mapping wifi, but not really

Thursday, February 19, 2004, at 06:26AM

By Eric Richardson

Alan wrote today about Google's new search by location and how you can use that to search for wi-fi access. Theoretically, that may be the case, but results for my area show that things are far spottier than they appear in Grand Rapids. Let's look at this search for wi-fi near 90007:

  • The first result, 555 Washington St., is in neither of the web results google lists for it. The closest thing it finds in the free wifi hotspots locations list is a different number on Washington St in Monterey. The 555 Washington address wasn't in the zagats pdf either.

  • Second result was a complete dud... One result that doesn't contain the address, and one file not found.

  • Third result same problems... Fourth and fifth are in New York, as are results seven, nine, and ten.

  • So in our first ten results we've got a Boba Loca (the URLs don't work, but I do know it's there and may well have wifi (most likely pay)) and the Omni Hotel downtown.

  • It's a cool idea, but yeah... Not really functional yet. It looks like having a lot of addresses on the same page just throws it for a loop. It's google, though, so I know they've got people a lot smarter than me trying to figure this out.