Step 1c: Mapping Key Elements
Constraints on Technology Options
Other geographic elements and infrastructure assets are useful to incorporate in order to capture a more complete picture of opportunities and constraints.
Table 9: Other geographic elements and infrastructure assets to incorporate in order to obtain a more complete picture of opportunities and constraints
Socio-economic data type
The extent of available electrical grid infrastructure will determine if additional costs will be incurred for capital (for adding power-generation systems) and operating expenses.
World Bank, World Resources Institute and Facebook have released a new predictive model for accurate electrical grid mapping: https://engineering.fb.com/connectivity/electrical-grid-mapping
This will help to gauge the locality’s accessibility and the sites where infrastructure may need to be constructed.
Open Street Maps (https://www.openstreetmap.org/) or national government transportation agencies
Important for determining radio frequency propagation. Estimates of network service coverage can be dramatically different when topography and radio frequency propagation are taken into consideration.
A commonly used open-source tool for mapping radio frequency propagation against topographical data is SPLAT (Signal Propagation, Loss and Terrain: http://www.qsl.net/kd2bd/splat.html) Other commercial software exists.
Other risk factors
The community concerned may face above-average risks. For example, for communities in locations that are prone to seasonal hurricanes or monsoons, it may be useful to identify the path usually taken by such extreme weather across the region.