Modernizing the FCC’s Geospatial Maps

Maps and geospatial analysis have become increasingly important as they allow the FCC to display information to the public in an interactive visual format. The FCC’s maps have become useful tools for conveying data in conjunction with Commission reports and public notices.  The FCC’s maps site serves as a centralized hub for data visualizations and is one of the most highly trafficked parts of the Commission’s website.

Since the launch of the original FCC maps site, a total of 53 maps have been published – including 15 this year – on topics ranging from nationwide LTE coverage  to fixed broadband deployment data. To keep pace with the demand for more and improved data visualization tools, we’ve been working to update our maps site to streamline the publishing process and increase the public’s access to the maps published by the Commission. 

Updated Design & Hosting

The modernized look-and-feel of the new FCC’s maps site improves the user experience and provides better visual displays.  Creating more design consistency across the maps we publish is one area we identified for improvement. To ensure uniform formats are used in all of our materials, we developed geospatial visualization design standards to maintain a consistent user experience across our maps and geospatial applications.

These efforts directly align with the Commission’s goals of improving the usability and performance of our Information Technology systems while also making it easier for the public to access data.  Recently, we moved the back-end infrastructure off of the existing legacy hardware and into a cloud-hosted environment. As a result of moving the maps site to a cloud-based platform, we’re able to provide several key benefits, including increased system stability and improved security.

Key Features

The new cloud-based maps site expands on the existing features of the previous maps site with some significant improvements, including:

  1. Enhanced display – Simplified page layout improves the usability of the site and the responsive design allows the site to adapt to various devices and screen resolutions.
  2. Improved usability – New filter and search capabilities allow you to quickly find relevant content and identify related maps.
  3. Greater reliability – Cloud-based platform provides greater reliability and improved security.
  4. Streamlined publishing – Maps are now integrated with the FCC.gov Content Management System to maintain a common look-and-feel and support rapid deployment of visualizations.
  5. Flexible inputs – Use of Open Geospatial Consortium standards enables the site to embed externally hosted content and easily adapt to new technologies.

We’re excited about the modernization improvements we’ve made to FCC’s maps site, which is available for viewing here. We encourage you to submit any feedback and questions you have to maps@fcc.gov.


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