Point of Interest (POI) Data
The Ultimate Guide to Point of Interest (POI) Data 2021
The Ultimate Guide to Point of Interest Data
Point of interest / Place of interest (POI) data is effectively a data representation of almost all the key locations and places in the physical world. It refers to the location’s purpose and the movement and behavioral patterns of people who visit it. The potential from POI information is vast - and much of it is still untapped. More and more marketers, advertisers, investors and businesses are unlocking location-based solutions with a comprehensive POI database and POI APIs. Read on to learn how organizations are utilizing points of interest in 2020.
What is point of interest data?
Point of interest (POI) data is information about real-world geographical locations which explains who the place is interesting to and why. Points of interest can be a simple, everyday locations, such as retail and grocery stores, restaurants, parks, malls, gas stations, tourist attractions, hotels, and so on. The GPS coordinates can also represent unique places, like monuments and heritage sites, such as the Statue of Liberty, or geographically significant points like cities or geographical landmarks (think Mount Everest).
A POI can be either temporary, such as a small retail store, or permanent, like a monument or heritage site. Thanks to smartphone maps on our mobile devices, consumers can identify and visit points of interest with ease. Scores of people visit POIs because they are easy to find and often provide a service or experience that is in demand.
This makes them perfect places for collecting data about these visitors - their behavior, their movement. The collected data can then be used to learn more about the POI location and the individuals who visit it, which can in turn be used to both improve the experience for these individuals by catering to their needs and tailoring engage them in relevant ways. Top-quality data about these POIs is useful for a broad spectrum of applications and use cases, especially POI marketing.
It’s important to note that POI data is not the same as POS (point of sale) data! Whereas point of sale data is a sub-category of retail and commerce data, point of interest data is a branch of geospatial data, alongside location data and GIS data. Though their names are similar, the attributes of POI and POS data are very different, as are the use cases associated with them.
What are the attributes of point of interest data?
Point of interest data contains several core attributes about the places it describes, including name, function, and location in the form of both address and geographical coordinates. POI data generally possesses an incredible level of spatial granularity, which is reflected in its attributes.
The core attributes of point of interest data include:
- Place name
- Latitude and longitude coordinates
- Contact Information
- Franchise information
The data’s attributes will be contingent on what the point of interest is, and how the data provider manages POI data collection.
What are some point of interest data examples?
The most common examples of POI data include restaurants, retail stores, and grocery stores. Retailers and retail data analytics companies apply POI data to get lists of the exact locations of such stores. Together with store location information, they use metadata concerning foot-traffic to POIs in terms of number of visitors to help enhance trade area analysis. Furthermore, ad-tech companies formulate geo-fences from the information obtained in POI to assist them in the development of audiences. A geo-fence is a way of marking the boundaries of a POI to identify where consumers visit and why.
What’s the difference between point of interest and GIS data?
While a point-of-interest represents an outlined physical location of specific interest, such as restaurants, retail stores, and grocery stores, geographic and GIS data refers to general spatial and geographic data. GIS systems are computer-based tools that give users the mechanisms upon which to formulate queries, store and edit spatial/non-spatial information, evaluate spatial data results and eventually share the findings on map systems. As such, POI data is a sub-category of GIS data.
How is point of interest data collected?
Data vendors can collect POI data from various sources, including onsite visits, media platforms, government databases, and geocoding services. Each POI source and its collection method will have its advantages and disadvantages, and the majority of POI data providers utilize several sources and methods to get around the weaknesses of any one kind of collection method.
The primary sources and collection methods for point of interest data include:
Onsite Data Collection
With this method, data vendors source data from the location of the point of interest itself. Field representatives collect data onsite to provide a firsthand record of the location. This has the advantage of data originating from a first-party and providing a comprehensive look at the several details of the actual site.
The disadvantage of onsite data collection is that it tends to require a larger amount of financial resources and personel in comparison to other methods, making it more costly and less scalable.
Moreover, its efficacy might be limited by weather conditions and the resources available during the visit (such as flashlights, specialist knowledge, drones etc.). Due to these challenges, it is also unlikely that the data will be updated regularly, meaning that it may lose accuracy over time and become less context-aware.
Geocoding means converting addresses into geographical coordinates (longitude and latitude). These coordinates can then be used to pinpoint certain locations on a digital map. This is incredibly useful if you want to quickly get an overview of the points of interest in a certain vicinity, or to calculate the size of a building’s footprint.
The downside of making use of geocoding as a POI information collection method is that it is limited in scope - it can show you the POI’s physical location, but little contextual information, such as what it’s used for and who frequently visits it. It’s also sometimes challenging to verify the data’s accuracy when it’s collected via geocoding.
It’s increasingly common for data providers to source POI data via media platforms such as from social media channels or TripAdvisor. Data providers use AI and other software to recognise locations with high consumer intent and online traction. The benefit of leveraging a media platform is how easily and swiftly data providers can collect data for a great number of points of interest. This makes sourcing from media platforms both an efficient and scalable collection method.
One disadvantage of this collection method is that media platforms tend to only gather information about certain kinds of points of interest, namely those with massive amounts of foot traffic. However, this is not always a downside as it is often most beneficial to know more about more popular POIs for the purposes of sales or location-based marketing.
A further disadvantage is the potential for the information to be incorrect or skewed due to the social media poster’s own biases, though with numerical data like the name and address of a POI, this is often not an issue.
Government and Official Sources
Most governments and official establishments are keen to obtain high-quality point of interest data which covers the areas they preside over. Where possible, POI data providers consult government documents and official records about points of interest in a given city, region or country.
However, it can be tricky to acquire this information if access is restricted due to privacy concerns. Moreover, while it will encompass several established and registered points of interest, the data might not consider smaller, temporary or more obscure points of interest that are overlooked by governing bodies, but are nonetheless of commercial value.
3rd Party Point of Interest Services
Popular 3rd party platforms like Street Maps and Google Places API offer exceedingly accurate, real-time point of interest information. However, they do not always disclose all of this information to open-source data collection platforms or the public.
How do you find point of interest?
The process of finding POI data entails collection methods that range from POI collection files, geocoding services, voluntarily-provided POI information, and third-party POI data collection services. POI data providers/vendors are equipped with technologically advanced POI data collection and management systems which offer one-stop multifunctional capabilities of acquiring, storing, processing, management and distribution of POI data. One of the toughest tasks as far as collecting POI data is concerned is simply that the physical world is constantly changing. This means that maintaining precise data on places requires real-time POI data. As such, when you’re looking to buy POI data, it is critical that the provider is able to navigate around this problem via their collection methods.
What are the use cases for point of interest data?
There are numerous applications and use cases for POI data. As software applications and GPS enabled devices that make use of digital maps become more readily available, the number of use cases for POI datasets and products is growing.
Primarily, a point of interest map API is used by businesses and retailers to make informed decisions and create effective marketing and advertising campaigns. POI data comes into play at every stage of business development, from retail site selection to geotargeting. Both use cases require POI data to ensure that stores and ads are situated in places of interest and so will attract the target audience.
POI data is also used by technology companies to enhance the consumer experience. For instance, the latest digital camera models can tag a photograph automatically by making use of the GPS location at which the photo was taken. The user can then overlay these photographs as points of interest on a satellite image like on Google or digital maps. This can be useful for businesses looking to learn what their customers are most interested in at specific locations and how they might move around these locations.
Navigation developers can build geocaching applications around point of interest collections and other GIS data. In automobile tracking systems, point of interest data is used in origin-destination analysis to monitor popular commuter routes so that GPS tracking software users can suggest routes, as well as determine the vehicle’s position and movement in relation to local points of interest.
Who is using POI data?
Organizations mostly use point of interest data to assess a location and how consumers behave there. Businesses also
use the data to track the performance of their brick and mortar stores, as well as that of their competitors.
Marketers and Advertisers
There is no doubt that point of interest data is critical to the success of advertising campaigns. Today, it is not enough for marketers and advertisers to just understand the purchasing habits of their consumers – they also have to use context-smart visit detection to know where campaign-relevant customer activities take place. POI marketing ensures that campaigns and strategies consider places with high footfall rates and which are relevant to the brand or business.
This is where point of interest data comes in handy. POI mapping allows marketers to visualize real-world locations and monitor mobile activity there in real-time (for instance, foot traffic in and around restaurants, stores, tourist sites etc.).
Monitoring is possible by constructing geofences around the POI. Geofences are virtual polygons drawn around a building footprint. They utilize location data to keep an eye on who leaves, enters, or spends time around a POI, and what the context of their visit is. Coding developers can then program them to send pertinent messages to the mobile devices of consenting users who’re displaying signs of buyer intent when they cross the geofence boundary.
POI data, when coupled with location data from smartphones, offers extra context that enables marketers and advertisers to assess where customers go and why. This allows them to target consumers efficiently: with personalized messages, at the most appropriate time.
Retail outlets make use of point of interest databases to monitor the performance of their stores across multiple locations, as well as that of their competitors.
When looking to build brand new brick and mortar stores, organizations can leverage information from places or competitors in close vicinity to drive traffic from local events and attractions towards them. They can also utilize metadata about a point of interest like foot traffic (number of visitors) and category (NAICS code) to power trade area analysis and selection of a site.
Furthermore, point of interest data also assists brands in comparing sales between different stores from all over the country. What brands learn from one location that is performing positively could well be used to generate sales in another location that is not performing so well. In this way, a business can boost its overall profit.
In employee management terms, retail organizations can also assess the accessibility and proximity of their company to transport links for component suppliers and employees. In this way, companies can enhance employee satisfaction and streamline distribution processes, creating a more productive store.
Real Estate Investors and Agents
Apart from mortgage and price, people consider several things when they relocate to a new home. When they move, they want to know about what’s in their catchment area: nearby hospitals, schools, attractions, amenities, and much more. All of the aforementioned things fall under the POI umbrella, and this type of valuable data provides real estate investors with insight into how the real estate market might perform in certain areas.
Real estate investors can leverage POI APIs as well. Point of interest data boosts transparency when investigating a community’s health and learning which communities have the maximum potential for investment.
In addition, using POI data, commercial real estate agents can pinpoint different companies and the industry each works in, and if there are any similar companies operating in the area. They can also learn how small or large these companies are. A commercial estate agent can provide a client with potential business opportunities based on POI insights: whether a particular area is an ideal place for a new restaurant, small manufacturing business, or a retail store.
Local Governments and Official Institutions
Local governments utilize point of interest data regularly, which makes sense, given that they are often both a great source and authority on POIs in their area of jurisdiction.
Here are some of the most common ways governments of all scales can use POI data:
Identifying and filling gaps in public service establishments like hospitals, schools, public libraries, etc. Governments can analyze neighborhood movements to see where families are suffering from insufficient resources and make the required modifications.
The government can also use POI data to track, assess, and monitor the fluctuating retail landscape of city centers over the passage of time. From a historical perspective, this is hugely important as it indicates local economic trends.
This enables the local government to plan better resource distribution in terms of local tourism and business opportunities.
An additional use of point of interest data is to enhance a town’s safety by linking potential trouble areas to crime clusters. Equipped with this information, local governments can provide support to these troubled areas and improve safety.
In automobile tracking systems, a point of interest is used to mark any potential stops along the way to the destination as well as the place of destination itself.
Transportation agencies can leverage point of interest data to devise better routes and manage traffic flow around points of interest. This boosts both the efficiency of the route and the quality of the work of the drivers, resulting in superior service for the consumer whose goods are being delivered.
What is POI navigation?
POI navigation refers to ways in which POI data provided by data vendors is currently being used in modern technological systems as a key to enhancing GPS navigation systems. As a GIS mapping tool, POI data can be used to power navigation apps, and guide users in the process of easily accessing points of concern such as restaurants, petrol stations, hotels, tourist centers and many more. POI forms the basis of content for a developing number of mobile and social media applications which require a GPS navigation system in them. By combining both historical and real-time POI data, it’s now easier for developers to enhance detailed location mapping systems for the purpose of navigation and geo-pinning.
How to assess the quality of point of interest data?
The scale of point of interest data, its recency, and accuracy are the three primary factors you should look out for when assessing its quality. The methods used to gather data will determine these three factors.
When it comes to point of interest data, accuracy translates into the evading of duplicate, incomplete, or incorrect information.
This is critical when you talk about the function and location of the point of interest.
The best way to highlight the importance of accurate point of interest data is with a case study:
Electrolux, an appliance company, deployed mobile advertisements (rich media) to boost sales for a product (Frigidaire Appliances) and visits to their stores. Accurate point of interest data allowed several vital elements in this campaign. Firstly, extremely accurate data made sure that the campaign used correct dealer locations. This made it possible to create geofences around these stores and trigger advertisements when a customer was specifically within the geofences surrounding one of the stores. Accurate point of interest data also made sure that the right address for the nearest store dynamically appeared in the advertisement unit. This allowed the consumer to navigate to the store easily. Finally, it made sure that extra contextual data about the store, like available inventory and opening hours, was correct.
To make sure of accuracy when purchasing point of interest data, it may be constructive to invest in several datasets for the purpose of cross-referencing the information. Moreover, you can compare it to other sources that are available as well. A good POI data provider will maintain data accuracy even in challenging point of interest scenarios by making use of WiFi beacons to verify the locations of the customers. The beacon method of POI data collection will differentiate between a consumer visiting a huge shopping mall, and a consumer visiting an individual store in that mall. Likewise, a good POI data provider will filter out noisy locations (places which aren’t especially useful for businesses, but which attract lots of footfall, like ATMs or phoneboxes). They will also take closed stores into account when determining whether a point of interest is a good place for a store or ad - there’s no point encouraging customers to visit a store when it’s closed!
When buying point of interest data, you must know the kinds of points of interest you are on the lookout for and the coverage you require. It’s no good knowing about points of interest in India if your business operates around points of interest in Australia! Likewise, if you’re after information about restaurant locations across an entire country, then a POI dataset with just information on one city will likely not be so useful.
In another instance, if you’re focussed on a specific area it can be helpful to include other POIs outside of just those you’re most interested in and enrich your pre-existing POI dataset. Let’s use the example of restaurants again, but this time you want to see the locations across an entire city. Here, it would be helpful to have data on not only restaurants, but also other POIs like tourist attractions and transport links. This is because you’ll also be able to find out where consumer footfall traffic is most heavy and where you might position your own restaurant to capitalize on traffic from other POIs.
For these reasons, requesting a dataset that is customized to your requirements is often a great way to save time in the present and get a greater ROI in future.
Even if the location of a POI is not 100 percent accurate, the POI tends to still be findable and accessible. However, if the data is not up to date, the POI may not be there at all.
One of the worst consumer experiences is showing up at a particular location only to find out it has been closed down for the day or even permanently. And in terms of business, you don’t want to be using outdated information when making impactful decisions.
So it is vital to make sure that any point of interest data you purchase is up to date. To help make sure of this, check how regularly the data vendor updates their point of interest list - real-time is always best. For the same reason, it’s imperative that any point of interest data analytics system frequently tests for outdated information. This is particularly the case with Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, as frequent adjustments and testing will facilitate the system to learn and make it even more effective with the passage of time.
How to ensure high quality point of interest data?
To ensure top-quality point of interest data that will be a good fit for your requirements, you should observe the following steps.
1st Step: Comprehend the Different Sources of Data and Methods of Collection
For any POI data purchase, it is essential that you know exactly what you are purchasing and how that data was collected. As POI data collection methods impact the quality of the data, you can make sure of the data you purchased by looking into a data vendor’s collection methods.
Check to see that they follow any necessary regulations, and that their sources are varied and will generate data useful for you.
2nd Step: Request Previous References from your point of interest Data Vendor
Request your POI data to offer previous references for checking the validity of data. This will assist with making sure both the
recency and accuracy of any data you may purchase.
3rd Step: Using a Sample Set, Perform Testing of Data
Testing out a certain data set is the best way to check whether that dataset is useful for you or not. Request a sample set from your data provider to test the data in its proposed environment. Then, observe to check if it generates the results you need.
What is POI data validation?
POI data verification is a value-driven data analysis process that is essentially undertaken by data vendors that is aimed at delivering high precision and reliable point of interest data. The process involves checking the level of correctness of POI against other datasets, identifying duplicates in the data, adding missing data, replacing POIs that are out of date, and eliminating POIs that have been closed and are no longer available.
What is the format for POI data?
POI delivery formats vary depending the data provider. However, whatever the delivery format, providers ought to ensure a user has access to fresh, consistent, and wide-ranging POI commercial datasets. The most common formats for POI data delivery include online API, Multinet, Multinet-R and NDS.
What are the challenges with point of interest data?
The main challenges with point of interest data are a lack of standardization, fragmented information, and ambiguity with the POIs themselves.
No Standardization in Data Formats, Models and Identifiers
Although point of interest data is widely-used, there are no legal standards for formats, models, and identifiers in place.
Because of this, point of interest datasets by various vendors can be incompatible with each other and may require some extra knowledge and effort before you can integrate and use them again.
To get around this, check if any datasets you’re acquiring are compatible and can be integrated with your current systems and any datasets you’re currently also making use of.
Disconnected and Fragmented Point of Interest Profiles
Depending on how a vendor has compiled a dataset and for what purpose, featured information will generally include only particular elements of the points of interest.
For instance, a city guide and a navigation tool might have dissimilar priorities when deciding what points of interest to include and what sort of information about the said POIs to gather.
To overcome this challenge, it can be helpful to try to find complete POI profiles, or to use several POI datasets with overlapping points, so that you can have all the information you might need.
Ambiguity around the Points of Interest
Points of interest are entities that have a dual nature; semantic and geospatial. Furthermore, their associated information and characteristics evolve with the passage of time. What this can lead to is several sources of ambiguity when interacting with point of interest data.
As a case in point, the same point of interest might appear with minor naming differences in various sources, while in fact, different points of interest might have similar or same names.
Another challenge with POI data is that businesses are continuously advancing. Various locations close, open, relocate or change identifiers, like owners or phone numbers. Furthermore, you cannot ignore human error, and an erroneous point of interest data entry may lead to transposed or inaccurate POI data.
Fortunately, any verified point of interest data provider will remove these errors during the POI data collection process.
Is Google a source of point of interest data?
Yes, Google provides POI data. Through a system referred to as Google Places API, Google provides POI data that arguably exhibits the best accuracy and one of the most comprehensive datasets of the POI data marketplaces. Nonetheless, as much as Google has one of the best offerings of POI data in the market, one of the biggest limitations is Google’s licensing terms. The terms make Google Places API expensive to buy and limited to use. Google’s terms are also always subject to change and their POIs data prices are significantly more expensive in comparison to other data providers in a data marketplace like Datarade’s.
What to ask your point of interest data provider?
Comparing one point of interest database to another can be difficult. These are some key questions that you or your company should ask a POI data vendor to make certain that you get the POI data which fits your needs:
- How do you collect point of interest data, and which POI sources do you use?
- How regularly do you update your POI data?
- How do you make sure that your POI data is accurate?
- How comprehensive is your metadata regarding a given set of places?
- Can your POI data products and datasets be incorporated into my current business technologies?
- Is it possible to tailor your POI data offering for my specific business requirements?
How is point of interest data priced?
For data buyers, point of interest data providers generally offer licensing/subscription custom quotes and pay per batch pricing models. Each model’s cost is contingent on how integratable, customized, and comprehensive the dataset is.
Users have to subscribe to the vendor for access to point of interest datasets with this option. Users can use accurate datasets after a successful subscription as per the requirements via Application Program Interface (API).
Acquiring a custom quote is perfect for specific, niche business requirements. This is a flexible option allowing you to explain all your needs to the data provider. However, bear in mind that the overall price is dependent on the requirements and is usually on the higher end primarily owing to a large degree of customization required.
Pay Per Large Batch
Pay per large batch data pricing model is referred to as the one-time payment model. Users simply have to make a single, one-time payment for a larger batch of datasets.
To summarize, the opportunities and solutions available with POI data are endless.
As the physical world of today is in a state of constant change, making sure that you maintain up-to-date point of interest data is of paramount importance when you plan a strategy for your company or business.
Using correct point of interest data will enable you to target relevant customers, avoid strategic mistakes, and stay up to date with competition.
That is why you should reach out to a dependable point of interest data provider that offers accurate, reliable, and fresh point of interest datasets. Check out the list of top POI data providers on Datarade to find the right POI data for you.
Who are the best Point of Interest (POI) Data providers?
Finding the right Point of Interest (POI) Data provider for you really depends on your unique use case and data requirements, including budget and geographical coverage. Popular Point of Interest (POI) Data providers that you might want to buy Point of Interest (POI) Data from are Predicio, Kuwala, Tamoco, SafeGraph, and Reomnify.
Where can I buy Point of Interest (POI) Data?
Data providers and vendors listed on Datarade sell Point of Interest (POI) Data products and samples. Popular Point of Interest (POI) Data products and datasets available on our platform are Predicio Point of Interest Data in the APAC Region (5m PoIs covered) by Predicio, Reomnify: Point-Of-Interest Places Datasets (APAC) by Reomnify, and Lifesight Visits Data | Point-of-Interest (POI) data for APAC & MENA by Lifesight.
How can I get Point of Interest (POI) Data?
You can get Point of Interest (POI) Data via a range of delivery methods - the right one for you depends on your use case. For example, historical Point of Interest (POI) Data is usually available to download in bulk and delivered using an S3 bucket. On the other hand, if your use case is time-critical, you can buy real-time Point of Interest (POI) Data APIs, feeds and streams to download the most up-to-date intelligence.
What are similar data types to Point of Interest (POI) Data?
Point of Interest (POI) Data is similar to Location Data, Map Data, Satellite Data, GIS Data, and Cell Tower Data. These data categories are commonly used for Geofencing and Point of Interest (POI) Data analytics.