Proposed features/Wireless Signal Coverage

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Wireless Signal Coverage
Status: Draft (under way)
Proposed by: haxwithaxe
Tagging: signal-coverage=(quality,frequency-start-Hz,frequency-end-Hz,frequency-median-Hz,protocol,feature(name,value))
Applies to: Area
Definition: The area that a radio transmitter of any type can or is expected to cover under various conditions.
Rendered as: n/a (use specific)
Drafted on: (2012-09-02)


Rethinking. Editing as I go.

  • k="quality" - which can have the following values:
    • v="ground-truthed" - This means the coverage has been verified to be accurate by going out an measuring it.
    • v="esimated" - This means there has been a best effort attempt to modify the ideal coverage to account for persistent obstructions or other things or events that cause persistent signal loss in certain areas.
    • v="optimal-conditions" - This means that the coverage represents the "estimated" coverage under the best possible conditions and does not account for occasional performance loss due to mother nature.
    • v="idealized" - A disk with the expected or theoretical signal range as it's radius and the source at it's center.
  • k="frequency-start-Hz" - (mutually exclusive with @frequency-median-Hz) - This is the start of the frequency spectrum being used in Hz. Using this alone should be meant as the only frequency being used it this frequency.
  • k="frequency-median-Hz" - (mutually exclusive with @frequency-start-Hz) - This is the median frequency of the spectrum being used in Hz.
  • k="frequency-end-Hz" - (optional with use of @frequency-start-Hz) - This is the end frequency of the spectrum being used in Hz.
  • k="protocol" - (exclude if unknown or not aplicable)- the OSI layer 2 protocol being used on the network (eg 802.11g for wifi type g)
  • k="feature" - Arbitrary feature (as in attribute not as in point of interest) of the signal or network.
    • v="name; value"
      • name - The label of the feature.
      • value - Arbitrary information about the coverage area.


There is a lack of a wireless signal coverage feature type in the approved features of OSM. It appears that many of the complaints stem from the ambiguity of a boolean "yes or no this place has coverage" which is a poor fit for the reality of the way radio signals work. I am currently working on creating coverage maps for a community mesh network in my area and the ability to have more info than where to draw the circle on the map would ultimately be quite useful for us and I would imagine that the availability of so much in the way of tower data from the FCC would make some interesting maps combining tower locations and stuff from projects like Open Signal Maps.


I think that the rendering of the area that this is applied to shouldn't be constrained, but if I had to, I'd say 50% opacity goldenrod fill and no border. What is important about these are what they cover so it makes sense to have them show what they are covering.