Warchalking

Warchalking is the drawing of symbols in public places to advertise an open Wi-Fi wireless network. Inspired by hobo symbols, the warchalking marks were conceived by a group of friends in June 2002 and publicized by Matt Jones who designed the set of icons and produced a downloadable document containing them. Having found a Wi-Fi node, the warchalker draws a special symbol on a nearby object, such as a wall, the pavement, or a lamp post. Those offering Wi-Fi service might also draw such a symbol to advertise the availability of their Wi-Fi location, whether commercial or personal.

The word is formed by analogy to wardriving, the practice of driving around an area in a car to detect open Wi-Fi nodes. That term in turn is based on wardialing, the practice of dialing many phone numbers hoping to find a modem.

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