Continental Mapping provides geospatial services to 7th largest telecom provider - TDS Telecommunications Corporation - in the United States.

TDS Telecommunications Corporation.  TDS Telecommunications Corp (TDS), located in Madison, WI, is the seventh largest telecom provider in America. TDS has grown extensively and now serves customers across 30 states. Continental Mapping is assisting TDS in the automation and migration of primary geospatial data for rural exchanges throughout the United States.

Over the last 40 years TDS has embraced existing and developing technologies to better manage their infrastructure and service their customers. This mindset presents some challenges to TDS, including the collection of a great deal of geospatial data in various formats, accuracies, lineage, quality, and currency. Diverse geospatial datasets makes proactive management difficult for individual phone exchanges as well as the overall infrastructure holdings of TDS.

To assist in addressing this issue, TDS enlisted the aid of Continental Mapping in providing a variety of geospatial data development efforts including CAD to GIS data migrations, paper to digital data automation, and a broad review of mapping technologies and capabilities. All Continental Mapping efforts and deliverables are done in the context of a fast paced, cutting edge enterprise GIS deployment, including their recent deployment of a modified version of Esri’s telecom geodatabase model.

Migration of existing CAD data to TDS’s GIS is a critical initiative. One such example includes over line miles of infrastructure spanning several counties in Wisconsin. Continental Mapping’s technicians moved and scaled existing digital CAD drawings and checked the location of overhead lines and poles using what imagery and data was available. At the end of the project, Continental Mapping delivered an Esri’s geodatabase with phone lines, conduits, poles, and miscellaneous utilities tied to a georeferenced base map. Data automation for rural exchanges is also critical to TDS as they own many rural phone exchanges. This project involved strict adherence to their customized data model and converting hand drawn light and utility field notes into a digital format that could be loaded into their geodatabase.

Our cooperation is allowing TDS to better manage their service areas, expand product offerings, and improve overall network management. By using photogrammetric methods and creating consistent GIS data, TDS can perform key business functions such as trace route analysis for outage management, network strategy planning for line expansion, and utilize enterprise data models to house all geospatial data in one environment. With the telecommunications industry continuing to grow through web based TV, advanced mobile devices, and high speed internet, these changes lead to the consumer getting better services and faster solutions.

TDS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. a Fortune 500 company providing wireless, local, and long-distance telephone and broadband services to approximately 7 million customers.