Apps on Maps: LPFM Application Information Now Available on Google Earth Maps

As we reported last week, the list of LPFM applications filed during the 2013 window is now available. For those of you who might prefer a more visual means of determining where those applications happen to be geographically, our friends at Cavell Mertz have advised us of a nifty feature that they provide – free of charge, thank you very much – through their website at FCCInfo.com. They have layered the LPFM application data onto Google Earth. So if you’ve got Google Earth already loaded on your computer, just click here to access the feature.

(If you don’t have Google Earth loaded yet, you might want to get on that – but be sure to allow several days which you’ll probably diddle away using the program to find images of your house, or your school, or all the major league baseball parks you’ve ever been to, or that place you went fishing a couple of years ago, or . . . you get the idea.)

Once you click on the link above, you will likely get a message asking what program you want to use to get things started. Pick “Google Earth”.

You will then be presented with a Google Earth image of the lower 48 states in the main pane. You should see a vertical sidebar along the left side of screen. (If you don’t, click on “View” in the top menu bar and then click on “Sidebar”.) In the sidebar you should see a line entry reading “2013 LPFM Applications”.  Click on the triangular icon at the far left of that entry and a subfolder named “LPFM Applications by Channel” will appear. Click on the triangular icon at the far left of that entry and a listing of all FM channels will appear.

Now you’re set to explore what channels are being proposed for LPFM use where and by whom. Click on any one of the channel listings in the sidebar, then zoom in on any area on the U.S. image in the main pane. (You can zoom by doubleclicking on a particular area.) Bingo, if there are any LPFM applications on the selected channel in the zoomed-in area, you will see small green indicators, each next to the legend “NEW (FL) – APP”. Those are LPFM applications. Click on an indicator and up will pop a note providing the proposed specs (power, HAAT), Facility ID number associated with the application, and the applicant’s name. You’ll also get a couple of links that take you to additional information about the application.

(And talk about precision! The power and antenna height are calculated out to six (count ’em, six!) decimal places. Those calculations are from the FCC, based on the technical information in the application.)

If you have filed an LPFM application and want to get an idea of whether you have company, this is a handy tool. It should also help full-service licensees concerned about possible nearby LPFM encroachment on their channels. Thanks to Mike Rhodes at Cavell Mertz for passing the word along about this.

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