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Four ways that UK Free TV maps are better than they were last week

The maps on UK Free TV are provided by the Google Maps API, which is enhanced by a dedicated server that generates the TV transmissions overlays. Over the last week I have also totally rewritten the code that generates all these maps. This was done to have them all generated by the same code, which means I could then improve all the maps at one.

UK Free TV is provided by many complex calculations.    Photograph: Shutterstock
UK Free TV is provided by many complex calculations. Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

The maps I have provide here on UK Free TV are one of the most popular aspects of the site.

I am always trying to improve the speed and usefulness of UK Free TV, so I hope that the recent changes will make things quicker and clearer.

1 Maps load last

The code to show the maps now waits for all the other images and code on the page to be loaded before the map code is run. This actually makes the pages easier to use. You will now see this image for a few moments.

The new maps now have much less clutter on them: gone are the pan control (dragging is easy and works on tablets and phones) and the adverts that appeared on some maps.

You can still zoom using the control on the left, and there is a "pegman" in the corner if you need to enable StreetView: a good way to check out a transmitter or aerial.

2 Better radio maps

The radio maps used multiple-levels of shading before. Whilst this could look attractive, it sometimes - perhaps often - looked a complete mess. Obscuring the place names and road names in a radio transmitter coverage area was not ideal.

The maps now look like this:

See Details of Choice FM DAB radio station for an DAB example and Details of BBC Radio 5 live analogue radio station for analogue radio one .

3 Freeview maps

The "My Freeview" map and the individual Freeview transmitter maps have much less clutter again. You can still find out if there are any phone masts near your house, and if you click on a terrain plot, you can see a much improved line-of-sight map.

Map of Freeview reception at BH217BJ shows an example of a line-of-sight map.

4 Freeview frequencies, regions and faults

Help with Freeview, aerials?
Can I attach a Freeview digibox to a Combi TV/Video unit?1
My high gain aerial can't get all the Freeview channels I expected2
I can't get Freeview yet, when will it start in my area?3
Are there plans to extend the range of regional variations on Freeview?4
How can I Receive Freeview on two TVs using one box?5
In this section
UK Free TV site improvements1
Happy 2016 - welcome to the Golden Age?2
Keep up to date with improved UK Free trends3
Nine new ways UK Free TV makes your life better4
New secure server for UK Free TV5
Lots of ways UK Free TV is little bit better today6

Wednesday, 19 February 2014
7:47 AM

Very good Brian and well done. am very impressed. bet it took a while to set it all up.

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rob's 17 posts GB
9:12 AM

rob: Thanks. It's certainly a non-trivial amount of time to do all this.

It's good to hear that people like it. Makes it worth the time.

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Briantist's 38,784 posts Owner Owner GB
4:11 PM

Briantist;The maps are very helpful to me in a practical way.But when are you going to change the Com7/Com8 Kw powers to the correct levels?

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Aerialman's 135 posts Silver Silver GB
5:36 PM

Aerialman: I am waiting for Ofcom to change their publications.

Digital UK won't allow me to use data from their site because they claim copyright.

Sorry... I can't afford the legal fees!

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Briantist's 38,784 posts Owner Owner GB
Mike Dimmick
6:36 PM

Aerialman: The trouble is that there is no official published list of COM7 power levels. The only way to find out at present is to use Digital UK's coverage checker. I did this back in November: DUK postcode checker gives ERP's of new HD muxes - Technical - Digital Spy Forums

The information from Arqiva's Reference Offer is known to now be incorrect - it does not match the information from Digital UK (power levels are much greater).

Given that the COM7 information is different, and COM8 is not listed by Digital UK yet, COM8 should probably be removed.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Thursday, 20 February 2014
10:29 AM

I have noticed that you have listed Local Ch for Maidstone will be on Ch28 should this be Ch27
Com 6 is on Ch28 from Crystal Palce and would not work. The Ofcom doc says Ch27

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Geoff's 1 post GB
8:53 PM

Thank you,Briantist and Mike Dimmick,i appreciate both your answers.
Surely it is not only helpful but also sensible for this information to be officially published?
After all,this is the way of doing things!is it not?

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Aerialman's 135 posts Silver Silver GB
Friday, 21 February 2014
8:07 AM

From Winter Hill to Emley Moor transmitting station and Pontop Pike and then there is Mendip but not Mendip and Sutton Coldfield and Martlesham and Hope Halifax? What of Connecting it all up?

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Briantist's 38,784 posts Owner Owner GB
Mike Dimmick
6:07 PM

Aerialman: Ofcom should be keeping this information up to date at Ofcom | UK Digital Terrestrial Television Transmitter Frequency and Site Data , but the last update was in October. Alternatively (or additionally) it should be at Ofcom | Multiplex licensees

I presume Arqiva have actually notified Ofcom of their frequency usage and power levels, as they are required to do, it's just Ofcom being ludicrously slow in updating their documents.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts Platinum Platinum GB

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