The resulting state-wide GIS database has provided many useful reports and maps for planning purposes. Amongst them was a recent request to prioritise the number of structures that needed ‘earthing’ adjustement to prevent damage by lightning surges to newly installed sensitive digital equipment. By building up the database of telecommunication structures, the surveyors had already provided the positions of the various towers and masts as one component for the analysis. The Department of Meteorology provided the other component. A contour plan of NSW "thunder day" patterns was provided as a contour plan and input into the GIS. By structuring an enquiry to find all the telephone exchanges adjacent to a mobile tower and within the high range of lightning strikes, a list of sites and a map was printed. Telstra’s planners were able to prioritise maintenance teams to check ‘earthing’ thus preventing disruption to services in the event of storms and lightning.
E-MAIL FOR REMOTE SURVEYS.
It is almost a self fulfilling prophecy to know that the very surveyors who help position the telecommunications infrastructure also rely on it for effective data communications whilst on field trips. Often data files of LISCAD Plus are transmitted from Telstra’s Sydney office via E-mail to the survey field crews, especially those working in remote areas of NSW. Laptops configured with modems and LISCAD Plus surveying software are used to download, view and then update plans of the various sites.
Like the millions of mobile phone and telecommunications users around the world, Telstra’s own surveyors rely on the infrastructure that they actively help improve, gaining maximum efficiency from their daily work and, just like the community they support, mobilising their own activities. Leica Surveying solutions such as GPS System 300, TC1100 total stations and LISCAD Plus software, together with the active support of Leica Geosystems Australia have helped Telstra’s surveyors provide data for GIS systems to effectively plan and manage the telecommunications infrastructure. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We wish to thank Mr Lloyd Ross, Mr Col Watkins, Ms Kathryn Murchison and Mr Peter Crowe of Telstra Network Design and Construction NSW for providing the valuable background to this article. The next time you are talking on the telephone, remember their efforts to survey and map the telecommunications infrastructure throughout NSW and the contribution of the survey and mapping professions to similar daily necessities.