High Res Terrain Path Profiles

I recent spoke with Dan Sullivan about cnHeat and we got into the weeds a bit about terrain data and lidar. Are there any plans to use the higher resolution terrain data (where available) and/or Lidar data to improve the path profile service? Also using this data to add tree/clutter info to the path would be great.

I’d be willing to pay a reasonable fee to have better profiling capabilities in LinkPlanner, especially if I didn’t have to use Tower Coverage or other profile software to verify what linkplanner tells me.


Hi Chris,

We have investigated adding lidar profiles to LINKPlanner. Unfortunately, the amount of data required for each link means that this is not feasible with the current LINKPlanner architecture. If you have higher-resolution profiles you can always import/paste the data into LINKPlanner, although the prediction models have not been validated with higher resolution terrain data and it may slow things down in LINKPlanner and increase the size of your project files.

We will be releasing v5.0.0 within the next few weeks hopefully. This version will include automatic clutter data on the profiles. We are using the following clutter sources:

- NLCD 2011 Land Cover (2011 Edition, amended 2014)
- 30m resolution

- Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2012
- 100m resolution
- 300m resolution

We will work to add higher-resolution terrain and clutter sources if they are freely available since we have no plans to offer premium features in LINKPlanner today.



Thanks for the info Andy.

I’m not sure when the data was officially released but have you guys looked into using the Multi Resolution Land Cover (MRLC) or the NLCD 2016 for the US in v5.0 or would this be part of the architecture issue you mentioned?



Not yet, but we'll certainly take a look and include in the path profile service if it fits our needs - thanks.


We've tested the profile service with the latest data and it looks promising so far. We still need to do additional validation to confirm that the profile service gives the appropriate categories for different regions. This step can take time, so we may have to go with the older data for the v5 release, and then release this once we are happy.

Thanks for the recommendation. We started work on clutter before this was released and haven't had chance to revisit the data sources before now.

Sounds good. Thanks Andy

Is there an option now to add custom terrain rasters to LinkPlanner? For example, for people who can create their own using LiDAR data for their area, is there a way to import that data to LinkPlanner for use?


You can’t load a custom terrain data into LINKPlanner, but you can import profiles one link at a time.

To do this, select the link and then click File → Import and choose one of the formats (CSV, Pathloss, etc).

You can also copy/paste CSV data directly onto a profile.

Please note that the prediction models have not been validated with high resolution data. Also, if the profiles contain too many points then LINKPlanner will update very slowly and projects will take a long time to save/load.

Your other option is to take a look at cnHeat and see if that can provide you with the results that you need using your data.



We used cnHeat previously, but it is not the same. That tool seems to really be for networks that have been deployed, not for design.

Adding lists of subscribers, the ability to move APs, viewing path profiles… those are all great features of LinkPlanner that are limited by the available data. It would be very useful to be able to import information for an area rather than a path… so design efforts can be validated with good data.

Or, it could be good for cnHeat to gain the features that LinkPlanner has.

We will be providing closer integration of LINKPlanner and cnHeat in the future and we will also support custom terrain data. However, we don’t have release dates for this yet. For now your only option is to load the profiles individually unfortunately.

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