Ultimate guide to POI: What is Point of Interest Data and How to Use it?
Table of Contents
- What is point of interest data?
- What are the attributes of point of interest data?
- How is point of interest data collected?
- What are the use cases for point of interest data?
- Who is using POI data?
- How to assess the quality of point of interest data?
- How to ensure high quality point of interest data?
- What are the challenges with point of interest data?
- What to ask your point of interest data provider?
- How is point of interest data priced?
The Ultimate Guide to Point of Interest Data
Point of interest (POI) data is effectively a data representation of almost all the key locations in the physical world. The potential from this information is vast, but much of this is still untapped, making now a great time to find out how your business can benefit from investing in some point of interest data.
POI data is information on the location and function of places of value to the public or specific audiences, like the government or researchers. Both scientific and commercial organizations can acquire POI data to evaluate a location and study the public’s behavioral trends around that location.
For businesses in particular, POI data can help with almost all stages of a marketing funnel and even help to secure more sales.
Read on to learn how you can turn points of interest into profit for your organization.
What is point of interest data?
Point of interest (POI) data is information on the geographical location and function of a particular place that might be appealing to the public. Points of interest can be a simple, everyday location, such as shops, parks, churches, gas stations, tourist attractions, hotels, and so on. They can also be 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-sized shop, or permanent, like a monument or heritage site. Thanks to the online map on our mobile devices, identifying and monitoring points of interest has never been simpler. This has resulted in greater business and consumer demand for top-quality information regarding points of interest.
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. The collected data can then be used to learn more about the location and the individuals who visit it, which can in turn be used to both improve the experience for these individuals and engage them in relevant ways.
Point of interest data is appealing to a broad spectrum of users, from businesses to governments, and it is usually implemented when assessing locations and comprehending patterns in behavior.
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. Point of interest 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 has collected the 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 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 manpower when compared 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, and so forth). Due to these challenges, it is also unlikely that the data will be updated regularly, meaning that it may lose accuracy over time.
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.
The downside of making use of geocoding as a POI collection method is that it is limited in scope (providing perhaps only the location) and it can be challenging to verify the data’s accuracy.
These days, it has become very common for data providers to collect POI data via media platforms such as from social media channels or TripAdvisor. The benefit of leveraging a media platform is how easily and swiftly data providers can collect data from 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 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 pure facts 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 on obtaining huge amounts of high quality point of interest data for their areas. If a provider can access this data, then they will obtain a large amount of detailed information on a specific area.
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 unknown, smaller, or temporary points of interest that are not recognized by the governing body.
3rd Party Point of Interest Services
Popular 3rd party platforms like Street Maps and Google Maps offer exceedingly accurate and usually up-to-date point of interest information. However, they do not always disclose all of this valuable information to data collection platforms or the public.
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, POI’s applications are also branching out.
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. You 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.
Developers can build geocaching applications around point of interest collections. In automobile tracking systems, point of interest data is used to mark points of destination or/and offices so that GPS tracking software’s users will easily monitor vehicle positions according to point of interests.
Who is using POI data?
Organizations mostly use point of interest data to assess a location and to study the public’s behavioral trends. 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 be specialists on the purchasing habits of their consumers – they also have to know where campaign-relevant customer activities take place.
This is where point of interest data comes in handy. POI data is a representation of real-world locations where marketers can easily monitor mobile activity (for instance, in dining establishments, stores, tourist sites, and so on).
Monitoring is possible by constructing geofences around the POI. Geofences utilize location data to keep an eye on who leaves, enters, or spends time around a POI, and coding developers can program them to send pertinent messages to the mobile devices of consenting users who 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 in an efficient manner with useful messages, at the 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 store, 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 can well be used to assist another location that is not performing as well. In this way, a business might increase its overall sales.
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 help in quicker stock deliveries. This would result in a store that performs better.
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 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 data, 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, what industry each works in, and if there are any similar companies. They can also learn how small or large these companies are. Consider what useful insights a commercial estate agent can provide to a client, wondering whether a particular area is an ideal place for a dining joint, small manufacturing business, or a supermarket.
Local Governments and Official Institutions
Local governments utilize point of interest data a lot, 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 comprehend 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 very captivating as it shows what types of businesses prosper in the town.
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 that keep away from busy regions (these regions are usually around other points of interest) but still enable the vehicle driver to gain access to those services which they might require. This would boost both the efficiency of the route and the quality of the work of the drivers resulting in superior service for the consumer whose packages are being delivered.
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 an example.
Electrolux, an appliance company, wished to target 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 makes sure that the right address for the nearest store dynamically appears in the advertisement unit. This allows a consumer to navigate to the store easily. Finally, it made sure that extra data about the store, like available inventory and 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. To collect specific point of interest data of challenging locations, such as individual boutiques inside shopping plazas, boost the data’s accuracy by making use of WiFi beacons to verify the locations of the customers.
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.
For instance, say you are seeking information on restaurant locations across an entire country, then a POI dataset with just information on one city will likely not be so useful (at least not individually).
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.
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 traffic might be taken from you 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.
Thus, 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; for instance if they made note of and altered a restaurant’s location when it moved somewhere else.
Hence, it is imperative that any point of interest data analytics system frequently tests for outdated information. This is particularly the case with Artificial Intelligence 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 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 very much prevalent, 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, overcoming this challenge is not really your responsibility as a data buyer, as this should be checked during the collection process. But if you would like reassurance, check with your data provider and find out how they overcome this potential issue.
What to ask your point of interest data provider?
Evaluating a point of interest database can be difficult. T
hese are some key questions that you or your company should ask a POI Data vendor to make certain that you get the right data for your needs:
- How and from what sources do you collect the point of interest data?
- How regularly do you update the POI data?
- How do you make sure that the data is accurate?
- How comprehensive is the metadata regarding a particular set of places?
- Can datasets be incorporated with my present business technologies?
- Would it be possible to tailor the POI data for my specific business requirements?
How is point of interest data priced?
For their consumers, 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.
Acquiring a custom quote is perfect for specific, niche business requirements. This is a splendid 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, there is no denying that the applications for POI data are enormous, and a majority of businesses and organizations will be able to leverage it.
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 avoid making strategic mistakes, particularly in targeted advertising areas.
Furthermore, it will also help you stay up to date with your competition, and you can use the POI data to create brand awareness as well.
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.