Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

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Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

François Lacombe-2
Hi,

I just wanted to share some thoughts about antennas and radio supports mapping on this list.

There are currently several tags in use to map telecommunication or radio broadcast supports :
man_made=tower + tower:type=communication
man_made=telecommunication_tower
and so on...

but this won't allow us to add antennas on them at all or describe how these supports are used.
Antennas and stations (relations of supports + antennas + cabinets) may be interesting too.

Some French mappers and I are currently looking for a sustainable model to map radio sites, radio stations, supports and antennas since our regulator allows free datasets to be downloaded and part of them can be added on the map (Etalab license compatible with OdBL).
The point is to add references (ref:FR:ANFR) on right objects first as for linking to the whole dataset which shouldn't be imported in OSM (only technical data and not so geographical)

I've proposed such things (unfortunately only in French for the moment) but it's not finalized or transposable on the map
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Radio_antennas_mapping_proposal.png

The problem is to add several antennas on the support itself (sometimes on masts, sometimes at the top of buildings).
Supports can be composed of several decks and several antennas can share same lat/lng (but different elev) and currently can't be added as nodes. Relations can really be a pain to maintain in such situation too.

May someone have idea and help solving the issue without adding 3rd dimension to OSM model?


Cheers

François

--
François Lacombe

fl dot infosreseaux At gmail dot com
www.infos-reseaux.com
@InfosReseaux

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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Dave Stanley-2
Hi

I map quite few radio sites in connection with my work.  Usually it is
just mast/tower locations using the 'man_made=tower +
tower:type=communication' tags with name/operator information. There
are  quite few things for these towers that could be improved.  For
example the difference between a tower and a mast - a mast in the UK is
normally considered to have guy wires to hold it up. where as a tower
supports itself.  May masts are big enough to justify the guy wires
being mapped with their ground anchor points. I am not aware of anything
suitable to do that.

There is also their feed line systems.  I have used power=line to map
some of these, as in this example in Burma:

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=18/16.86624/96.16177

It is not ideal, but the closest I could think of.  Medium-wave
broadcasts sites typically have very long feeder systems that can be
mapped, as in the example.

As for the antennas mounted on a mast/tower, you then may need to
consider the frequencies and operators that use the antennas.  In some
cases there will be multiple frequencies and operators. Physically, you
would need the antenna height above ground level, direction, possibly
which leg it is on and so on.

Lots to think about.

Regards


Dave



On 15/07/2015 12:25, François Lacombe wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I just wanted to share some thoughts about antennas and radio supports
> mapping on this list.
>
> There are currently several tags in use to map telecommunication or
> radio broadcast supports :
> man_made=tower + tower:type=communication
> man_made=telecommunication_tower
> and so on...
>
> but this won't allow us to add antennas on them at all or describe how
> these supports are used.
> Antennas and stations (relations of supports + antennas + cabinets)
> may be interesting too.
>
> Some French mappers and I are currently looking for a sustainable
> model to map radio sites, radio stations, supports and antennas since
> our regulator allows free datasets to be downloaded and part of them
> can be added on the map (Etalab license compatible with OdBL).
> The point is to add references (ref:FR:ANFR) on right objects first as
> for linking to the whole dataset which shouldn't be imported in OSM
> (only technical data and not so geographical)
>
> I've proposed such things (unfortunately only in French for the
> moment) but it's not finalized or transposable on the map
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Radio_antennas_mapping_proposal.png
>
> The problem is to add several antennas on the support itself
> (sometimes on masts, sometimes at the top of buildings).
> Supports can be composed of several decks and several antennas can
> share same lat/lng (but different elev) and currently can't be added
> as nodes. Relations can really be a pain to maintain in such situation
> too.
>
> May someone have idea and help solving the issue without adding 3rd
> dimension to OSM model?
>
>
> Cheers
>
> François
>
> --
> *François Lacombe*
>
> fl dot infosreseaux At gmail dot com
> www.infos-reseaux.com <http://www.infos-reseaux.com>
> @InfosReseaux <http://www.twitter.com/InfosReseaux>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk


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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

François Lacombe-2
Thank you Dave,


2015-07-15 14:15 GMT+02:00 Dave Stanley <[hidden email]>:
Hi

I map quite few radio sites in connection with my work.  Usually it is just mast/tower locations using the 'man_made=tower + tower:type=communication' tags with name/operator information. There are  quite few things for these towers that could be improved.  For example the difference between a tower and a mast - a mast in the UK is normally considered to have guy wires to hold it up. where as a tower supports itself.  May masts are big enough to justify the guy wires being mapped with their ground anchor points. I am not aware of anything suitable to do that.

Ok to say definitions and keys are a bit messy. It's only about supports which can be refined independently.
 

There is also their feed line systems.  I have used power=line to map some of these, as in this example in Burma:

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=18/16.86624/96.16177

It is not ideal, but the closest I could think of.  Medium-wave broadcasts sites typically have very long feeder systems that can be mapped, as in the example.

This is interesting
I didn't see the use of power=line like that but it can be adjusted.
Wouldn't you add frequency=* and usage=radio on such lines ? It may allow consumers to distinguish them from standard electricity transmission lines.

RF can be used at high power rates : The CERN currently use them at hundred of MW to power up its accelerator.

 
As for the antennas mounted on a mast/tower, you then may need to consider the frequencies and operators that use the antennas.  In some cases there will be multiple frequencies and operators. Physically, you would need the antenna height above ground level, direction, possibly which leg it is on and so on.

Antennas have many characteristics but only a few are relevant in OSM.
It may be better to give a manufacturer name and model reference to get such details directly from other databases.

Azimuth (if applicable), position and model information are the only data required there, aren't you ?
If the antenna works on several frequencies (based upon it's model number and manufacturer capabilities), the usage of those frequencies can depend on the "radio stations" relations the antenna is member of.


Lots to think about.
Indeed, can't wait to go forward about this topic


Regards

François

--
François Lacombe

fl dot infosreseaux At gmail dot com
www.infos-reseaux.com
@InfosReseaux
 

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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Marc Zoutendijk
In reply to this post by Dave Stanley-2
Hi, Regarding the tagging of communication towers, you should probably also read this discussion:


because in a proposal to show man_made=tower on the standard mapnik rendering, the result of this would be that all those communication towers would show up on the map incorrectly.
This might also help:


regards,

Marc.


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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Suzan Reed
In reply to this post by François Lacombe-2
May I suggest contacting the  American Radio Relay League, ARRL? With all the technically knowledgable people in the organization, and their interest in humanitarian readiness (ARES) they are sure to have information useful to map antennas.

"The American Radio Relay League is the largest membership association of amateur radio enthusiasts in the USA. ARRL is a non-profit organization, and was founded in 6th April 1914." Members operate world wide and track their contacts using a number of different kinds of antenna, and each has a specific “tag”.

www.aarl.org

A place to start: Dave Becker [hidden email]. If he doesn’t have the information himself, he can recommend someone to talk with.

Hope this is of some help.
Suzan Reed






> I map quite few radio sites in connection with my work.  Usually it is just mast/tower locations using the 'man_made=tower + tower:type=communication' tags with name/operator information. There are  quite few things for these towers that could be improved.  For example the difference between a tower and a mast - a mast in the UK is normally considered to have guy wires to hold it up. where as a tower supports itself.  May masts are big enough to justify the guy wires being mapped with their ground anchor points. I am not aware of anything suitable to do that.
>
> Ok to say definitions and keys are a bit messy. It's only about supports which can be refined independently.
>  
>
> There is also their feed line systems.  I have used power=line to map some of these, as in this example in Burma:
>
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=18/16.86624/96.16177
>
> It is not ideal, but the closest I could think of.  Medium-wave broadcasts sites typically have very long feeder systems that can be mapped, as in the example.
>
> This is interesting
> I didn't see the use of power=line like that but it can be adjusted.
> Wouldn't you add frequency=* and usage=radio on such lines ? It may allow consumers to distinguish them from standard electricity transmission lines.
>
> RF can be used at high power rates : The CERN currently use them at hundred of MW to power up its accelerator.
>
>  
> As for the antennas mounted on a mast/tower, you then may need to consider the frequencies and operators that use the antennas.  In some cases there will be multiple frequencies and operators. Physically, you would need the antenna height above ground level, direction, possibly which leg it is on and so on.
>
> Antennas have many characteristics but only a few are relevant in OSM.
> It may be better to give a manufacturer name and model reference to get such details directly from other databases.
>
> Azimuth (if applicable), position and model information are the only data required there, aren't you ?
> If the antenna works on several frequencies (based upon it's model number and manufacturer capabilities), the usage of those frequencies can depend on the "radio stations" relations the antenna is member of.
>
>
> Lots to think about.
> Indeed, can't wait to go forward about this topic
>
>
> Regards
>
> François
>
> --
> François Lacombe
>
> fl dot infosreseaux At gmail dot com
> www.infos-reseaux.com
> @InfosReseaux
>  
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk


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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Dave Stanley-2
In reply to this post by François Lacombe-2


On 15/07/2015 17:16, François Lacombe wrote:

> Thank you Dave,
>
>
> 2015-07-15 14:15 GMT+02:00 Dave Stanley <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>>:
>
>     Hi
>
>     I map quite few radio sites in connection with my work. Usually it
>     is just mast/tower locations using the 'man_made=tower +
>     tower:type=communication' tags with name/operator information.
>     There are  quite few things for these towers that could be
>     improved.  For example the difference between a tower and a mast -
>     a mast in the UK is normally considered to have guy wires to hold
>     it up. where as a tower supports itself.  May masts are big enough
>     to justify the guy wires being mapped with their ground anchor
>     points. I am not aware of anything suitable to do that.
>
>
> Ok to say definitions and keys are a bit messy. It's only about
> supports which can be refined independently.
>
>
>     There is also their feed line systems.  I have used power=line to
>     map some of these, as in this example in Burma:
>
>     https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=18/16.86624/96.16177
>
>     It is not ideal, but the closest I could think of. Medium-wave
>     broadcasts sites typically have very long feeder systems that can
>     be mapped, as in the example.
>
>
> This is interesting
> I didn't see the use of power=line like that but it can be adjusted.
> Wouldn't you add frequency=* and usage=radio on such lines ? It may
> allow consumers to distinguish them from standard electricity
> transmission lines.

Certainly a tag like usage=radio or usage=rf would useful. Frequency
would be harder as often there are multiple or varying frequencies.  
Something relating to size or diameter could also be relevant.  These
lines can be physically quite large - big enough to be seen on the
satellite imagery for example.

>
> RF can be used at high power rates : The CERN currently use them at
> hundred of MW to power up its accelerator.
>
>     As for the antennas mounted on a mast/tower, you then may need to
>     consider the frequencies and operators that use the antennas.  In
>     some cases there will be multiple frequencies and operators.
>     Physically, you would need the antenna height above ground level,
>     direction, possibly which leg it is on and so on.
>
>
> Antennas have many characteristics but only a few are relevant in OSM.
> It may be better to give a manufacturer name and model reference to
> get such details directly from other databases.
>
> Azimuth (if applicable), position and model information are the only
> data required there, aren't you ?

Height and direction are most important.  Probably some indication of
its overall size - maybe length.  There could also be some indication of
the type of antenna, for example: yagi, dish, panel, reflector.

Regards


Dave


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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Eric H. Christensen-2
In reply to this post by Suzan Reed
On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 01:27:40 PM Suzan Reed wrote:
> May I suggest contacting the  American Radio Relay League, ARRL? With all
> the technically knowledgable people in the organization, and their interest
> in humanitarian readiness (ARES) they are sure to have information useful
> to map antennas.

I'm curious what question we're actually trying to answer here.  I'm a member
of the ARRL and have been in radio communications (both amateur and public
safety) for 18 years so I'll happily try to answer any questions related to
the topic.  

It would seem that we already handle tagging that describes the tower[0].  I
would suspect that for most people they are making an assumption that what
they are seeing is mobile phone infrastructure when they see the typical panel
or sector antennas.  That may not be the case, however.

In the USA, all tower structures (over a certain height) must be registered
with the FCC and these records are freely available on their website under the
Antenna Support Structure listings.  You can then cross reference the tower ID
with the frequencies associated with a license that says they are at that
tower.  Of course the licenses don't always reflect the geographic location of
all of their gear so you might miss something.  Also, amateur radio equipment
at these tower sites aren't recorded.

I would think that knowing a tower is a communications tower is sufficient.  
Knowing the height of the tower would be nice, too.  There are also ways to
describe the construction of the tower.  Knowing what's on the tower may not
always be known and could be subject to change.

> www.aarl.org

I believe you meant http://www.arrl.org

[0] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:man_made%3Dtower#Tower_types

--Eric

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Re: Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Marc Zoutendijk
In reply to this post by Dave Stanley-2

Op 15 jul. 2015, om 14:15 heeft Dave Stanley <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:

As for the antennas mounted on a mast/tower, you then may need to consider the frequencies and operators that use the antennas. In some cases there will be multiple frequencies and operators. Physically, you would need the antenna height above ground level, direction, possibly which leg it is on and so on.

In the Netherlands we are facing the same problem with our GSM antenna’s.
Our country has the highest density of mapped GSM antenna’s (currently over 11.000) and you should see the worldwide mapping of the GSM 900 frequency:


We are using two solutions for mapping multiple antenna’s on one post:

1. 
Use technology=GSM 900;GSM 1800;UMTS
Together with
height=50;68;57

Or
2.
technology:1=GSM 900
technology:2=GSM 1800
technology:3=UMTS
height:1=50
height:2=68
height:3=57

An example of this last style is here:

Try to avoid using man_made=tower for structures that are definitely NOT a tower. And use mast:type instead of tower:type.
In an upcoming change of the carto style for the standard rendering, all man_made=tower will be shown and this will lead to an overflow of towers on the base map if you are using the wrong tagging. See my earlier post.

Marc.


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