The Harlequin Group speeds phone mast site searches with HERE mapping from Mapmechanics

Harlequin speeds phone mast site searches with HERE mapping from MAPMECHANICS

Harlequin speeds phone mast site searches with HERE mapping from MAPMECHANICS

The Harlequin Group, a consultancy specialising in planning and site acquisition for organisations in the telecommunications and public utility sectors, has significantly sped-up and improved the accuracy of its site search process since using the HERE digital mapping and location intelligence platform supplied by Mapmechanics. The HERE location platform (formerly known as Navteq) offers detailed, online street-level mapping, aerial photography and geocoding across the world. Maps and postcodes are constantly updated so that the latest data is always available and ready to be integrated into users’ own applications. Mapmechanics is one of the longest-standing distributors of HERE mapping, and has extensive experience in specifying and configuring the most appropriate HERE products for individual customer requirements. Harlequin specialises in conducting searches on behalf of organisations such as mobile phone networks seeking new sites for masts or other equipment. It has also been involved in research for a Government initiative to fill in “not spots” where mobile phone signals are very poor.

Following criteria specified by its customer, the company identifies possible sites within a chosen area – which might typically cover 2km – and then checks to find out whether that area has any features that might prevent the installation from going ahead.

Previously the company carried out the geocoding of potential locations using open-source mapping in conjunction with various other data layers, but found that the results were not always as precise as it would have liked.

We decided that the HERE platform looked like a much better alternative, and when we approached the HERE people, they referred us to Mapmechanics as the distributor. The recommendation paid off, because the Mapmechanics team has turned out to be really helpful and supportive, and even provided the system to us for a month’s trial.

Simon Mitchell, Harlequin Group

Harlequin now uses HERE satellite imaging, terrain and hybrid map layers when conducting site searches. “The satellite imaging is particularly useful,” Simon says. “It’s always important for us to discover land ownership, and HERE is invaluable in displaying context. The clear detailed images make it much easier to see the precise location of possible sites.”

The searches are conducted by means of map references; then the map layers can be turned on or off to display the right details.

It’s a lot quicker now for us to prepare site searches

Simon Mitchell says. “And when we home in on a possible site, we can print off accurate maps showing the exact location.”

He says the Mapmechanics team provided invaluable support when the system was first set up. “And if we run into difficulties, they have been quick to help us sort them out.”