The method combines signal detection with aerial maps to provide a colour-coded image of the strength and reach of signals from wireless networks.
The researchers used the freely available Netstumbler software to detect the signal strengths and combined this with GPS positioning to create the maps. Not only did it show where a hacker might be lurking with 802.11b networking kit, but it also showed the university the topology of its network.
The university found it a useful tool to help redesign the network, and it has also been used to make changes to the wireless Lan at the local police department.
The maps generated are high-resolution, black-and-white aerial photographs with wireless signals superimposed and colour coded, with blue indicating a strong signal and orange indicating weak network coverage.