How do I set up a Tile Study in HDCoverage?

To create a Tile study, click the button showing the uniform grid of points:

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The form will change to the Tile settings.

You can define the Tile area as a range measured from the Fixed Facility site. For example, suppose you want to compute the area for a range of 20km from the site (a 40 x 40km square). Click the Range button:

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You will be prompted for the range from the site:

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When you enter the range, the latitude and longitude limits of the area will be computed and displayed:

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Another way to set the boundaries of a tile area study is to use the TAP Area Template database. This is a database of tile area limits that can be used to define exactly the same tile area for several different studies. For example, if you want to compare the coverage of an area of interest from two (or more) different repeater sites you can use the Area Template to ensure that you compute the coverage for exactly the same area. The Area Templates are also used for TAP Aggregate Coverage studies, where signal levels from multiple sites can be compared or combined (such as Best Server studies or Simulcast studies.

To use the Area Template, click the Template button:

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The Area Template form will be displayed.

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Select the template you want to use (or create one with the New button). When you click Close, the area limits will be returned to HDCoverage and displayed on the form:

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If you define a tile area you can also use the Save button to write that area as a new Template in the database for future use.

With HDCoverage, you can also define the tile area graphically on the map.

Be sure the magnifying glass button is pressed, then click and drag a rectangle on the map to zoom into the area of interest:

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The map will zoom to the area defined by the mouse rectangle you drew:

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You can locate the Fixed Facility site on the map by clicking the Pin button:

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The location of the site will be displayed on the map (note the green triangle near the bottom center of the illustration). Clicking the Pin button will cause the site to flash, making it easier to locate.

When you are ready to define the tile area on the map, click the Map button:

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You will be prompted to draw the desired tile area on the map with the mouse. Click one corner and drag the rectangle to the opposite corner:

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When you release the mouse, the coordinate limits of the area will be displayed:

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Another option for setting the area for the Tile study uses a Shapefile to define the boundary. With this option, the points are still computed on the rectangular grid points, but the area is limited to points inside of the selected boundary.

The map consists of a separate layer for each shapefile used in the map. You can select the active layer to use when you are selecting a boundary object to use for the Tile study.

To select or change the active layer, right click on the map. The “Select Active Layer” dialog box is displayed:

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This dialog box displays the current layers on the map, in the order they appear. The top layer in the list is also the top layer on the map.

Each layer may contain one or more “fields” or data values associated with the objects on that layer, such as county names, highway numbers, population information, etc.

If you click the “+” symbol for a layer you can view the fields for that layer:

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(Remember, the actual layer and field names will depend on the shapefiles used in your map.)

To select the active layer and field, click the item on the tree list:

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Click the Continue button to make the selected layer and field the active layer on the map.

Now the selected field on the active layer will be used to provide a “tip” identifying the object on that layer where the mouse is located:

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When an active layer has been selected, you can use the Boundary checkbox to define the area for the tile study based on one of the objects on that layer.

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Click the check box to mark it:

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The yellow status bar across the top of the map will prompt you to select the desired object on the active layer. The tip set for the field on that layer will display the name of the object using the field you selected:

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Click the object you want to use and the limits of the object will be displayed for the coverage area:

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Note that the latitude and longitude limits are grayed-out and cannot be edited because the area is defined by the selected boundary. You can uncheck the Boundary box to use these limits but not the boundary polygon.

Boundary objects for tile studies must be polygon objects. Shapefiles also support point and line object (such as building locations or roads).

You can select a line or point layer to use the field tips on that layer:

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However, if you click the Boundary checkbox to use an object on a point or line layer, a message will be displayed:

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When the area limits have been set as desired (using any of the methods described above), you can also set the grid step value:

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The grid step value determines the spacing of the computed points on the tile grid. Smaller step values result in more points and more detail but with longer execution times. Larger steps result in faster execution since fewer points are computed, but there is less detail and more visible “pixilation” of the tiles.