- New Wifi location feature

Yesterday I updated along with the release of the Microsoft Windows Mesh Agent v1.70 to add a new location feature. First, this is a optional feature, you need to have it enabled in the mesh access policy for this to work, and existing meshes have this feature off by default. If you create a new mesh, just select it during mesh creation. For existing meshes, you need to use Mesh Connector to edit the policy and add the new feature.

Once location access is enabled, the Windows v1.70 Mesh agent will periodically send nearby WIFI access points and signal strength to the Mesh Server. This is similar with that other services do on mobile phones. will compile a list of know access points and keep only the last seen access points for each node.

I have not yet put any web site features using this data, but I do have a C# API that can connect to and ask the following questions:

  • What WIFI location enabled nodes are present in my account?
  • What access points does a given node see?
  • What nodes are visible from a given access point?
  • What nodes are near a given node?

All queries only return nodes that are present in your account. So even if another node belonging to someone else is in the area, it will no show up in these queries. Initialy the idea is to use this information to know what nodes are located physically near each other. This can be used for ad-hoc collaboration, or other uses. In the future, I will be looking at converting this data into real coordinates using some type of 3rd party service so that users can see a map of the location of all nodes on their account. Could be useful for asset tracking and as an anti-theft feature.

If someone want to try to mesh location API right away, let me know. Otherwise, I will be making it available generally when I get time. I also want to add some use of this data on the web site itself.


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