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Thread: Wireless Hotspots in Maine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

    Default Wireless Hotspots in Maine

    At the event today, BRDAD and I were discussing wireless hotspots. Since more and more people are carrying laptops on their caching trips, it would be of great value to have a VIABLE listing of wireless hotspots in Maine.

    A Google search will provide MANY lists of free wireless hotspots, but each list seems different. It would be ideal if we could maintain a list on this site, hopefully downloadable in .gpx format, that we could download to our laptops.

    Any computer programmers out there who know howthis could be done? Anyone have any experience with a similar list on other state.regional geocaching websites?

    Thanks for any input.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Durham,Maine
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Two "hotspots" for wireless from your car. Signal is strong enough you don't even have to go inside. Nice having the world at your fingertips but scary to know if your firewall isn't good enough, somebody can make that a two way trip.

    Outside Bookland book store at Cook's Corner, Route 24 in Brunswick.
    N43 54.366 W69 55.056 approximately.

    Outside the Freeport Community Library on Library Drive off of Route 1 near Harrassekette Inn. N43 51.7884 W70 6.131 approximately.

    TwoMaineiacs / Anne
    TwoMaineiacs / Anne and Joe

  3. #3

    Default WiGLE it, just a little bit...

    WiGLE is a pretty good resource for where hotspots are, although since they are created by wardrivers, they tend to only cover areas with higher populations. They have a browsable map on the site. It's really not too hard to find them, especially in Maine: any Jr. High school will have wireless access for the laptops that all the kids get, and most elementary and high schools have it, too. In neighborhoods with cable and DSL available, a good number of people will have wireless routers. Motels and coffee shops are good bets as well. I can actually be in bed with my laptop and choose to leech off my neighbor's wireless router, even though his house is about 600' away.
    Last edited by Cache'n Jacksons; 07-17-2005 at 09:01 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Caribou, Maine
    Posts
    168

    Default

    My house ...and the Caribou Public Library is a free hotspot...I should know, I'm the Tech Coordinator there So those of you coming up for the BBQ in Sept here in Aroostook, bring your gear!

  5. #5

    Default What a great idea!

    I'm secretly into this as well...and have thought about purchasing the radio shack wireless finder gadget. But this will be great to have "tried and true spots", especially if we can list it by coord, have it as a .loc or .gpx and plop it on our pda maps.

    How fun!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fairfield, Maine
    Posts
    357

    Exclamation Do bear in mind that

    people have been prosecuted for accessing other's wireless access points (just because it is not secured does not mean it is "public"). Also, as has been mentioned, if you can see *their* network, they can probably see *yours*. Also, when you log into a wireless network, you computer's MAC address (unique number coded into your NIC) is logged into the wireless router.

    That being said, check out

    http://www.netstumbler.com/

    This free software runs on your laptop and shows you all access points available--you can also hook up your GPS to log the coordinates. It tells you if encryption is on or not (WEP) as well as signal strength. There is also a version for wireless enabled PDAs.

    Most schools are using WEP and/or proxy servers so that you will not be able to connect.

    A drive down any street in town with netstumbler running will be an eye-opener to those who have wireless routers in their own homes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    6,058

    Default

    I'm glad Bruce posted as I have been thinking about this. I would rather see a more legal list with a few dependable spots like libraries than anything. Having a waypoint available to these locations would makes things much easier.

    I've done about 5 minutes of research so far and am pretty sure there would be copyright issues with a full fledged geocaching.com compatible GPX file, but an EasyGPS GPX file would be ok. What difference would that make? Well, it would be missing the fields for diff/terrain, long descriptions, logs, and a few other items - all of which I don't think matter. It may inhibit compatibility with some geocaching software (Watcher is one), but the file should (but I haven't proved it) be compatible with Cachemate.

    It'd be great to have at least one legal location in each town, and more in the big cities if possible.

    I'll toy with it in the next few days and see what I can see. In the meantime, if you know of an acess point that is legal and you have the coordinates, post them here and we'll have some actual spots to start the database with.

  8. #8

    Default Free Net Access

    Winter Harbor, small cafe in town, can't remember the name but right across from the 5 & 10 has free net access. The coords are N 44 23.470 W 068 05.278.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Gainesville, Georgia
    Posts
    3,875

    Default

    You don't suppose it could be the library too since it is right next door?
    Just smile it won't crack your face

    The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is
    suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best
    friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brdad
    It'd be great to have at least one legal location in each town, and more in the big cities if possible.

    I'll toy with it in the next few days and see what I can see. In the meantime, if you know of an acess point that is legal and you have the coordinates, post them here and we'll have some actual spots to start the database with.
    Lets make sure that any posting has GOOD information, such as location (library, school, etc), town, and COORDINATES. Just saying that there is a WiFi hotspot at the Town Ofice in Solon won't be good enough.

    Thanks! This will be a great project.

    (The 60+ public libraries in Maine that have free, public WiFi access are listed here:}

    http://www.maine.gov/msl/infotech/wi...eless_libs.htm

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