Despite the popularity and use of LoRaWAN sensors for quite some time, many are transitioning to helium. The idea is to ensure the growth and sustainability of the network for a more extended period. This effect of building a genuinely reliable and more robust network has led to significant development of Helium Mappers.
Why Should I Contribute to Helium Mappers? Here's What You Should Know
Now, with Mappers Coverage Map, network users can know where the sensor deployments will work best when connected to helium. Since the MCM (Mappers Coverage Map) uses public-sourced information to create a more efficient signal, your contribution is vital to its success and development.
What is Helium Mappers?
Helium Mappers is a community-led project that helps source data about the strong coverage for nodes connecting to the Helium network. It allows network users to see and know the locations already covered by other participants in the coverage mapping project.
For this purpose, you will need to map to the helium network and use the data collected to develop actual coverage via hotspots. But at this point, there isn't one. Various volunteers have joined the mapping project to help build a reliable coverage map.
The idea is to gather data by measuring the strength and coverage of miners in various places around the globe. This will allow users to understand the availability of the LoRaWAN networks when connecting to helium at specific locations.
Here you get a worldwide geographical coverage and network overview of various locations available Helium hotspots. This creates sustainability and helps prove a connection to the Helium network before setting up other devices.
Using a Helium Mapper will allow you to determine accurately and prove whether or not the Helium network is available in a specific area for use.
You can check out the entire helium network at mappers.helium.com to safely prove the helium hotspots available in that area. Also, you should note that Helium Mappers uses H3 hexagon tiles to validate data and gather survey results.
What is Helium Cargo?
Helium cargo is an essential mappers tool for the mapping project, which acts as a GPS tracking device. This helps to pinpoint the location of the nodes( LoRaWAN devices) in the area.
It provides a more specific view and detail of the network coverage than the Helium Mapper- which only shows a simple overview of the location.
But Helium Cargo projects a more detailed mappers visualization, displaying the device name, precise location, and position.
CoverageMap.net is another important mappers tool used in the helium mapping project. It is a third-party tool that displays survey results for helium hotspots and devices. This tool also creates Helium heatmaps for LoRaWAN networks in various locations.
Coveragemap.net is necessary to help you discover the best network coverage in a targeted area. It indicates and measures the strength of the Helium network through coverage measurements into heatmaps, alpha shapes, and radar plots.
How to Join Helium Mappers
Helium mapping project requires the effort of many persons and is open to anyone with the necessary mapper tools and devices. You can use various devices to participate in this mapping project depending on your level of technical know-how.
Preconfigured mappers save users the process of creating a mapping device. It is important to note that users cannot make any changes to the preselected back-end Integrations of these mapping devices. They are well pre-configured and come with Data Credits provided by sellers. So, all you have to do is to turn on the device, and start mapping.
These devices allow you to use and spend your own data credits. Although this device comes with pre-configured Integrations, you can use Mappers API to contribute data to the mapping project. Some of the best Plug and Play mapping devices includes:
DIY mappers allow you to set up a mapper from a personalized Dev board, create your code and add the device to your Helium console. This device will also inform you about LoRaWAN devices on the Helium Network. Some DIY Helium Mappers include:
Helium Mappers kit contains essential tools for building a Helium mapper for your location. Some mapping devices are pre-configured by the sellers and require no extra setup. Everything is fully configured and unadjustable. All you have to do is power on the device and start mapping.
One thing to note is that the configuration may vary depending on your purchase mapper kit. However, if you do not have a fully configured mapper, you can create your mapping device and get started on helium mapping. You can also create a DIY mapping device using various steps.
- The first step is to get a mapping device you can purchase or assemble using different parts. This mapper will serve as a controller with LoRa radio and a GPS.
- We will use the TTGO mapping device for this demonstration- one of the most common mappers that are pretty simple to operate. Once you have your device, connect the LoRaWAN antenna and plug it into your computer via the micro USB port.
- The next step is downloading the visual studio code to program your hardware (mapping device). Once you have installed the software, the next step would be to add an "add-on" called "Platform io'' in the VScode, and you're good to go.
- Now all you need is software for your mapper. If you're using a TTGO mapper, head to GitHub and download the software for this device.
- Lastly, before you can do anything, you need to create a Helium account which allows you to view the information of devices connected to the Helium Console. Log in and add your new device to the Console.
The setup process is pretty much the same for any mapping device, and it is also essential for you to have an idea about Mappers API —which is a crucial method for submitting data to the Helium Mappers project.
How Mappers Work
Well, the Helium Mappers is a community-driven project that depends on a collective effort to build a more robust network at a low cost, hence the mapping project. This project involves people purchasing Helium hotspots or gateways connecting LoRaWAN devices to the internet.
It helps to build a 'true coverage map' for users to validate the helium network and determine the signal strength in specific locations.
Every data and result collected goes into developing a reliable signal for broader coverage areas and locations. This way, users can locate a hotspot miner in a specific area through the data provided.
Also, if the hotspots you are mapping are your own, you will be able to earn in HNT via the data credits you can generate. Helium ensures that hotspots receive data credits and payment for data packets transferred or receive for mapping.
FAQsQ: What is the Mappers Coverage Map?
The Mappers Coverage Map is a community-driven project that provides data about adequate coverage for nodes such as LoWaRAN end devices. With the Coverage Map, users can validate if the hotspot is located in a specific location showing the network overview.
Q: Why Should I Contribute to Mapping?
The central idea behind Mappers Coverage Map is to build a more robust Helium network by acquiring data by real-world mapping coverage at a low cost. Contributing to this mapping project will help users have a more detailed data analysis on the most likely area for sensor deployments.
Q: Can I Participate in the Mapping Project?
Yes. The Mapper Coverage Map is a joint community effort; anyone with the tools and devices can participate in the program. Coverage mapping is entirely voluntary and will help enhance the development of real-world networks created by Helium.
Q: Can I use Mappers for my hotspot deployments?
Yes, you can. For this to work, you will need to discover new locations for hotspots and gather real-world data on the signal strength of your hotspot. Once you find an area with a reliable network, you can connect your device to the hotspot.