[OSM-talk] Antennas and radio networks supports mapping

Eric Christensen eric at christensenplace.us
Thu Jul 16 13:23:16 UTC 2015

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


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