WiGLE is a popular platform which can be used for finding the location of a device using the names of WiFi networks in its vicinity. I’ve written about this before, and wrote some Python code to interact with their API. This API has since been retired and replaced with a new one, as of December 2016, so it is high time to update. This post is to introduce PyGLE, a Python wrapper for WiGLE.

What is WiGLE?

A quick refresher: WiGLE is the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine. Users can upload files containing details of WiFi networks they have seen, including their geographic location. This information can then be searched by WiGLE users. For example, you may be looking for open WiFi networks in your area. If a user has previously mapped your area using an app like WiGLE WiFi Wardriving, you can find these simply using the online map.

You can also use it to check out the WiFi density of a location as in the image below.

WiGLE North America

Introducing PyGLE

Install PyGLE for Python 2 or Python 3 using pip install pygle

You’ll also need to set up an account with WiGLE. You’ll notice that if you use the API a lot (for example when testing/developing an API wrapper!) then you’ll hit a rate limit. In this case, you can either slow down, or contact WiGLE about licensing options.

Using the API wrapper is very much like using the API itself. PyGLE has four modules, corresponding to the four sections of the WiGLE API v2. So each section is a module in PyGLE and each API endpoint is a function in that module.

To use the API, first import the section, then call the endpoint function. So to perform an authenticated GET request against an endpoint:

This returns a dict, or raises an HTTPError if something went wrong.

Example code

To give a real-world example of how to use this, the following code fetches the BSSIDs of wireless access points in the vicinity, searches for them on WiGLE, and returns the mean latitude and longitude.

Jamie Bull | mail@oco-carbon.com

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2 Comments on “PyGLE: WiGLE WiFi geolocation for Python”

  • How is the Windows output for scan_cmd?
    I try it on Linux, and it doesn’t work. It has a conflict with universal_newlines=True command

    The error is:

    If you change it by shell=True does it works, but without newlines separations:

    I tested with call function, and this is the output:

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