Broadcast Query - Major Release
REC Networks has made a major release of the Broadcast Query Tool (FMQ). The new version has significant improvements in the mapping functionality. Based on how the mapping functionality works, we may use look at expanding it into our other tools.
Summary of changes:
- A majority of the mapping has been moved from the US Census Bureau's TIGER service to Google Maps Open API. We note that the Census Bureau's TIGER system has been extremely unreliable, especially during the week.
- The Google maps give us much more detail on street names and locations than the Census Bureau did.
- You still have the ability to zoom (and unlike the Census maps, you will see street name details at the wider zooms).
- You can now pan within the window.
- FMQ now incorporates the Google Earth satellite imagry so you can now see a satellite photo of where the tower is.
- The display of mapping has been changed so only one map displays on the result. The system will default to Application Record #1. On the application records on the left, there's a new "View Map" link. Clicking this link will bring that application record's map into the map space.
- AM antenna arrays will no longer display as the "mini map" in the application record. Instead, there will be a link to view the map in the map window. You will have full Google Map functionality when viewing towers.
- AM Towers are now identified by alpha characters instead of numbers to be compatible with Google Map functionality.
- The FM Translator map will no longer display by default but will be available for display in the map window by a link in the Translator list. The FM Translator map will continue to use the Census Bureau's TIGER service for map creation.
- Google Map functionality for Traveler's Information Stations (TIS) and for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) functionality was out of scope for this release. We will address these in the future.
- For FM and TV stations (including translators and LP), the curves generated by the Google Maps will be reduced in resolution from every 1 degree to every 3 degrees. This is because unlike the TIGER maps, Google has the capability of drawing polylines where with TIGER, we had to use single reference points. We have found that even at maximum zoom, the three degree resolution is still very accurate. We had found that the 1 degree resolution was causing some maps to load very slowly. We will evaluate feedback on 3-degree resolution.
- Maps will now display for AM stations outside the USA, Canada and Mexico. (We do note that Google does not provide the same detail for these areas as they do for the US and Canada).
- AM antenna array maps may display the same tower ID in two different locations. This is a bug since before the conversion to Google Maps. We are aware of it and are looking into it.
For those who experience problems or do not wish to use the Google Maps version, we have left the legacy version of FMQ online at:
We can not guarantee this tool will get any future upgrades.
Please contact REC with any comments or bug reports. Enjoy the new tool.