Saturday, November 1, 2008

WiFi Location Mac Dashboard Widget

LocateMe is a widget I built for the Mac that displays your current location and lets you click to see it on Google maps. If you are ever lost with your laptop or just don't want to look at street signs this could be handy to have available. You can download it here, then just unzip it and double click to install it to the Dashboard.

It uses the same system as the iPhone to determine your location based on the WiFi access points you can see (Skyhook Wireless also has an add on for browsers). Someone has actually driven around many US cities and mapped all the wireless networks that are visible. All the widget does is send them a list of access points and it gets your latitude and longitude.

You may be wondering how I built this? Well it took about 4 hours using Dashcode. The widget map comes from the Tiger census system. The information about accessing the location service came from Steve's blog.

It's a pretty cool, so try it out!