How to find WiFi: carry a big stick and use long exposures

Here’s an artsy way to map out WiFi networks around you; use a big light pole and long exposures to graph them on top of photographs. This capture method is often called light painting, and uses the relative brightness of LEDs to stretch out a still image – moving the stick quickly while the shutter is open.

The four-meter tall rod used in this project plays host to 80 white LEDs. An Arduino along with a WiFi shield detect the relative signal strength of the network surrounding the device. The images that are produced with this method are quite pleasing and you’ll enjoy watching the video after the break. We just wish that there was some kind of Google Street View┬áinterface to share this data since someone had to go out pounding the pavement with the rather peculiar looking apparatus in order to gather the data in the first place.

[Thanks Duncan]

14 thoughts on “How to find WiFi: carry a big stick and use long exposures

  1. Personally I think its so you can see the background. What good is location based data if strength data is allowed to overwhelm the location data, yeah with the videos you don’t need it but you want the photos to stand on their own.

  2. Did anyone else notice that in front of one garage the signal was fine, and in front of another it was super low, and then went back to being fine again?

    I wonder if that could be used to indicate that there was a large metal object in one garage (such as a car?) and not in the other?

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