Cell tower co-location sites

Visuals

Description

The purpose of this assignment was to determine suitable sites for locating antennae along highway corridors in the Lee County, NC area.

Origin

This project was part of the requirements for GIS 510, Introduction to Geospatial Information Science. The data needed for this project was provided with the assignment and included four shapefiles representing existing cell towers, streets, sanford boundary lines, and Lee County boundary lines. An Excel spreadsheet containing the height and type of each tower.

Discussion

This project provided exposure to using many spatial tools with the ArcMap application and also introduced the joining of tabular data in the provided spreadsheet to an existing attribute table of a given shapefile. The results were displayed in a map layout. The requirements for the placement of the antennae on communications or water towers were:
1) Lee County outside the City of Sanford (the central municipality in Lee County) is not allowing any new towers and the current tower owners are not allowing co-location. 2)The city of Sanford is not allowing new towers either, but current tower owners are willing to allow new companies to co-locate on existing communications towers. The City of Sanford will not allow you to co-locate on a water tower. 3) Your technical department tells you that the antennae can only be co-located on towers that are at least 150 feet tall and are within 1,000 feet of any of the following highways: Boone Trail, Jefferson Davis, Horner, US 421, or Highway 87 South.

Summary

This assignment was the first to introduce the use of multiple geoprocessing tools in solving a real world problem. Some of the key take-aways from it were the need for clear and explicit requirements, managing input, intermediate, and output data, and the creation of an effective map layout to communicate the results to the end user. The use of local data and in a common real-world situation made this exercise a very interesting and effective learning tool.