Searching, Mapping, & Updating Records for Community Access TV Providers - Notes

Logged-in users may search for any or all U.S. community access television providers in this datebase using the search form described below.  Authorized representatives of these access providers may also use this form to update their organization's information.  This search form can be used to return four different reports:

  1. Contact Information returns street, city, state, zip code and phone number, and, if made public here by the provider, contact name, title, and email address.
  2. Programming Information returns information about the types of programming carried - public access, meetings coverage, local election coverage, etc.
  3. System Information returns basic system information about the community of service, population, first year of operation, franchise expiration date, and AT&T/Verizon carriage.
  4. Social Media returns Facebook and Twitter names, and URLs for YouTube, Blip.tv, Vimeo, and Ustream channels.

Each of these search forms returns rows of multiple results matching the criteria selected.  These results can be sorted by their columns, printed out in spreadsheet format, and mapped via Google Maps.

How Searches Work
 
This search form allows a filtered view of all the records in the database by limiting choices made using its fields, either separately or in combination.  Leaving the form blank and clicking the search button at the bottom returns all records.  Selecting any of the choices in the form restricts the records returned to just those meeting the search criteria.
 
Currently, only these five fields have information for all records:
Organization NameService AreaCityState; and Managed by.
 
Searches based on the other fields currently may seem to surprisingly restrict the results - that's only because the data for that field has not yet been collected and entered into the database.  For example, selecting "Government meetings" (access providers carrying gavel-to-gavel coverage of routine government meetings) currently returns only 86 records - of course we know there are hundreds more.  Over time, as more access providers log-in and update their records, searches on these fields will be more accurate and inclusive.
 
Once results from a search have been returned, all the results together can be viewed on an Interactive Google Map by clicking on "Map these contacts" at the top-left of the results screen.  Any individual result can be seen on a Google map by clicking the word "Map" at the right end of its row.  More complete information on any individual provider can be seen by clicking the word "View" just to the left of the word "Map."
 
The multiple results can also be viewed and printed as a spreadsheet-like list of rows and columns by clicking on the printer icon at the top-right of the results screen.  Clicking on any column header sorts that column in ascending order; clicking on it again sorts it in descending order.
 
Search Parameter Rules
  1. Alphanumeric text fields (Access Service Name, Organization Name, Zip Code, etc):  Search finds a character string anywhere in the field: "Mon" returns Monterey as well as Belmont; "019" returns 01930 as well as 73019.
  2. Numeric fields (Population, 1st Year of Operations, etc): Enter a range of numbers from low (in the first field) to high (in the second).  The thousands-separator comma is not permitted.
  3. Yes/No fields:  Only the "Yes" option reflects any data--as of 3/6/11 that was less than 200 records.  The remaining records, where no data has been entered, currently show up as No in the returned results.  Until this field can be reconfigured, searching for "No" could return many false negatives, since most records currently have blanks in these fields.
Search Form Field Descriptions (from the top)
 
Access Service Name:  This is name the access service is known by.  For some providers this field is currently empty.
 
Service Area: This is the primary area the access provider serves (the geographic reach of the channel); it is usually the franchise area.  If the channel serves more than one community, a plus sign ("+") follows the primary service area name.  If the channel serves an entire county, the prefix "(co)" precedes the county name. 
 
Organization Name:  This is the name of the organization managing the access channel(s).  If it's a nonprofit organization, this should be the name of the corporation.  If the channel is managed by a government department, this should be the name of the government - not the name of the department.  If the channel is managed by a department of a college, university, school or school system, this should be the name of the larger institution, not the department within that institution.
 
Managed by: All access providers in the database have been assigned one of these 8 management types.  Search is allowed on just one at a time, or none.
 
County: "Yes" returns those systems whose channels are seen county-wide.
 
Population: Usually this figure is from the 2000 US Census, and so far usually reflects only the principle franchise area of service.  Most do not yet include the total from other communities that may be reached by the channel.
 
1st-run local hrs/yr:  This is a provider's average annual total non-repeat hours of locally-originated programming.
 
1st year of operations:  This is the first year an access provider began channel operations.
 
Year franchise expires: This is the expiration year of the current cable franchise under which the provider operates.  If there are multiple cable franchises carrying the provider's channel, this is the year for the soonest franchise expiration.
 
On AT&T; On Verizon:  "Yes" returns records for those providers whose channels are also carried on AT&T and/or Verizon cable systems.
 
Shows programs received from the public (public access):  "Yes" shows those providers who play programs received from the public on their channels.  These are typical referred to as "public" access channels.
 
Provides equipment and production training to the public: "Yes" shows providers who make production equipment and training available to the public. Again, this is a service typically provided by what are known as "public" access channels.
 
Government and School Brd/Cmt meetings:  "Yes" shows providers whose channels carry gavel-to-gavel coverage of their routine government and/or school board meetings.
 
Local elections coverage:  "Yes" shows providers who routinely produce some sort of local elections coverage.
 
Elected officials series:  "Yes" shows providers where local elected officials have series programs.
 
Proximity Search:
 
To find providers within a certain distance of an address, city, or zip code, enter the distance here, and the location to measure from.  To use this, the state and country must be selected.

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