MapServer improvement – GSoC 2011

Wireless communities around the world are growing rapidly and year after year more and more people are interested in joining the new open wireless infrastructure. As more people join the various communities, new necessities arise. One of the key necessity in Ninux.org is to have a map server which is not only powerful and efficient but also easy to use for new comers.

This project will deal with Map Server for Wireless Community Networks (WCNs).
Map Servers are valuable tools for WCNs for monitoring and debugging networks as well as they could act as meeting point for inserting new nodes position and contacting other neighbor nodes. For this reason almost all WCNs have one map server that fits their needs  (e.g. Freimap, Nodewatcher, WNMAP etc).

However some of those map servers provide detailed information about the status of the network (such as collisions, information gathered through SNMP or light-weight CGI) that, depending on how these information are presented, could confuse new comers and web-site visitors.

On the other side, some other map servers (such as WNMAP) adopt a different philosophy and provide nice and simple interface.
Those map servers can be used even by non-tech users to i) signal their locations as “potential nodes” ii) contact other neighbor nodes to set up links and iii) measure distances between nodes in an easy way. The drawback is that these “easier” map servers usually fail in providing in-depth network information that could be really useful for network participant for monitoring and debugging purposes.

In this project I will blend some of the existing map server technologies and improve usability and interface in order to produce a powerful map server that is also easy to use.

The map server front-end will use Python for its back-end, leveraging on the Django Framework and on the NodeWatcher project.
The front end will be rebuild from scracth starting from the “easy” WNMAP interface and using HTML and Javascript. In particular, I will use the Jquery javascript library.

The produced work will have the following features:

– Big and nice map in which users could put their position and sign up as “Potential Node”. Once a node is up, it will be visualized on the map as an “Active Node”.
– Potential/Active nodes can be contacted via email, so that, using the map server, users could easily contact their neighbor for creating new links.
– Distance calculation between nodes.
– List of nodes, possibility of search a node or an address in the map.
– VPN topology map
– OLSR topology map

– Integration with a monitoring system to draw quality of links.
– Integration with a monitoring system to provide nodes information (devices, mac, ip, ssid, configurations).
– Try to implement some of the features of the proprietary Ubiquity Air Control such as web interface speed test for network link.

Source code -> https://github.com/ninuxorg/nodeshot

For more feature, news and implementatios -> http://wiki.ninux.org/NodeShot

Contacs: Student Angelo & Mentor Lorenzo

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