09 January 2008

Sam Knows Broadband - New Mapping Engine

Sam Knows Broadband - New Mapping Engine

Sam Knows is one of the best independent sites for finding broadband (Phone or Cable) in the United Kingdom. Now their Mapping Application is even easier use.

The 'Old' Mapping required both Telephone (BT) Number and Postcode to find out broadband availability. Now you do not need these.

Sam Knows Broadband UK - Mapping
Reverse Geocoding aids the location search for broadband services in any area of the UK.
Purple Transparent Polygon shows the approximate area of broadband coverage for a BT Exchange.
Try it out here:

The mapping system is designed to be as easy to use as possible. If you just want to browse around your area to see what telephone exchanges are nearby and what services they provide, then simply enter the name of your area in the search box and click Search. You can then zoom in, zoom out or move around the map (by clicking and dragging with your mouse).

Exchanges will appear as blue buildings on the map and will appear dynamically as you move around. You can click on any exchange to see a summary of the wholesale services at the exchange (e.g. the ADSL, SDSL, LLU and cable services in the area).

The Map 'Side Panel' records and shows you more information on the exchange and shows a list of broadband providers with a good approximate maximum speed of broadband
for that location

If you're looking to move home or are just interested in your own area, then the mapping system has something for you too. Click on any road or place on the map to receive useful information including the connected telephone exchange and the distance from it in metres. There's also an option here to perform a broadband availability check.

The new mapping engine makes extensive use of the existing database we have and couples it closely with the Google Maps API, which provides the postcode and address lookup functionality. A special thank you goes to Nico for his Reverse Geocoder addon for the Google Maps API (Click here for more).
Mapperz update - Nico has version
1.0.5 out now:
I added a helper function to search the resulting placemark for a certain property."

The availability checks offer a significant improvement over the existing postcode-level checks in use by sam knows and others. These new checks are premise-level for all ADSL based services and Virgin Media's cable services. The estimated speed for ADSL broadband services is derived directly from BT Wholesale's checker systems. Note that the ADSL2+ speed estimates are derived from the distance from the exchange and the ADSL speed attainable, correlated against the Internode graph

The exchange coverage polygons are derived from known postcodes served by the exchanges (captured from historical checks performed on the existing availability checker). Sampling well over a million such records and combining it the data with Google's geocoding engine has enabled us to produce the polygons. Note that these are likely to be erroneous in some instances, primarily due to a postcode being incorrectly tagged to an exchange. Such errors will be cleared up over time.

Samknows.com is dedicated to tracking the roll-out and progress of broadband across the UK. It was created by Sam Crawford, and is also maintained by Paul Buck and Ian Saunders.

"The site was started as a small hobbyist site after I worked at Datasouth UK on the Hampshire Broadband project. I left there in September 2003 to study for a BSc Hons in Computer Science at the University of Bath. Four years on and I have now graduated with a first-class degree, and will be returning to Canary Wharf this autumn to work as a developer of mobile computing applications."

Well done Sam and the Team.
Nico Reverse Geocoder was blog about here first.
Nice to see that it is getting used in full.

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At Saturday, January 24, 2009 2:00:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice post

At Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:59:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a new initiative out there(since this post was published) to map areas in the UK where users either cannot get ADSL/CABLE broadband or where the speed is very slow.

For more details go to the following link:

While you can report the status of broadband in your street, you can also search/view any UK postcode.


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