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I need the data for the research I am carrying out for a masters thesis. There are a few maps out there (e.g. http://powermin.nic.in/sites/default/files/uploads/powergrid_map.pdf), but they seem more like schemas and would be difficult and very time-consuming to turn into a shapefile.

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Mapping this would be a nightmare.enter image description here

In the US the FAA has sectional flight maps for Visual Flight, transmission lines are show as navigation aids. By cross referencing these with aerial photography you can digitize a fairly accurate layer. Most power companies do use schematics as the actual position means less then conductivity. However your PDF is a rough guide and will help you identify them. If your stuck digitizing them it's fairly easy as they tend to run in straight lines for mi/km's.

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