Mapping the world a better place, one hexagon at a time.
Mobile carriers all claim to have the best coverage in the most places. But do they really? CoverageMap shows real coverage and performance based on the results of crowdsourced and RootMetrics’ own testing.
When LTE was introduced, download speed became a huge deal. And carriers started touting their LTE coverage and speed on a national level.
Early CoverageMap versions lacked technology and speed layers and limited how far you could zoom out to roughly the size of Washington State (the state, not the university). So there was no way to verify speed or LTE coverage at a national level. It was time to catch up with the changes in the industry.
- Introduce a nationwide view of performance.
- Add new speed and technology layers. Color schemes that work at all zoom levels.
- Completely redesign the experience for desktop and tablet.
We needed this map to work equally well at nationwide and street levels. Changing the zoom level properties for Google Maps was the easy part. The problem was the same hexagon size that encapsulates a few blocks of a neighborhood was barely a pixel when you zoomed out to a nationwide level. And a hexagon you could distinguish at nationwide level covered entire cities at the street level — hardly a neighborhood view of performance.
The ultimate solution was large hexagons at the nationwide level and small hexagons at the street level, with three transitional layers between them. The large hexagons, which are aggregates of the small hexagons they encapsulated, would fade out to expose the smaller hexagons as the user zooms in.
The green to black scheme for call performance stayed, as it works well for a good to bad range. Technology and speed are different. No technology or speed is necessarily better than another, it’s all relative to how you use your phone. Rather than distinguish good from bad, these layers were designed to emphasize the latest technology and the fastest speeds.