What can campus wifi data tell you about life at MIT?

$2000 Prize

Feel free to email mentors at bigdata-hack@mit.edu

We have pulled together a selected set of data about life at MIT: campus wifi data and campus maps data – what insights and patterns can you discover in the data?

The Prize for this MIT Data Hack will go to the team that produces the most compelling visualization (static, animated or interactive).

We are looking for visualizations that are informative, creative, or surprising!

Visualizations may incorporate other open (public) data, such as: campus events data, class schedule data, social media data etc – here are some suggestions:

Download Data

Wifi data contains two types of files:

  • wifi_access_point_data.csv:
    • wifi access point id
    • building name
    • room number
    • latitude/longitude (of the room)
  • log[date].csv:
    • unix timestamp
    • number of connected devices
    • wifi access point id


Wifi Access Points




Data Points


Hours to Hack

There are additional API’s available to you:

A listing of All MIT Courses (including lecture name, time, and place):

Classes for the current semester (same as above):

The MIT Events Calendar:

Social Media Data from and about MIT:

A whole array of other MIT API’s, including maps, news, dining, and shuttles :

Room Coordinate Lookup Service:

MIT Classroom Capacity (requires mit credentials. not 100% accurate)
http://student.mit.edu/roominv/roominv.cgi | wiki docs | download this without credntials

And of course, you’re welcome to use anything else that you may find

A few building codes in the wifi data set are a little strange:

eduroam = federated wireless access for higher education (https://www.eduroam.us/)
e = East campus
bent = Bent Facility
ee = way East Campus
oc = Outside Cambridge
m = Main Group
ne = Northeast campus
albanyst = Albany Street outdoor wireless
n = North campus
ww = Way West campus
w = West Campus
sc = Sigma Chi (fraternity)
nw = Northwest Campus


We’ve built a few example apps for you to poke at:


We encourage you to email us all at bigdata-hack@mit.edu.

You can also message us individually, or find us wearing heathered blue BIG DATA @CSAIL T-Shirts around the gym.

Kelly Zhang: MIT MEng Student who made one of those awesome example visualizations | kxzhang@mit.edu

Guy ZGuy Zyskind: Master’s student at the Media Lab | guyz@mit.edu


al_carter Al Carter: Programmer at the Big Data Initiative | arcarter@mit.edu



  • Campus wifi data is provided as an anonymized data set – we provide only the number of unique identifiers (not unique IDs).
  • You will not attempt to use the data to extract personal information about any individual.
  • You are the owner of your submission. You will allow MIT to copy, distribute, display your work (without compensation to you).
  • Data is provided for use in HackMIT. You will not post or redistribute the data set or use it for purposes other than the contest.