North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: Soviet era maps of Moscow (was Re: Backbone Infrastructure and Secrecy)

  • From: N. Richard Solis
  • Date: Wed Jul 09 14:20:52 2003

 I can tell you that FREQUENTLY the maps dont match the reality of utility placement.  Especially w.r.t. fiber paths.  VERY few cable maps that are availaible accurately reflect splice points or interconnects between mutiple cables entering a vault.  Without access to the specific GPS points and the described arcs that are the foundation of a true GIS representation of installed plant, the maps are useless for anything more specific than knowing whether you are close enough to a fiber route even bother seeing if you can jump onto it.

At a power company that I worked at we had a huge GIS implementation going on.  Every pole, conduit, and cable was entered into the system along with all of the "active" elements like transformers and the like.  We had guys running around with GPS backpacks that received differential GPS coordinates and would walk the routes to enter the data with information about what they were standing next to.  With all of that effort, we would find that the map overlays that represented the streets and homes were so inaccurate that frequently a pole would appear as if it was right in the middle of the of a major roadway.  Thus began the process of cleaning up the city GIS implementation.  It was much better than the maps we had but it wasn't perfect.  Sometimes the data doesn't get quite the sanity checking that it should.  Skill levels differ between mapmakers.

Sean Donelan wrote:
> On Tue, 8 Jul 2003, Pete Kruckenberg wrote:
> > So, instead, we will all continue to blindly buy "redundant"
> > infrastructure that uses the same fiber bundles, because we
> > don't have the information to make a more intelligent
> > choice. Just makes it easier for a terrorist to do his job.
> All the "official" soviet maps of Moscow were filled with errors
> because someone thought it would keep invaders from figuring out
> how to drive through the city.  Instead most tourists bought
> Moscow maps from the US Central Intelligence Agency, because they
> were more accurate than the soviet maps.
> The Automobile Association of America has long offered "triptiks" as
> a membership benefit.  Tell AAA the starting and ending points of
> your trip, and they will create a customized map booklet of the entire
> route. Think how useful a AAA membership would be to a terrorist.
> I haven't seen Sean Gorman's maps so I don't know if he has really
> put together something unique, or its similar to the same types of
> maps other people create as we've built our networks.  The
> interesting thing about many maps is how often they are incorrect,
> just like the soviet era maps of Moscow.  Just because a map show fiber
> runs between two points doesn't mean either the fiber or the circuits
> actually follow the line on the map.  Would you consider 50 mapping
> errors per trench mile good or bad?  At an Underground Damage Prevention
> conference one of the speakers was explaining how to reduce the error
> rate.
> The second phase of frustration about network design is once you've
> managed to get a map, finding out the real world doesn't match the map.
> BTW, I'm still looking for decent network mapping software :-)