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Crunch a spreadsheet on Windows

Windows CSV

Using the CloudRF API 2.0, you can process an entire spreadsheet of site data in one go to make a complete network coverage map. This tutorial assumes you are a Windows user with minimal programming experience. It uses the free scripts available to download as a ZIP from

Power users can use the Python clients to integrate into their back-end system(s) for a light but powerful upgrade to your workflows. Trust us when we say our 32C servers are more powerful than yours!

1. Prepare your data

Your data needs to be in a basic comma separated CSV spreadsheet (known as MS-DOS CSV format in Microsoft Excel). The top row should be column headers defined at but can be whatever names you like so long as they map to the JSON request template.

You can find example CSV files called ‘area.csv’ and ‘path.csv’ in the examples or download them from here:

Sites template

The CSV file is used for variables like location.

Hardware/request template

The JSON file used for fixed values like power. Note it has placeholders which map to variables in the CSV…

2. Setup your configuration file

Open a console in the ‘windows’ folder (Shift right click to open the power menu) in the folder you unzipped and run area.exe with no arguments. This will create a blank ‘cloudrf.ini’ file. Edit this file in a text editor so it contains your credentials and a destination folder for files, relative to your location:

key = 101-IBIZA.DEMO.KEY

strict_ssl = True
base_url =

dir = data

3. Process your data

Open a console in the ‘windows’ folder in the folder with the .exe files. Call the program followed by the CSV file and an output format eg. KMZ.

area.exe -i 3sites.csv -t drone.json

Or for the Path Profile API with PNG chart images…

path.exe -i link.csv -t drone.json

If your data is well formatted, you will see results appear in your terminal for each row. Any errors will report the offending line from the JSON which normally means a missing or misspelled column name in the CSV.

points.exe -i route.csv -t drone.json

Use your results

Everything you do is stored on the server. The demo script also pulls down a KMZ file for each calculation but if you want to see your finished result, login to the web interface at and open your archive. You will find your spreadsheet has become a coverage map! You can use the data either in the web interface, download it from there as a KMZ, SHP or TIFF file. If you want to publish or share the data you can get a URL or HTML embed code to host the layer on your own website.

Create a super layer

You can merge all your sites into one layer for convenience with the ‘mesh’ API.

Create a super layer by visiting this URL in any browser with your UID and network name. The layer can be named whatever you like but will belong to the ‘mesh’ network group within you archive. If you have lots of large sites this can take a minute a site so be patient and check your archive later.{your UID}&network={your network}&name={superlayer}

Change and repeat

Once you’ve got your result its quite common to wonder what effect a different parameter might have. To change a value for all columns, change it for the first row eg. set txw (Transmitter power in Watts) to 2 then copy that value into all the rows below. Save the CSV file and reprocess with the command as before. You will need a new network name (net) to keep your new files separate. In your web archive you can then go and select the network with the old parameters and delete it by checking the box and clicking the trash can icon.

Alternative languages / scripts

The simple API can be used with any other language. You can find examples of Javascript forms from the API clients downloaded in the example above and more languages over at Expert users don’t even need a desktop as you can use CURL from a shell environment:

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Exporting to QGIS with SHP

Exporting your data to a GIS platform such as ESRI Arcmap or QGIS allows you to tightly integrate RF coverage layers with other business intelligence such as customer locations.
The TIFF and SHP export formats offered by the expert plan will let you open the layers in a GIS platform. For maximum control over styling you can choose a greyscale colour key called ‘Greyscale GIS’ within the interface or API (col=9) which has a different numeric value for each dB level. This high level of granularity means you can style your shape file to the nearest dB.

Styling CloudRF shape files in QGIS 2.18

  1. Create your coverage layer using the greyscale GIS colour schema.
  2. Download the layer as an ESRI shape file (SHP) and open in QGIS
  3. Right click the layer and open its properties, then ‘style’
  4. Change the type to ‘Graduated’ then pick a colour schema or define your own
  5. Click classify to load in the dB/dBm values. Note that a negative -60dB value will be (+)60 due to the way the levels are represented as positive grey pixel values.
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GIS platforms

Through the use of popular raster and vector overlay standards (GTIFF, SHP, KMZ) CloudRF supports most popular GIS platforms.

Downloaded GIS layers are available in projections EPSG 4326 (WGS-84) or EPSG 3857 (Web mercator).


A comprehensive list of the system’s features and capabilities is here.

Google earth (KMZ)

Cloud-RF has a unique interactive layer for Google earth called ‘Keyhole Radio’. This allows you to perform planning direct from within the platform without the need for a web browser. Get all your data layers together on one map.


CloudRF exports to GTIFF and SHP formats both of which are compatible with the popular open source QGIS platform.


CloudRF exports to GTIFF and SHP formats both of which are compatible with the popular Mapinfo platform.


CloudRF exports to GTIFF and SHP formats both of which are compatible with the popular ESRI Arc family of GIS platforms.