The Benefits of Using Clearion and Esri for Fiber Design and Field Data Collection

Posted by Daniel Gardner

As technology advances in the realm of field data collection, professionals in almost every industry must learn to adapt to keep up with the times. Some of the big players in the telecom industry have found that older data collection methods such as using measuring tape for buried fiber optic cable just doesn’t cut it anymore.

High-resolution GPS units, tailored software solutions on mobile devices, and highly accurate fiber locators are replacing the old methods of operation. Clearion and its partners have developed and implemented a complete data collection and storage solution for one of the largest global telecom carriers in the world.


Using a practical agile approach, incremental improvements have been made over the past nine (9) years resulting in a mature capital construction project management solution that enables collaboration between engineers, consultants, and other stakeholders. The trend to bring the field to the desktop isn’t a new one but a powerful tool that takes the office out to the field is more practical. And it works. This approach improves efficiency, safety, oversight, and minimizes time spent deciphering poor field notes.

Let me describe how this is done. By using fiber locators capable of accurately displaying the depth and position of buried fiber optic cable in real-time, data collection for field engineers is as simple as walking the route, running line, and taking readings at regular intervals. These readings are then captured on rugged tablets and stored within an Esri database. This method of data collection is convenient and efficient as it allows the field engineer to walk the route and simply press a single button to collect data at each location.

Aside from the convenience, this method of data collection is less hazardous to the field engineer, as they no longer need to measure from the edge of the pavement or centerline of the nearest road. Once data has been collected in the required area, the field engineer can upload data to the digital cloud, where it can immediately be accessible by a CAD Operator or Project Manager. This improves collaboration and eliminates downtime often experienced when the surveyed area is not located near the office where design is complete.

Other industries including electric and gas utilities, pipeline, and transportation also realize the benefits of this type of technology to improve safety and streamline the operation. Aside from field data collection, Clearion hosts a database containing a multitude of fiber information that has never before been as conveniently accessible at such a large scale.

In the next blog, we will further explore the benefits of Clearion’s complete solution by discussing the online portal.