SafeGraph sells facts about places. We strive to be a super transparent company and have always provided our full data schema available online. Our mission is to empower data scientists working on humanity’s hardest problems.
The SafeGraph Places dataset includes where businesses are located, when they’re open, and what neighboring businesses surround them. Any and all of the places in our datasets are easily searchable online. It’s all out there. We even list our bugs and errors every month.
SafeGraph just sells facts.
Most of the organizations that use our facts want to know about things like the store hours of the local cafe. The store hours actually change a lot (and during peak COVID they were changing weekly) and a lot of people want to know that information.
We also have data about the geometry of a physical place. Like understanding the shape of your local gym or understanding all the parking lots in your metro area.
SafeGraph only focuses on the truth. So here are a few truths:
We only sell data about physical places (not individuals). Our data is available to anyone to buy. Our schema is public. There is nothing hidden. Even VICE (an online news organization) bought our data and we would never prevent them from getting the data. We also give the SafeGraph data away for free to 15,000+ researchers and academics who use the data in amazing ways. We also have over 100 reporters from some of the nation’s best press institutions use the data. We encourage you to get the data and see it yourself.
We service tons of different use cases. Here are the main use cases of the SafeGraph data:
We build facts about physical places and that’s all we do. We have competitors that also sell this type of data … but we think we’ve been successful because we have focused on the veracity of the data.
Part of democratizing access to data means making it available in a self-serve way. But of course, making data convenient and accessible also has drawbacks. It means we aren’t able to fully control who buys the data. But we’ve never tried to censor or hide anything.
But there are always extreme hypothetical corner cases, and in some cases these are worth actively preventing.
We will still have Places and Geometry data about Family Planning Centers (like their locations and operating hours). Family Planning centers like Planned Parenthood make their location data public because they want to serve their constituents.
These decisions are never easy and there will certainly be more conflicting situations in the future. SafeGraph is committed to remaining dynamic and advancing our mission of democratizing data in a privacy-safe way.