Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Back in the early, early days of internet over wi-fi, the term "wardriving" came up, to describe folks driving around looking for open wi-fi signals.  This ancient past was maybe, 5 years ago.  I never did 'wardriving,' but I find the term interesting, and it fits something I've been doing over the last few months.  First let me digress a bit.

I'm a bit of a technogeek.  I've had various smartphones ever since they've existed, and before they were even very smart, like, about 7 years or so.  At the beginning of August, my last phone contract loosened up enough for me to get a new phone and I got ... an iPhone.  This phone has changed everything.  I don't need a separate GPS any more, I don't need a separate MP3 player.  I will never get lost again. This phone (and apps) does stuff I've been hoping for for years.

In addition to being a technogeek, I'm a bit of a real estate geek.  When I was living in sketchy Cleveland neighborhoods in the 1990s, I avidly followed which houses were for sale, for how much, how long, etc, etc.  When I was trapped in hotel rooms in the middle east in 2007-8, I looked up real estate listings as a way of daydreaming about being anywhere but by myself in a hotel room in the middle east.  (Note that the Cleveland neighborhood, Ohio City that was so sketchy then is now the hottest place in the city, or at least one of them. It's older than Cleveland, beautiful old, well-made houses and based around a farmer's market that has been there for around 100 years.  Also note that the line from me daydreaming in the middle east to the remote acreage I own now is pretty bright.  As soon as I came back to the US and found a job, I bought the closest thing I could find to what I had been daydreaming about.)

So here I am, this morning, driving to work.

About 10 minutes into the drive, the first road with a line on it.

Moving' right along as the sun rises, burns the frost off the fields and begins to show off the flaming trees.
About 40 minutes into the drive, I cross the Hudson River, still shrouded in fog.  It's the lowest thing around, and the last to burn clear. I'm only a few miles from work now.

Here's the wardriving part. has an iPhone app uses the phone's GPS to show nearby houses for sale and link to the listings.  In the phone pic below, I'm the light blue dot in the center of the pic (stopped at a red light). It's SO easy to stop while I'm driving through an area and see how many homes are for sale, for how much and for how long.  There's a Zillow app that shows home values for nearby homes, too, so I can see values for homes not on the market.

This is stuff I've been interested in for years, so don't read too much into this.  I'm an information geek.  The iPhone and these apps have finally put together information I've been manually looking at for years.  It wasn't possible to do something like wardriving for real estate before, but now it is thanks to the iPhone, pulling together several long-time interests of mine into one small package.

1 comment:

  1. "This is stuff I've been interested in for years, so don't read too much into this."

    Uh-huh. But it does let you see some options...

    Thinking of you. What did you do with your apples?