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Basic issue

Because I am not in the US or Europe, when I travel to a new city, I often have trouble finding a WiFi connection. I want Windows 7 compatible software to map the location of potential WiFi connections (for example, coffee shops), and I want to be able to download the location data before I visit the city and store it on my computer for offline use.

More details

[Bold for skimming]

  1. I do not have a mobile phone, so apps for Android and iPhone will not work for me.
  2. I always know what city or town I will visit, so I can download the information in advance. I am not seeking a comprehensive database for the entire world.
  3. I am currently in Mexico, and my plans include all of Latin America. (In the US, McDonald's makes it simple to find at least a temporary connection. I am not associate with McDonald's in any way.)
  4. Because I will be offline when I first visit the new location, I need to download the information and I need it to be on a map.
  5. I regularly use Google Earth Pro, which caches maps, so if the data were importable to Google Earth that could be a solution, but I do not care if it is compatible with Google Earth or not. (I am not associated with Google in any way.)
  6. I have seen some websites that allow me to find other WiFi connects but I have not seen a website that allows offline use of the information. (I would post the links, but I foolishly did not save the links.)
  7. I have a hobo's budget, so gratis or close to gratis is necessary. Because this is something I certainly need, I can pay a one-time fee for software that could accomplish this. (I like paying for useful software: I just lack the ability right now.)
  8. Platform and possibly useful software: Windows 7, fully patched (although it seems I may upgrade to Windows 10 for free; I'm not associated with Microsoft), Google Chrome (but willing to install other browsers if necessary), and Google Earth Pro.
  9. Old laptop: slow, but functional.
  10. I have tried warwalking but my success rate is too low to be useful: partially because the laptop is so old the antenna is not very powerful.
  11. Everything I own must fit into a 65L pack, including my tent and cooking supplies, so I very much against carrying more equipment--even if I could somehow get the equipment for free.

Thanks for your help!

I realize this is a difficult request because most people in the world have smartphones and there are already excellent smartphone apps for this, so there is little need to make a version for my weird situation.

3

There are a number of companies that exist in many parts of the world that have a promise of "Free WiFi" when you are in our store/whatever. Many of them also have a "site" locator that often actually uses google maps.

It should be reasonably simple to come up with a list of the most widespread of these and to gather the data from their websites possibly by pinning them to your google maps overlay. Once pinned you can download your offline Google maps and you are good to go.

You can also use the same trick with sites such as Hotspot-Locations, etc.

Some suggestions, (with a UK/USA bias): McDonald's, Subways, Costa Coffee, Starbucks, JD Weatherspoons (none of which I am anything other than an occasional customer of).

  • Excellent idea. The only store I have noticed in Mexico is Gandhi Bookstores but that doesn't mean there are not other places. I will look more closely at this. Thanks! – hunterhogan Jul 14 '15 at 19:16
  • You could also try adding some hotel chains, airports, libraries, bus station to the list of potential open hotspots – holroy Jul 15 '15 at 11:33
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I used Hotspot Finder some years ago. I used it in Germany, but it seems to work in Mexico City just as well, but not in Costa-Rica, nor in Santiago, Chile. So, it won't serve all your destinations but maybe some of them.

It does not give you a downloadable map, though. I used it together with a screencapture program and thus stored the map kinda offline. It was good enough as I usually knew in advance where I would stay in the target city or where I could go easily and then just lookup the hotspots near that point.

Its gratis and lists commercial hot spots (McD, Starbucks, etc.), not private ones.

0

http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/vLJ extracting OpenStreetMap data technically fits

1) available within browser, so mobile phone is not required

2) it is possible to download this data

3) free

4) as bonus, it is not limited to Mexico

Main problem is that only just 4000 places across Mexico are mapped.

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