The challenges of building geospatial truthsets.
We were humbled to have SafeGraph’s Ryan Fox Squire as the featured guest on Mapscaping. We are huge fans of Mapscaping. If you aren’t a listener, you should be!
You can listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Collecting and validating geospatial data for every commercial location in the USA and Canada is not an easy task. It requires aggregation of data from multiple sources and formats. This data then needs to be validated and decisions need to be made about which data sources represent the truth in the case of conflicting data. Safegraph does this weighing datasets based on certain criteria and using a voting system.
Data is being scraped and curated from multiple different sources but it some cases it is also necessary to create data. Think of the use case of a shopping center. If you think of the shopping center as being a collection of geometries where the entire shopping center is the parent geometry and the individuals business in the shopping center are child objects. In this situation Safegraph has had to digitize entire shopping centers manually in order to properly represent the parent/ child geometry relationships.
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That's it – that's all we do. We want to understand the physical world and power innovation through open access to geospatial data. We believe data should be an open platform, not a trade secret. Information should not be hoarded so that only a few can innovate.