Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2016

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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MAY/JUNE 2016 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 45 include distribution facilities, central ofces, data centers, hub sites, cell towers and so forth. Using a spreadsheet (such as Microsoft Excel), create a table that has a record for every location you wish to track. At minimum, each record needs address, city, state and ZIP columns so the GIS can convert the records to points on the map. Additional columns might include building name, building purpose (data center, cell tower, central ofce, and so forth), property owner and any other pertinent business data. Use the spreadsheet to populate a map of the critical infrastructure locations, following the steps in Creating a Map in Google My Maps. DEFINE AND MAP PROBLEM AREAS To avoid expensive underground routes, lengthy historic zone permitting and areas with expensive permitting fees, fnd or create layers on the map to serve as warnings when you design a route. Reach out to the local, county or state GIS, transportation department, public works or planning ofce for map layers that may add value. Remember that not all the best data is published on GIS departments' websites. Ask a senior outside-plant engineer with local knowledge to help identify these problem areas and then mark them with polygons in the new map layers. In 2011, I printed a poster- size map of city streets and asked a colleague who had 40-plus years of local experience to take a highlighter and color all the streets that had underground routes. It took him about an hour to highlight those areas from memory, and it took me about an hour to enter them onto the map. Te other engineers on his team then used that layer throughout the following year to better design routes around the city. Tough our method was low-tech and low-data, that small efort saved far more time and money than it took to complete. Avoiding problem routes that could derail your project is more than just a good idea for an organization with a narrow budget and no room for mistakes. Tat's why it's so important CREATING A MAP IN GOOGLE MY MAPS 1) Create a Google account, or log in to your existing account. The same account you use for Gmail gives you access to Google My Maps. 2) Navigate to, and create a new map. 3) Click on the "Untitled Map" text in the upper left to give the map a name. 4) Click on the "Untitled Layer" text to name the layer. 5) Click on the import link below the layer name to load the critical access point spreadsheet you created. 6) Check the address, city, state and ZIP columns to position the placemarks. 7) Select the name column to title the placemarks, and click "Finish." Google then geocodes the addresses – that is, converts them to points on a map. If Google is unable to geocode some records, it will prompt you to correct those records. 8) Click on "Individual Styles" below the layer name, choose "Uniform Style" and turn on labels by name. 9) Click on the base map layer, and choose a map style that best refects your organization's needs. A base map that uses just a few colors emphasizes business data and frees up more colors for labeling, placemarks, lines and polygons. 10) Now you are ready to add points to the map. Two methods for this are available; both methods start by highlighting the layer to which the new point will be added. Option 1: Search address and add point To search and zoom to a point of interest, enter an address into the search bar. Click on "Add to Map" to incorporate the new address as a new marker. You'll see the same felds you defned earlier, such as address, city, state, ZIP and property owner. Click on the pen-shaped edit icon to make a change. Option 2: Add marker Click on the "Add Marker" icon under the search bar, and then zoom to the map location where you want to place your point. This is helpful for locations that might not have easy-to-locate addresses. Click to add the marker, and enter the felds as needed. Switching the base map to the satellite view while adding or moving markers may help improve the accuracy of data entry. Option 1 works well in urban areas with small lots and in cities where address rules follow some sort of standard. Option 2 is useful for large properties, such as campuses, farms, military bases and recently developed areas, that are away from public roads. Option 2 might also come in handy for mapping pedestals, cabinets or telecom equipment huts without proper street addresses. Start by creating a spreadsheet with information about critical infrastructure locations.

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