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a tool for making FCC Antenna Structure Registration data usable

posted 2024-03-18

Have you ever wanted to know who owns that tower near your apartment building? Or have you ever thought "wow, I sure wish I could visit a cool antenna structure near me this weekend"?

If you answered "no," congratulations, you're normal! If you answered "yes," then I have just the tool for you.

The FCC requires registration and approval for most antenna structures constructed in the United States, through the Antenna Structure Registration process. Since the FCC is a federal entity, these registrations are available under the Freedom of Information Act; the Commission publishes a snapshot of their entire database weekly as Public Access Files.

Digging into these files, it's difficult to immediately do anything with them: coordinates, tower height, and ownership data are in different files. Files are pipe-delimited and a bit painful to parse (for example, some records contain newlines). I wrote asr2geojson to convert these files to several formats. Running make in a checkout of this repository gives you: