Pulling of Network Maps

Has anyone else noticed a trend of some network operators that previously offered street-level detailed maps, not only upon request, but also posted publicly have started to only provide them upon quotes?

Not even the popular online mapping services have current-enough-to-be-useful maps.

The claim is that it’s proprietary. A) It wasn’t before and B) No it isn’t. Everything you’ve ever done is a FOIA request or 811 design ticket away.

I’m not sure how this helps the companies. It certainly makes it harder for me trying to piece networks together when they won’t tell me where they are until I give them A and Z locations. If it’s too hard for me to figure out where you are, you just plain won’t get the sale.

The pessimistic (and likely most realistic) take is that enabling potential customers to do research like that is seen as a missed opportunity for a sales contact.

From “Mike Hammett” <nanog@ics-il.net>
To “NANOG” <nanog@nanog.org>
Date 10/26/2023 12:17:22
Subject Pulling of Network Maps

If it’s too hard for me to figure out where you are, you just plain won’t get the sale.

My experience with maps over the last decade tells me that even most vendors don’t actually know where they are. :slight_smile:

I had that too. The map showed a facility was online. It wasn’t. Lots of build to get there.

But it already is publicly available to someone that’s interested enough via the permits issued by the appropriate jurisdictions or if you put in 811 design stage tickets.

So true. And not that young a problem. I leased some dark fiber more
than a decade ago. They sent an unexpectedly expensive build proposal
to connect my building. I asked: "Why are you trenching to the manhole
down the street instead of the one right outside?" They asked, "what
manhole?" Long story short, they dispatched a guy who popped the
cover, pumped the water out of the vault and confirmed that they had a
location they didn't know about.

Bill Herrin

and I get how that could be. We had a design. Gave the prints to the contractors. Someone internally verified the contractors built what was on the prints. A year or two goes by and some laterals ended up costing more because handholes on the prints were never built. Our locator goes to a handhole to send his signal and the handhole doesn’t exist or finds a handhole in a spot not on the prints. Always fun managing OSP.

Well, in fairness: those approaches *leave tracks* for a potential attacker;
picking up published maps does not...

-- jra

On that note, what do you all use for managing OSP? We have been attempting to stand up PatchManager for quite some time, and find it a good product, but the billions of options can be overwhelming…

For our own plant, we use https://mapitright.com/ For managing my collections of others’ maps, I use ArcGIS. Map It Right does all of the slack loops, splice maps, etc. ArcGIS just loads for me a bunch of layers of network map.

We’re on OSPInsight here. Don’t have much exposure to it, but it seems to do the trick well.

3GIS here. Great product.

On that topic, I find it interesting to see how different medium/regional scale ISPs have developed their own in-house GIS systems, once they reach the size and scale where one FTE staff position to run GIS systems/database backend is a necessity.

There is a great deal that can be done with QGIS and entirely GPL/BSD licensed software, if your GIS person has a background in this sort of thing.

Privately hosting a intranet-based tile-server for openstreetmap data and overlaying your own network on top of it is not extremely difficult.

We used to have an FTE for ArcGIS. We got by pretty well until we needed to document circuits down to the NIC level, and then we lost that FTE altogether. PatchManager was chosen from an RFP for its granularity and (seeming) user-friendliness.

3Gis is great. We are switching to Crescent link which seems to be lacking the feature diversity and granularity of 3GIS.

3GIS here