Regions

This document outlines the map-based tool and process to see and fix problems with regions and stations in the regions.

RadioTime Regions

One definition of regions is bottom-up: to produce a close approximation of unique AM and FM stations available on the local radio dial. Regions are also defined top-down to represent an economic and cultural entity where there is sufficient radio to justify the region.

Top level regions are continents, followed by countries. Then, depending on the particular country, states or provinces may be used. Finally, regions can be defined by major cities or population areas. The goal is to include radio broadcast stations in the lowest region available.

However, the general model of Country/State-Province/City can be broken to avoid useless categories when coverage is thin. For example, the African continent only has a few hundred stations. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to create a region for every major city in every country in Africa.

In the United States, radio markets are defined by Arbitron (e.g. Dallas-Fort Worth).

Radio stations are often national or international without any local orientation. For example, Internet radio, satellite radio and regional or national distribution through terrestrial networks are not focused on a local market. Still, the stations have an actual operating home city that should be defined if possible.

ZIP codes are a special calculated regions. These are not discussed, and manual administration is not usually required. You’ll see the counts on the region form.

You can browse the location tree here.

Scrubbing Regions

The goals for scrubbing regions:

  1. Verify the region center is appropriate for the region. Stations are automatically added to a local region based on distance to the region center.
  2. Be sure we have the right collection of regions for the underlying stations available. Where a collection of stations across two markets are sufficient to justify a region for each market, the second market should be created. Likewise, when a region has too few stations or is otherwise too close to a nearby region, the region can be removed and the stations consolidated.

Using the Region Mapalyzer

A. Browse to The Region

Using the region analyzer tool, simply browse to the top level region. In this case the UK. Editors with moderator rights will have an Analyze link on the RadioTime location browse.

Click the Analyze link …

Analyze link
Analyze link

… to see all sub-regions on a map:

Regions on a map
Regions on a map

B. Place Any Unmappable Regions

Click “Enable Edit” and “Update Settings.” This allows you to move a region by dragging the market.

Expand the Map scale to see the equator at the meridian, then move the set of regions without a location to the approximate location. Zoom in to now center them as needed.

Map showing un-mappable regions
Map showing un-mappable regions

C. Center All Regions

You can see the region by clicking the marker to read the name. Or, use the list on right-side. Click “Focus” to center the region marker on the map.

In the example below, the region for London is about 50 miles north of where it should be placed:

Center a region
Center a region

Now, move the marker to center the region based on roads, mountains and other indicators for the population center of that region.

[Dave, how can the admin re-associate all stations to the updated regions?]

D. Review and Fix Unmappable Stations

Click “Show Station Densities” to create a picture of all stations on the map. It will also show a list of every station in the parent region that may belong in a sub-region but has not been placed because it does not have a verified city.

Unmappable stations
Unmappable stations

Click the “StationID” to open it. Then update the city, click “verify” and save. This adds the station to the correct region.

Select a city
Select a city

Refresh the map page for a current list of stations that need verified locations.

Note: Often by adding a correct location you’ll find duplicates and related problems with the stations themselves. This step can be the longest and most difficult. If needed, add a task or make a note for follow-up work, like collecting all other stations in the network group.

E. Re-size Region

Check “Enable Edit,” and submit the page. That lets you move regions or edit by clicking on the map. Click on a region to change the polygon or change the radius. To change the radius for a set of regions (like all regions in Germany), click the “Toggle Batch Edit Child Region” link, and enter the new radius.

F. Review Stations Placement for The Region

The prior steps correct locations for the regions and station locations. Now you are ready to review the set of stations within the region.

Use the map view to see stations that should be moved to a different region. Expand the map to look for stations outside of the natural area.

Use the map to see where new regions are needed. Review the scale and topography of the map, and click the red dots for a count of the stations inside the city.

To create a new region click “Toggle Add Child Region.”

Adding a child region
Adding a child region

Likewise, if adjacent regions should be consolidated, simply delete a region and move or rename the remaining one. To do this, [Dave, how?]

Removing Stations From Regions

You can manage regions with the Mapalyzer. But, stations are actually added or removed from regions based on a calculated distance, when the location matches a region location (city+state+country).

To remove a station from a region, first edit the station with RadioMill. Then click the regions link, and remove any that don’t apply.

station-regions-link

Link to station regions

Assigned regions

Assigned regions

Considerations When Deleting or Updating Regions

  • Search engine and external links to a removed region will be broken. For any major changes, coordinate with development to include a redirection page.
  • Region changes do not update local radio. This has been entered as a bug report.
  • Only Administrators can delete a region.
  • Don’t rename a region for a different purpose.

When The System Grabs Ambiguous/Wrong City

# Pick an adjacent city that is not ambiguous
  [No way to know if ambiguous?].
# Update the correct Geonames entry with population.
# Run a new Geonames process.
# Update the station with the correct location name.