I love my iPhone.
But it bugs me when I'm at home and I fire up some cool app, like Siri, which needs to know my current location to function correctly, and it thinks I'm many miles away -- down in Albany, Oregon -- rather than where I actually am, rural south Salem.
A bit of Googling shows that my wi-fi router apparently is being mislocated. Turning wi-fi off results in accurate mapping, but our AT&T signal is crappy at our house. So now my location-based iPhone app won't work quickly or reliably.
Here's a fix, which I learned about here.
(1) Go to Skyhook Wireless, which is the service used on the iPhone to map wi-fi access points. Submit a wi-fi access point.
(2) If you're like me, you'll have no idea what your "MAC address" is. Or even what it is. No problem. Skyhook tells you how to find it. If you have a Mac with Snow Leopard, download the free iStumbler. It tells you what the MAC address is for your wi-fi network.
(3) Type that into the Skyhook submit form. I kept being told that the MAC address was wrong until I added another "0" to the first "0" in the address iStumbler gave me (meaning, I submitted 00:... instead of 0:..., which made Skyhook happy).
(4) Type in the CAPTCHA code and click "submit." If all went well you'll get an email from Skyhook saying:
It can take up to a few weeks before you see your Access Point in some of our production systems. In the mean time you can download Loki to start using Skyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning System on your laptop or desktop. Go to http://loki.com/download to start using Loki today.
The Skyhook Team
Optimistically, I just tried Suri again on my iPhone. Bingo!
My location is spot on. "Maps" has me pinpointed perfectly. I don't know whether Skyhook updated my wi-fi access point super quickly, or whether a glitch in the iPhone locating system fixed itself.
Regardless, this is an easy way to help assure that your iPhone knows where you are when you're using a wi-fi network that currently thinks you're somewhere else.