• Document: Using GIS to Map the WiFi Signal Strength:
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Using GIS to Map the WiFi Signal Strength: University of Nebraska – Lincoln, City Campus Final Project Report Submitted by: Yanfu Zhou / Student Submitted to: Dr.Nam Date: Dec 10, 2012 Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 2 Research goals ................................................................................................................................ 3 Related studies................................................................................................................................ 4 Case Study 1: Mapping a Wireless Internet Network ..................................................................... 7 Case Study 2: WiFi Map Project in Long Island University ............................................................. 8 Method and analysis ..................................................................................................................... 10 Conclusions and Discussions ......................................................................................................... 15 Sources .......................................................................................................................................... 16 Acknowledgement ........................................................................................................................ 16 Abstract The popularity of laptops, mobile devices among people leads to the needs for good quality of WiFi in public places. In planning field, serving public is one of our research goals. This study was thought out in order to approach the goal. In my study, I first discussed the necessity of making a map showing WiFi signal strength, and then I reviewed some references and did an interview in order to demonstrate the complexity of mapping the WiFi signal strength. I also studied two existing examples, they tried to map WiFi signal by different ways and both of them have some weaknesses in their research. Also in my study, a WiFi signal strength map finally has been made, although it is not considered to be accurate. 1 Introduction The increasing of mobile device, such as iPad, Samsung Tablet, and Google Chrome Laptop, has promoted the application of WiFi technology. WiFi has become very popular in public places such as parks, campus, airports, coffee shop and restaurant now. Providing free WiFi can attract more guests and preserve their visiting in business. This is very obvious when we walk into a free WiFi coffee shop or restaurant. While providing free WiFi seems a good way for enhance more sales in businesses, but based on my research, promoting visiting by providing free WiFi sometimes is not a good idea, when too many people get crowd in coffee shop. That is because water body will obstruct the signal. While people may get crowd in coffee shops, bars, or restaurants easily, but in our campus, people only get crowd in classrooms and sometimes get crowd in an openspace occasionally. Currently, WiFi signal has covered most buildings and areas in our campus. But outside the buildings the WiFi signal in some places turned to unstable sometimes. During the time when there is a big activity hold in campus, such as “go big red”, visitors get crowd in campus and the needs for WiFi rising, but the signal actually dropping. In addition, based on my daily experience in our campus, there is also a strong need among students and faculties for covering the openspace by good quality of WiFi signals in our campus. When the weather is nice, some people prefer to use their laptops outside the building (See Fig.1). However, there is no evidence showed that we must add more tables or chairs in our openspace, because whether people love to sitting on the chairs or sitting on the grass, people have varied opinions. And also improving WiFi quality in our campus does not mean it can enhance and promote the usage of openspace. But I believe, because most young people can not live without internet today. It will be a good try for us to attract people to the openspace by placing more WiFi access points (AP) in our campus, when there is a nice weather. And some inactivated openspace may become activated in our campus. In short, it is helpful to consider the WiFi factors when we try to change an inactivated openspace into a successful openspace in the planning fields. And mapping the WiFi signal not only can provide convenience for faculties, students, and visitors, but also can provide helpful information for the network administrators to make better investment decisions for WiFi antenna placement on the Campus [liu.edu 2011]. It is necessary for us to have a map showing the WiFi signal strength in our campus.

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