Ever needed to know how strong you cell signal is or will be while on the go? Sensorly, a French company that gathers and shares network coverage data, recently added more than 600,000 Verizon Wireless (s vz) data points to its free service. This data is in addition to 5 million informational bits previously captured around the world on various GSM networks — and inclusion of Sprint’s (s s) network is coming soon as well.
Crowdsourcing cellular data isn’t exactly new — I recently examined a similar service offered by Root Wireless. There are a few key differences between the approaches of Root Wireless and Sensorly, however. While Root Wireless offers similar software for handsets, you can’t yet view data within the app — coverage maps are only available through a web site. After spending time with the Sensorly application on my Google Nexus One (s goog), I find that viewing network coverage in the same app that collects data is far more desirable than switching to a clunky mobile browser. Sensorly leverages the mapping service on my phone, making it easier to navigate, pan and zoom.
And Sensorly beats Root Wireless in coverage areas since the latter is limited to U.S. networks at the moment — Sensorly’s data, meanwhile, currently covers networks in nine different countries. One other nice touch is Sensorly’s reporting on Wi-Fi networks in addition to cellular voice and data.
Sensorly is only supported on Android phones, but an iPhone (s aapl) application and possibly one for Microsoft Windows Mobile (s msft) devices are forthcoming. Additional maps for other countries and networks will be added as the crowd continues to feed coverage data to the service.
Images courtesy of Sensorly
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