WiFiMapper app relies on crowdsourcing to find free WiFi

UK-based OpenSignal has made a record for themselves of gathering useful mobile network coverage data via crowdsourcing. Then they went on to use the same technique for gathering weather information. Now the company has released a new app that crowdsources the next most useful information: free public WiFi hotspots. WiFiMapper, now available for iOS, not only relies on users submitting information on hotspots, but uses OpenSignal's existing data from Foursquare to identify the type of location.

OpenSignal says WiFiMapper already has a database with 2 million recommended hotspot locations around the globe. This database is based on users who have tagged a hotspot as "free," as well as using data from their original app, which kept track of when users were connected to WiFi. An algorithm was used to make an educated guess on whether the hotspots are free or not.

Users looking for some free WiFi with the app can easily identify a hotspot's reliability, type of location (if it's in a cafe/hotel lobby/library, etc.), and whether a login page is required to connect. A quick yes/no question about if the hotspot really is free will help the app's accuracy, but requires users to sign in with Facebook.

The app is free to download and use, but OpenSignal says it's considering a paid option that would allow coverage maps to be used offline, handy, let's say, if you're traveling overseas and can't use cellular.

VIA VentureBeat

SOURCE WiFiMapper (iOS)