Converting GPS Data to Google Earth

Filed under:Cool Stuff, Tech, Tooele — posted by Tyler on March 13, 2006 @ 11:46 pm    Print Post

Last weekend a friend of mine and I went wardriving [wikipedia.org], although we didn’t actually access the open networks we found and we won’t be publishing our findings as others who do this do. The reason we did it is so that we could test out the cool GPS Visualizer [gpsvisualizer.com] website that allows you to upload a text file with GPS coordinates and convert it to a KML file that can be opened in Google Earth [earth.google.com].

We hooked up a GPS to a laptop and used NetStumbler [stumbler.net] to collect the data. The final result was a file that when opened in Google Earth gave us a detailed visual map of all the networks that we detected in our neighborhood. We could see which ones were protected and which were unprotected. Just as a point of interest, we discovered 64 access points on our short drive and 31 of them were open, meaning they had no apparent security in place. It’s possible that some were securing their network by only allowing specific MAC addresses access to their network, but I doubt that’s the case for too many.

As a side note, Google Earth made a brief appearance on Fox’s “24” [fox.com/24] TV series tonight.



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