such as Google Earth).

If you want to have a play, the Visual Studio 2008 solution can be downloaded here. Be sure to let me know if you come up with any other interesting applications.

This little project also helped to prove how useful Stack Overflow is for getting answers to programming problems. I asked 1, 2, 3 questions that were all answered pretty quickly. Sometimes even if you know the answer it’s useful to ask the question incase someone has a better answer!