The language of maps

In the consumer space, I’m very excited that the world is waking up to maps. There’s this natural affinity to maps. Why is that? My theory is that maps are a kind of language. We have text language, we have music as a language, we have mathematical languages, we have software languages. Maps are a language. And their power is that they communicate intuitively to people. You can look at a map, and, Ah! You can see context as well as content. … Whether it’s a law enforcement situation, or a social situation, or whatever. And you also see the content of the actual phenomena that’s occurring.”
Jack Dangermond
(founder of ESRI) here.

Jack Dangermond’s passion for maps comes through loud and clear in this quote above doesn’t it?

I believe that OSS also speaks in the language of maps across a range of different conversations that include:

  • Network and capacity planning
  • Service, usage and asset visualisation
  • Network health and contingency planning
  • Field-workforce management, construction and service delivery
  • Sales and marketing
  • Customer care

Do you use maps extensively to tell your OSS story? If so, I’d love to hear the use cases that provide the greatest insights at your organisation

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4 Responses

  1. Service topology (GIS) maps are critical to the business to ascertain availability and serviceability for a range of different Access Methods, Network Attenuation Facts and Facilities Management. Address prequalification is fundamental to the Sales Acquisition process to verify Broadband Access and Service Companies to support the fulfilment of Fixed and Broadband customer orders. Serviceability attributes govern the allocation priorities to select Unbundled Access Services over Wholesales Services.
    Maps provide bearer management profiles, which are used to identify unplanned outages and customer service impacts. This is facilitates the identification of SLA’s and Customer Service Agreements for network redundancy and service escalation.

  2. Hi Chris,

    That’s a great list of stories. Your organisation is making far more from its GIS-based solutions than most. Great to hear!


  3. Our customer use maps to visualize capacity utilisation. A graph representation of the network with color coding says much more than any long listing; Our eye and brains are trained to interprete this much faster than a long list or textual report.
    Next to capacity maps, topology visualisation of services is very handy. Troubleshooting goes much faster based on good maps. We have the experience that in NOC’s where there are no maps, first thing that support teams do, to analyse a complex incident, is sketching a map on a white board. If this is made on the spot, and certainly based on bad data records, expensive time can be lost. If these maps are autogenerated in the OSS better and faster troubleshooting can be done.

  4. Hi Nico,

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m a huge advocate of maps (or logical representations of spatially-coded infrastructure) in troubleshooting situations.


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