Using GIS to Map a Wi-Fi WAN Network in Murang'a County
Many studies have been conducted on the best method for setting up wireless links in remote and rural areas, most having opted either to research on factors affecting electromagnetic dispersion or the effect of vegetation on transmission power. In this study, the effect of terrain in a Geographic Information System (GIS) setting and how it influences wireless network transmission over a mountainous terrain was considered. This aimed at exploring factors that have previously hindered effective establishment of wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) in Murang'a County that can effectively be utilized by various stake holders to establish a reliable wireless communication network. . A lot of progress has been made in GeospatiaJ technology, enabling easy creation of three dimension (3 D) perspective image maps using remote sensing data and Global Positioning System (GPS). This has enabled the creation of complex optimum wireless paths for communication. This paper investigates the best way to set up an optimum wireless optimum path over a proposed mountainous terrain of Murang' a to solve existing communication problems experienced by the Murata Sacco. Considered were the effects of terrain and vegetation, their interaction in a geospatial model and resulted in a wireless pilot link between Murata headquarter in Murang'a Town and Gatugi branch in Gatugi location. The resultant finding can then be replicated to enhance communication requirement throughout other Murata Sacco branches and at the village level in Murang' a County and in other similar Sacco and investments elsewhere. It was established that without a proper gee-location map and geospatial analysis of terrain among the many other factors affecting transmission, a wireless pilot link cannot be successfully established.