Skyhook Wireless 

A company that is trying to enhance location services by keeping track of Wi-Fi hotspots, a technique that has its downsides.

For some reason, Apple preferred to do without a GPS chip and integrate their service onto the iPod Touch and iPhone in the first hardware revisions.

Date Link Notes
Sep 10 Get the physical location of wireless router from its MAC address Several examples on how to invoke their public API
Apr 16 Researchers meddle with iPhone/iTouch Skyhook location tech Wherein we confirm our expectations.

Here’s a shell one-liner from one of the links above:

MYMAC=AABBCCDDEEFF && curl —header "Content-Type: text/xml" \
—data "<?xml version=‘1.0’?><LocationRQ xmlns=‘’ version=‘2.6’ street-address-lookup=‘full’><authentication version=‘2.0’><simple><username>beta</username><realm></realm></simple></authentication><access-point><mac>$MYMAC</mac><signal-strength>-50</signal-strength></access-point></LocationRQ>" \