Free and open geolocation with OpenWLANMap


I just wanted to introduce my project OpenWLANMap which works a bit similar than OpenStreetMap and could be a nice addition for OSM/software that needs some kind of geolocation. Since this project is fully non-commercial and open source, I hope my posting is not misunderstood as spam.

OpenWLANMap provides some software solutions that give the possibility to retrieve the own geographic position without using GPS, just by checking the available WLAN networks. This service works similar than the geolocation functions provided by companies like Google or Skyhook but it tries to be more friendly:

  • the sources are fully open and licensed under the GPL so everybody can see that only these data are sent to the backend thar are REALLY needed for geolocation
  • people can remove their own WLAN networks out of the database easily (in case somebody does not want the own network is stored and used for such things)
  • included libwlocate provides easy access to geolocation functionality (just by calling a get-my-position-function) and is available for Windows, Linux and Android

And similar to OpenStreetMap users can help easily to build up the OpenWLANMap database:

More details, downloads and information are available at , comments, suggestions, feedback and contributions are highly welcome!


why another project? Would it not be better to help ? They already have apps available to automatically collect WLAN infomation via mobile phone, which is much more convinient than entering WLAN manually. And they have already 450,000 WLAN AP collected. The raw data is made available under a free license. They also offer geocoding APIs

That’s the same like OpenWLANMap has. Plus the possibility to upload scans with thousands of WLANs. Plus the possibility to enter single WLANs.

That’s not very much!

Some more things I could not find on their page:

  • a possibility to REMOVE some WLANs from the database
  • libraries that perform the full task of scanning for WLANs and retrieving the position (as far as I can see they leave developers alone with the process of scanning for existing WLANs)

I am uploading with the app since several weeks while OSM mapping.
This works fine.

What i miss (probably i have not found yet) i’d like to find some basic api to get form the output of “iw scan” to a lat/lon via a web service.

scope would be to help installing “freifunk” nodes. this would have been done by some basic shell scripting, since these openwrt devices are pretty short on flash memory. so no chance of some extensive awk, json etc stuff.
as a benefit for openwlanmap the router could then provide the found networks and the position the user has selected himself when making the fine adjustment on the map.