Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder is a web service that can give you a list of free wireless internet locations for any address of your choosing and present these locations visually on a map of the area.
If, say, you’re going to a conference, going to visit relatives, or for whatever reason will be in an unfamiliar part of town and wondering about the available options for wireless internet check out this neat service. Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder allows you to enter an address (e.g. a zip code) and gives you a list of Wi-Fi hotpots in that area. It will also place these venues on a Google map mashup.
Of course, this will only help you if you’re planning ahead, unless you have an internet-enabled mobile phone in which case you can log-on and get this information on the spot when you need it. I tried this with mine and although the Google maps service does not show inside the browser on my iPhone I was still able to get a list of Wi-Fi places.
I tested this service on the two locations which I know the most: my neighborhood where I live, and the downtown area where I work, and I can report that it was able to identify more than 95% of places (in both cases it missed only one place that I knew of, but revealed a number of others that I had not known about previously).
Of course what I really want to know is how this service get this information? I’m not sure what the answer to this question is, but I will report it’s database at the time of this writing includes 86 countries and a total of 17,124 hotspots, although 14,836 of these are US-based (approx 87%).
WiPod: also worth mentioning is this little service that uses the Ipod’s notes functionality to upload a database of Free Wifi locations for the state/country of your choosing onto your Ipod for perusal when you really need it the most.
Visit the Free Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder page.