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Introducing FiberLocator 3.0 – Now featuring Google Maps!

The next version of FiberLocator is here, and it features a major product upgrade: we’ve transitioned to Google Maps! The move away from Bing for FiberLocator 3.0 will provide a better experience for our customers on multiple levels, including improved performance and increased reliability for our fiber network maps. We’re excited to share the details of this enhancement to the tool.
 
Our developers began the transition to Google Maps in late July as a way to provide more detailed, precise data to customers. Google has shown impressive strides past Bing’s platform (more information on Google’s benefits vs. Bing’s can be found in this article). Google Maps’ advanced accuracy made it a perfect fit for our constantly transitioning fiber network maps, lit buildings, internet exchanges and data centers.

To demonstrate that accuracy, take a look a the screenshots below:

fiber network map    

google map

The top image is Bing’s results for a Boston address that shows the requested location in the middle of the Massachusetts Pike. In the lower image we can see the accurate location provided by Google.

Now that the new maps are in place, users can also expect better geocoding (the process of converting addresses into geographic coordinates). Google’s accuracy with geocoding is renowned, as stated in this detailed SmartyStreets article: “If you want to generate a geocode, there are really only two options. Either physically go to the address itself and write down what the GPS says when you get there, or use math to interpolate the position. The first is obviously the most accurate method—you can’t get any more accurate than painting a big red “X” on the front door. We call this “rooftop level” accuracy, and this is the kind of accuracy Google provides.”

Users can also expect a better base map that is updated regularly. The images below illustrate how much more up-to-date Google’s base map is — the image with vacant land is Bing’s result, and the screenshot with an entirely new neighborhood is Google’s result. Google Maps also provides constant address updates, which will help eliminate mismatches and provide more accurate data to our clients.

 

Along with advanced geocoding and a more consistently updated base map, a useful feature is Google Maps’ ability to better guess addresses. In the case of entering the Denver Convention Center into FiberLocator using Bing, it defaults to Denver, CO. Using Google, it knows the location, as shown in the screenshots below:

 
  
 
This transition allows us to further utilize Google’s impressive tools in the future, including possible features for our fiber network maps such as:
  • Additional information from Google Places;
  • Auto complete for addresses;
  • Google street view.

We’re constantly striving to improve our product, so let us know what other features you need from FiberLocator by emailing support@www.fiberlocator.com.

“OK. I’m addicted to your tool. It’s great. Is it perfect? No. However, I don’t know how others do their job without it. I just wanted to thank you and your team. I sincerely appreciate it. Have a great holiday…

Rob Butler,
Crossvergence
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