How to Visit a College Campus With Just a Few Clicks of The Mouse

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About twenty years ago, as students were about to graduate high school, there was one item that had to be checked off beforehand, apart from planning the post ceremony parties, that is. Students had to visit the college campus of their choice.

 This often meant a lot of planning for both the students and their parents, as some of these colleges and universities could be literally thousands of miles away—even worldwide. This was often a very stressful time, as the parents wanted to be sure the money they were going to spend on their child’s education would be used in a fruitful manner. Fast forward to now, and you’ll find that both colleges and universities are offering a virtual tour of their premises to prospective students.

picThis is done using the latest in video technology, in addition to the concepts of GIS, as well.

 One such example of this is the Pearson Business College, located in the heart of London. The GIS Vendor involved is known as CartoConsult. They have literally designed a virtual, 3-D, moving map of the entire campus.

 So, rather than having to spend a fortune on visiting the campus, parents and students can visit the campus from their home, with a few clicks of the mouse.

 In fact, the same 3D images being used for the virtual tour are also being used for the hard copy, printed prospectus. All of these efforts have been coordinated by a third party known as Hunterlodge Advertising.

 According to Sabina Lee, an Account Manager with Hunterlodge, “Creating our standard university maps in 3D brought them to life and added an additional depth of interest. CartoConsult was very helpful throughout the process, from the initial conversation right through to a very speedy delivery and cost effective solution.” (SOURCE: http://www.directionsmag.com/pressreleases/cartoconsult-3d-visualisations-add-a-creative-edge-to-university-prospectus/470010).

 GeoTel is a telecommunications location based intelligence research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 7000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Just Imagine, Weather Updates Every Hour!

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If you think about it, it is truly amazing just how fast technology advances these days. Probably the best example of this is the Smartphone. Just a few years ago, many businesses and homes were still using landline phones with a special technology called ‘VoIP.’ But now, VoIP has pretty much become a thing of the past, having being dominated by the Smartphone technology.

Nowadays, with our iPhone, Android/Windows/Samsung devices, we can conduct both our business and personal affairs, literally whenever and wherever we want. These types of technological advances are also now occurring in the world of GIS, as well.

BoatFor example, just recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a massive, new technological upgrade to its U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS).

The primary advantage of this is that the mapping grid has been increased from 13 kilometers to well over 27 kilometers, which, in turn, results in a higher resolution model output and more precise weather forecasts and warnings. Also, 4-Dimensional mapping can now be created, instead of using the traditional 3-Dimensional mapping.

Currently, the forecast models that have been formulated from older technology was four times a day, with any updates or changes coming out every sixteen days. But, with the newer technological upgrades, weather forecasting models can be created on the hour and, as a result, more details about an upcoming major weather event can be predicted.

There are many benefits to this, as much more accurate weather forecasts can be predicted for both the early morning and evening rush hour commutes, and even giving major international airports the ability to plan when to effectively deploy de-icing equipment and trucks

According to Louis Uccenilli, the current director at NOAA, “Current investments in more powerful supercomputers, advanced modeling capabilities, and better earth observing systems are creating more precision in the forecast process and strengthening America’s resiliency to extreme weather, water and climate events.” (SOURCE: http://www.directionsmag.com/pressreleases/noaas-premier-forecast-model-goes-four-dimensional/468456).

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 6,000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

New Plans to Explore the Wonderland of the Arctic Ocean

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Back in 1969, when President John F. Kennedy challenged the United States to land a man on the moon, we did it. Now, we are trying to reach out for new challenges, with probably the most difficult one being eventually landing a human being on Mars. It is projected that a mission to Mars and back to Earth again will take at least one year.

mountainDespite the talk of this, and the excitement of even further extraterrestrial travel, one has to keep in mind, as well, that this planet still has to be further explored. For example, there are bottoms of oceans and seas and the marine life that resides there to explore, the further mapping of Mt. Everest, and yes, even exploring both the North and South Poles.

 In fact, it was just announced that the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), along with other GIS vendors, put forth a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to further study the Arctic Ocean.

 The primary goal of this project is to further understand and respond to the impacts of climate change and human activity to the fragile Arctic ecosystem. However, engaging in such an intensive and highly specialized project will no doubt require the use of a lot of sophisticated equipment. This need will require the assistance of GIS vendors, who can provide the data management tools which will be used for later analyses.

 Another primary objective of this project is to also assess how distributed online environments can help further process and streamline the flow of geospatial data between scientists and other research entities. Remember, there are no Internet connections or Internet Service Providers in this part of the world; therefore, it is imperative to test if this technology will work in very low or even no bandwidth situations. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting, new project as it progresses.

 GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

A 2,600 Mile Transatlantic Cable Coming to You!

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In the world of Information Technology, there are many vendors who dominate their particular niche. For example, Cisco dominates in network security, and Symantec in cybersecurity. Of course, there are also Facebook and Microsoft, who pretty much dominate everything when it comes to cloud-related services.

fb microsoftThere is no doubt these two behemoths have gone head-to-head with each other in the past, trying to get a chunk of each other’s market share. But now, it seems that these two rivals may be joining forces in order to help alleviate the high volume traffic and bottlenecks that we witness surfing the Web today.

It was announced last week that both Microsoft and Facebook have developed plans to build, install, and lay their own 2,600-mile-long submarine cable across the Atlantic Ocean.  The name of the project is “MAREA.”

The actual construction of this cable will start in August of this year, and will be completed in October of 2017. Once completed and laid, this will be the first cable to bridge the waters between the United States and Southern Europe. More specifically, the data centers, which are in Northern Virginia and Bilbao, Spain, will be connected directly with each other via this cabling.

From this, it is expected that other subnetwork stations will be established in other parts of Europe, the Middle East, and even Asia. Although there are other types and kinds of transatlantic cabling, this one will be far different for two primary reasons:

1)      It will be established along the southern route in the Atlantic Ocean, which will mean better connectivity and reliability for customers.

2)      It will be designed upon an open system architecture. This simply means that this cabling will be interoperable with networking equipment supplied by different vendors. This translates into lower costs, easier equipment upgrades, and faster bandwidth rates for the customer.

According to Christian Belady, a general manager at Microsoft, “By building the cable along this new southern route, we will also increase the resiliency of our global network, helping ensure even greater reliability for our customers.” (SOURCE: http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/facebook-microsoft-build-160-tbps-4100-km-submarine-cable/2016-05-27).

GeoTel Communications, LLC is the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure data in a geographic information system (GIS) and internet based spatial technologies for over 15 years. GeoTel takes telecom infrastructure data and makes it tangible. By layering this data in GIS software or by viewing it in one of our web based platforms, we make it possible to analyze detailed fiber optic maps and other telecom data sets throughout America. These integrated datasets are digitized onto the highest quality street data and aerial imagery available, providing companies and government entities with the leverage and insight necessary to make informed location based and fiscally sound decisions.

Comcast Attempting to Enter the “Smart” Market with Mixed Results

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In today’s technological world, there is a new term being used, that is finding its footing. The term is “smart.” This word can be used in conjunction with just about any item. This can range from anything a “smart home” to a “smart car” to the most commonly used, “smart phone.”

comcast smartWhat, exactly, does “smart” mean in this context? It simply means there are extra technological features added that would normally be available only on a computer or a laptop. For example, when the popularity of cell phones started, the main attraction of them was their portable nature. Now, their main attraction is all of the stuff you can do with their extra, built-in functionality such as emailing, texting, taking videos, podcasts, and using the millions upon millions of downloadable apps that are now available.

Now, it seems that the telecom industry is also trying to capture a piece of this “smart” technology market. It was recently announced that Comcast had just purchased another business entity known as iControl. This acquisition was done in the hopes of trying to lure new customers.

However, research indicates that customers really do not resonate with these “smart” technology services. For instance, according to a recent research study from Parks Associates, only 30% of U.S. customers actually know what they want out of “smart” technology. Also, 40% of U.S. households would rather purchase a “smart” technology service from a retail store (such as Office Depot or Home Depot) as opposed to purchasing from a telecom vendor, like Comcast.

Other results of this study indicate there could be some slowing down in the telecom industry as a whole:

  • Twenty-three percent of U.S. households prefer using an Internet Service Provider
  • Only 12% would prefer to get their “smart” technology services from another vendor, such as Verizon or Comcast

GeoTel Communications, LLC, is the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure data in a geographic information system (GIS) and internet based spatial technologies for over 15 years. GeoTel takes telecom infrastructure data and makes it tangible. By layering this data in GIS software or by viewing it in one of our web based platforms, we make it possible to analyze detailed fiber optic maps and other telecom data sets throughout America. These integrated datasets are digitized onto the highest quality street data and aerial imagery available, providing companies and government entities with the leverage and insight necessary to make informed location based and fiscally sound decisions.

The Verizon Strike Comes to an End!

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In today’s economy, in large industries and companies, whenever there is an unhappy group of workers, their tendency is to launch a strike in order to achieve what is wanted. Now, a strike may help the cause of the employees in question, but it can have debilitating effects not only on the image of a company, but also on the economy as a whole.

verizon strike endA prime example of such a strike was the one launched by the workers of Verizon that started 45 days ago. Their main objective was to approve and ratify new, four year contracts by both the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The new provisions and the tenets of the contracts were just recently approved.

However, getting the required number of votes was not an easy task and, in fact, it was a very difficult one. It took two weeks of mass meetings to get the full support needed for ratification. Here are a couple of highlights of the new contracts:

  • Verizon has agreed that no other jobs would be outsourced overseas (especially to China and India)
  • The number of support calls placed by customers of Verizon would be routed towards call centers based here in the United States

As a result, it is highly expected that 1,300 new domestic call center jobs will be created, with 850 of them being in the Mid-Atlantic region and 450 in the Northeast region. It was agreed, also, that there would be a 3% wage increase in the first year the new contracts take effect, followed by 2.5% increases every year, thereafter. Also, health benefits and pensions would be maintained.

According to Dennis Trainor, a vice president at CWA, “The ratification of these hard-won contracts cements an incredible victory for the nearly 40,000 courageous workers who put everything on the line to protect the good jobs for their families and for all American families . . . when working people come together as a union, we can make a difference in improving wages and providing stability for families.” (SOURCE: http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/verizon-strike-officially-ends-wireline-contracts-approved-both-cwa-ibew-un/2016-06-17).

GeoTel Communications, LLC, is the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure data in a geographic information system (GIS) and internet based spatial technologies for over 15 years. GeoTel takes telecom infrastructure data and makes it tangible. By layering this data in GIS software or by viewing it in one of our web based platforms, we make it possible to analyze detailed fiber optic maps and other telecom data sets throughout America. These integrated datasets are digitized onto the highest quality street data and aerial imagery available, providing companies and government entities with the leverage and insight necessary to make informed location based and fiscally sound decisions.

Announcing The Tracking of Arctic Wildlife in the Chukchi Sea

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In the world of GIS technology, there is a new trend coming starting. That is, the days of business entities offering services surrounding GIS, exclusively, are starting to wane. There is a growth of businesses and organizations that are starting to offer GIS products and services which are outside the realm of their traditional core competencies.

arcticOne example of this is a company known as Dewberry. Traditionally, they are a professional services firm, with a myriad of consulting based offerings. These include such items as telecommunications, transportation, and even security/risk management and vulnerability.

Just recently, Dewberry has begun to offer GIS related services, which include the following:

  • Climate change
  • Geospatial data analysis
  • Surveying
  • Land planning & development
  • Environmental services

Given this diversified portfolio, it was announced that Dewberry has just been awarded a GIS based contract to help conservation professionals react to the environmental impacts of both oil and gas activities and climate change. More specifically, the work under this contract will take place in North Slope, Alaska.

This newly awarded contract is actually a subset of another project called the Chukchi and East Siberian Surveys (ChESS) project. This is a huge effort to positively identity polar bears and other Artic based wildlife. The efforts here will be massive, as aircraft and satellites outfitted with high resolution cameras will be primarily utilized.

The information and data collected will help other conservation business entities to closely examine the environmental impacts of oil and gas activities and climate change. Also, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Alaska Fisheries Science Center will be making use of these datasets, as well, in order to track the movements of the ringed and bearded seals in the Chukchi Sea.

This particular study will span a three-month time horizon. The information and data to be gathered will also be very useful in helping geologists to identify untapped oil and gas reserves.

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 6,000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

AT&T Announcing Virtualization Moves to Bring Cheaper Prices to Customers

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No matter where you go today, you will, for the most part, encounter the term, “the Cloud.” Pretty much everything these days is in the Cloud. The Cloud is just another convenient way to store and download software applications, and best of all, provides for greater cost efficiency. Probably one of the best examples of this is the iCloud, from Apple.

ATT cloudThere are other examples related to this. They include Google, the Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, etc. But, there is also another term which is used synonymously with the Cloud—“Virtualization.”

However, in technical terms, the two are quite different. Virtualization simply refers to the act of taking something that is physical (such as a computer network, storage device, or even a computer itself) and literally making it virtual. In other words, it is the act of taking something physical and making it non- physical.

With this background in mind, AT&T recently announced that it is planning to virtualize a major part of its hardware infrastructure. In fact, this plan was already into motion late in 2015 and, at that time, five percent of its hardware infrastructure was virtualized. Now, the company has aggressive goals to make thirty percent of its hardware infrastructure completely virtualized.

The primary goal driving this move towards complete virtualization at AT&T is to not only have a better and cheaper cost structure for itself, but also to have the ability to pass this down to new and existing customers, as well. According to Scott Mair, a Senior Vice President at AT&T, “. . . the more we get on commodity hardware, the more the cost structure is better for us.” (SOURCE: http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/att-track-virtualize-30-percent-its-network-functions-end-2016/2016-05-13).

Not only is a cheaper price a tangible benefit but, also, new services, such as the Network on Demand Ethernet and NetBond. For example, “With NetBond, a business can establish a secure connection right into the cloud all the way to the actual server . . . It gives them security and peace of mind that they can interact with their software without a problem.” (SOURCE: http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/att-track-virtualize-30-percent-its-network-functions-end-2016/2016-05-13).

GeoTel Communications, LLC, is the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure data in a geographic information system (GIS) and internet based spatial technologies for over 15 years. GeoTel takes telecom infrastructure data and makes it tangible. By layering this data in GIS software or by viewing it in one of our web based platforms, we make it possible to analyze detailed fiber optic maps and other telecom data sets throughout America. These integrated datasets are digitized onto the highest quality street data and aerial imagery available, providing companies and government entities with the leverage and insight necessary to make informed location based and fiscally sound decisions.

Watch Out Comcast! Here Comes Hawaiian Telecom!

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We’ve all heard of Comcast, Verizon, Windstream Communications, etc. But, there is another telecom/cable provider out there, that not a lot of people have heard of. This entity is known as Hawaiian Telecom.

hawaiian telecomObviously their primary market is located in the state of Hawaii; but last week they released some numbers that, if it were to offer its services on the United States mainland, would give some serious competition to the other telecom carriers. For example:

  • At the end of Q1 of 2016, it had 92,800 subscribers
  • Revenue was at $36.2 million
  • Consumer revenue rose to 47% from 43% in the previous year
  • In terms of video services, revenue grew by 25% (this represents an increase of $9.4 million)
  • There was an increase of 7,400 brand new IPTV subscribers, thus increasing the total base to 37,100 subscribers
  • During Q1, the number of household subscribers requesting fiber based services grew by 5,000, thus increasing the total base to 195,000 household subscribers
  • 61% of all Hawaiian Telecom customers now use FTTP based technology
  • During Q1, business revenue was $44.8 million; this represents a 4.4% growth rate from the previous year
  • The demand for business data lines increased by 20,000; this represents a 1.7% growth rate from the previous year
  • Data service center increased by almost 18%

Despite all this good news, there was one sour spot for Hawaiian Telecom: Its Wholesale Services division. Revenue in this category declined to $13.8 million, from the previous year. This was primarily attributed to customers switching over from the traditional copper based services to FTTP services.

This traditional segment is an important one, and Hawaiian Telecom has already started to implement plans as to how it will regain this crucial market share. According to CEO Scott Barber, “In the wholesale channel, our strategy is to leverage our fiber network to drive Ethernet growth in both wireline and wireless wholesale segments, be the provider of choice for the wireless carriers and expand services and solutions for the trans-Pacific market.” (SOURCE: http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/hawaiian-telcom-sees-43-internet-customers-purchasing-21-mbps-1-gbps-speeds/2016-05-06).

GeoTel Communications, LLC, provides fiber route maps that help businesses visualize telecom data and locate fiber for predictive analytics and location based intelligence. If interested in obtaining these datasets, call 800-277-2172.

How GIS Can Be Used to Streamline the Sales Process

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There was a time when all a company had to was simply hire a sales team, cold call a bunch of prospects from the Yellow Pages, get the initial appointment set up as well as other meetings, and, finally, close the deal. My, how times have changed. First, the Yellow Pages are no longer relevant. With the advent of the Internet, any sales person can look up a contact in a matter of two seconds, and make that call.

sales processAlso gone are the days when a sales person would have to sit at their desk day after day to make their calls. Now, with the advent of the both wireless and Smartphone technology, an account executive can be on the road, making those cold calls while he or she is meeting with actual prospects.

Gone, as well, are the days of using snail mail to launch a marketing campaign to potential prospects. E-mail blasts can be done in just a matter of a few clicks and in just a few seconds. With the advent of the various social media tools out there, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, a sales person has even more reach in the virtual world.

Believe it or not, the principles and technologies of GIS are now being utilized by sales people to make their digital strategies for closing their deals much more effective. In fact, it was just announced that Chris Cappelli, Director of Global Sales at ESRI (a leading GIS vendor) will be making a presentation as to how their GIS platform can help a sales team further refine their strategies.

The topics in this presentation will include an overview of their powerful location-based platform that automates, integrates, and improves the digital sales process from the inside out. This is essentially a mapping technology that delivers an end-to-end digital solution, making any sales team fast, agile, connected, and responsive.

According to Cappelli, “To keep up with modern consumer expectations and the rapid pace of technological change, organizations need to move toward a holistic digital business model.” (SOURCE: http://www.directionsmag.com/pressreleases/2016-digital-enterprise-show-to-feature-keynote-on-advancing-digital-strate/468918).

GeoTel is a telecommunications location based intelligence research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 7000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

 

 

Amazon Web Services Now a Part of Telecom Offerings

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Probably in the past, you have heard the terms, “Virtualization” and the “Cloud.” You are probably wondering, what does all of this mean, and especially, what does it mean for me? Well, long story short, the Cloud is merely another way to can purchase a software package you need at a fraction of the cost in a retail store.

amazon webA perfect example of this is Microsoft Exchange. This software package is very popular with small to medium sized business owners. If one were to purchase this outright, through Microsoft, it would cost literally thousands of dollars. But since it is available via the Cloud through many Internet Service Providers (ISPs), a business owner can get it for just $15.00 per month.

It is important to keep in mind that with Cloud based offerings, all software packages are made available through an ISP. There are other advantages other than cost savings. These include:

  • No administrative headaches, the ISP takes care of all of the software licensing for you.
  • You don’t have to worry about any software upgrades (even security based ones) — once again, the ISP does all of this for you in your bundled plan.
  • You really don’t “own” the software package per se; but, rather, you rent it — the advantage of this is that the cost is spread out monthly, which is affordable and predictable

With this background in mind, it is also important to know that many telecom and cable carriers are now offering Cloud based services as a part of their offering to customers — primarily in backup and storage of information and data. Vendors such as Verizon, Comcast, Windstream Communications, etc., now offer Cloud products through third parties such as Microsoft, IBM, and Google.

However, there is now an 800-pound gorilla in the market place, known as Amazon Web Services. They currently command over 31% of the market share, and are fast becoming the partner of choice amongst the telecom vendors. Revenues from Cloud based services offered by telecom giants have surpassed the $7 billion mark, and are expected to grow even further.

GeoTel Communications, LLC is the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure data in a geographic information system (GIS) and internet based spatial technologies for over 15 years. GeoTel takes telecom infrastructure data and makes it tangible. By layering this data in GIS software or by viewing it in one of our web based platforms, we make it possible to analyze detailed fiber optic maps and other telecom data sets throughout America. These integrated datasets are digitized onto the highest quality street data and aerial imagery available, providing companies and government entities with the leverage and insight necessary to make informed location based and fiscally sound decisions.

Verizon Strike Impact Millions of Customers

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In just about any industry or business, it is the employee who drives market growth and penetration in the end. The business owner may think they can do everything themselves, but in reality, a solid workforce is needed in order to realize any type of expansion.

verizon strikeThis is true even in the telecom industry. Given the sheer size of it, there is no doubt that even a strike or boycott by a few employees will be felt.

Such is the case with Verizon. It was announced late last week that a strike had begun. Even though it was just two days old, Verizon customers were already starting to feel its impact. Especially in the areas of its FiOS internet and television subscribers.

The strike originated because union workers and upper management at Verizon could not reach a consensus on issues which matter most to the employees. This includes items such as healthcare, pensions, and sick leave.

According to Tami Erwin, a group president at Verizon “We do have a bit of a delay . . . We’re working hard with customers to prioritize repair above activations and provisioning because we owe that to our existing customers.” (http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/verizon-wireline-workforce-labor-strike-causing-installation-delays/2016-04-15).

On average, Verizon conducts about 30,000-35,000 installations in a week. However, because of the strike, this statistic has eroded by 30%. Although the strike affects all customers involved, the harshest of the effects of the boycott are being felt in the states of New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

Although Verizon claims it has plenty of back up personnel to counter the effects of the strike, other news reports have revealed that it had to deploy well over 20,000 non-union workers. The last major strike that Verizon faced was back in 2011, and resulted in a subscription backlog of over 100,000 based FiOS orders.

GeoTel Communications, LLC is the leading provider of telecommunications infrastructure data in a geographic information system (GIS) and internet based spatial technologies for over 15 years. GeoTel takes telecom infrastructure data and makes it tangible. By layering this data in GIS software or by viewing it in one of our web based platforms, we make it possible to analyze detailed fiber optic maps and other telecom data sets throughout America. These integrated datasets are digitized onto the highest quality street data and aerial imagery available, providing companies and government entities with the leverage and insight necessary to make informed location based and fiscally sound decisions.

 

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