The map shown in the first image is of a district in the center of Madrid scattered with FON access points (green), as well as FONeros who have already registered and will become active in the near future (orange). The stars represent FON access points that have been personalized by their users.
If you do a map search on maps.fon.com, you will find that FON coverage has not only spread to all of the major capitals of the world, but also to many cities, which would traditionally be considered of less importance for telecommunication companies. But for us, the idea of having a FON community spread out throughout the entire world plays an important role in furthering our global message, which does not discriminate between sharing WiFi from a remote village, or the biggest city in the world.
All Foneros are working to construct a FON community, in which they can share information and connect. And it is precisely for this reason that one of our most important goals in introducing FON maps is to offer a wide range of functionality and accessibility for Foneros. It’s clear that the most important use of FON maps will be to find out where you can connect for free if you travel with your laptop, PSP, Nintendo DS, WiFi telephone, or any other WiFi gadget. But FON maps also allows you to view any place on the planet from your own home, and see the personalized portals of access of other Foneros. Foneros help one another connect to the Internet, no matter where they are. I was excited to stumble upon one Fonero’s extremely inventive webpage today: chasx.com. I was amazed by its originality, interesting design, and sense of style. Thanks to FON maps, I now know what this Fonero is doing.
The new uses of FON maps also allow you the ability to email information on personalized portals, or FON access points to anyone. Look, for example, at New York. Do a quick search on the maps and you will find this Fonero restaurant next to Central Park and Fifth Avenue. Then, all you have to do is click on the point and email it to a friend who’s planning a trip to the Big Apple. If the restaurant is Linus, he’ll be able to connect for free the entire time he’s there. And if he still does not have La Fonera, it’s only 3 dollars a day for unlimited Internet access.
It may also be that you are a registered Fonero (orange point) waiting for La Fonera to arrive, and you want to know the FON access point nearest to you. Or you are navigating through the maps and want to find the closest coverage. Simply click on an orange point and a message will appear reading, Find the Nearest FON Social Router. It will trace a line to show you the itinerary. Here you have an example from the Plaza de Callao in central Madrid.
You can also change your nickname directly on the maps website, and personalize your FON access point. Soon, you’ll be able to send messages directly to other Foneros and interact a lot more. I hope that you enjoy using the maps on FON’s webpage as much as I did. They should be an important tool to help us all get to know each other and thus forge a stronger, more tightly-connected community.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars