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The second part of the jigsaw was to try to find a way of looking up a location from a wifi access point MAC address — it seems that the Google geolocation API does that out of the can:. An example of how to make a call is also provided, as long as you have an API key… So I got a key and gave it a go:. Looking at the structure of the example Google calls, you can enter several wifi MAC addresses, along with signal strength, and the API will presumably triangulate based on that information to give a more precise location.

So back to the idea of a simple student activity to sniff out the MAC addresses of wifi routers their computer can see from the workplace or home, and then look up the location using the Google geolocation API and pop it on a map.

How to find your Nest product's MAC address and add it to your router's whitelist

Which is actually the sort of thing your browser will do when you turn on geolocation services :. I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering View all posts by Tony Hirst.

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Might have been in Germany? Unfortunately, this isn't something you can do.

IP Location Finder - Geolocation

The same is true if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and you found their MAC address in the list of connected devices on your router. It'd be great if you could look up that MAC address and cross-reference it with a master list of names and addresses of people with MAC addresses, but this, too, isn't possible.

As you've probably gathered from the introduction, computer makers and people who buy computers, do not have to register their MAC address with any sort of central administration. Because of this, there isn't a way to find a stolen computer from the MAC address, or to find the identity behind one of these addresses. On the other hand, they're unlike IP addresses in that they can't be researched to find the owner.

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  8. Although MAC addresses are not filed away somewhere with identifiable information attached to them, there are ways to search for a MAC address to find more information about it. What you find might help you further investigate and troubleshoot.

    If it works, you're one step closer to learning more about the manufacturer, but it doesn't really help in a search for finding who owns the MAC address. On a local network, the arp command can be used with the -a switch to identify the MAC address of a connected device.