Monday, September 28, 2015

Personal mobile signal strength map

OpenSignal is a crowd sourced app that shows where mobile phone network coverage is good and where it ain't.  It gives individual users the tools to act rationally, including choosing a good network and proving when their network isn't living up to its commitments.  It is also not just a pointless platform for moaning about how bad life is because that same data is also available to network operators so that they can improve their network with a customer-centric sensor suite.  It doesn't deal with hypotheticals or with performance under test conditions but with real life and real usage by real people.  That's why I like it, apart from it's geek value, of course!

A theme that I have heard recently is mobile phone users wanting to play with their own data rather than just seeing the aggregate stats.  The raw data has always been available, or at least for as long as I have known OpenSignal, however what's missing is a good set of tools for people to crunch their own numbers.  I threw together some mapping software a while ago for mobile phone readings.  It sounds as if that will cover some of what's needed.  So here's the deal.  I've put my mapping code on so you can visualise your data.  Now, I'm curious about one thing:  What is special about your personal data versus the general aggregate?  I'm interested because we can play a game of egg-hunt or rather "find the tower" and once we've found a tower I like making a note of what's on it, however that's just me and it doesn't strike me like the sort of thing a huge number of people would be interested in.  Why do YOU care about your personal signal data?  What do you do with it?  Answers on an envelope please, and have fun mapping your data!

BTW as you will see, the map could do with styling by someone with an artistic eye.  Contributions are welcome!

Regards, Bit.

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