[OSM-talk] Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Dave Stanley daves at dbsconsult.co.uk
Thu Jul 16 12:59:08 UTC 2015

On 15/07/2015 17:16, Fran├žois Lacombe wrote:
> Thank you Dave,
> 2015-07-15 14:15 GMT+02:00 Dave Stanley <daves at dbsconsult.co.uk 
> <mailto:daves at dbsconsult.co.uk>>:
>     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.



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