Android Application of the Week:4G,CDMA,GSM & WiFi Map Viewer
Week 5 : 4G,CDMA,GSM & WiFi Map Viewer
How is your cell network coverage where you need it?How is WiFi at your vacation spot? Find out and build the maps with us !
Data collection is configurable and can be turned off. Phone hot? Check “Send via Wifi”.
There are a number of applications that use GPS to map your signal, and compile your data into a database for others to use. I looked at a handful, and settled on this one. I like that it will map in the background as you move about. If you allow the applications to scan in the background you can set the amount of battery drain that it is allowed to use (10% and up). 3G is yellow (shaded: bright yellow=strong, brown= weak). EDGE is green and GPRS is blue. No coverage is brown. You can also use it to scan WIFI networks in your area.
If you are curious about a specific area, you can turn on continuous monitoring, and as long as the screen is lit (appears to be an Android limitation) it will map the area around you. We recently visited Orcas Island in the Washington San Juan Islands, and I mapped a few areas. This active mapping drains battery VERY quickly, but can be a useful way to know where your calls may drop when going around your neighborhood. A few comments in the Market suggest only uploading your data points later via wifi to conserve battery. I will give that a try and report back.
NOTE: Orcas Island is a very remote, hilly area, so I expected to see a large variation in signal strengths while traveling the island. The terrain here is one that challenges all wireless providers.
Signal points down Orcas Island to Eastsound. Legend for signal strength is at the top.
Walking a neighborhood gives many data points as I was jumping from 3G to EDGE to GPRS. The program automatically takes a new datapoint when the type/strength of signal changes. The brown at the top is actually weak EDGE, the blue is GPRS, and the yellow is 3G. The area is pretty hilly and has large trees and it was foggy.