In-field POI data collection at scale - a revolution for the digital mapping industry

Picture of Suman Joshi

Location-based technology and services, such as ride-hailing, online marketplaces, and food delivery have become a vital part of daily life. The effectiveness of these services depends on accurate, recent, and comprehensive point-of-interest (POI) data. However, most public maps and widely used POI data sources are outdated.

Experts predict that the need for location-based services will continue to increase, with a projected growth rate of 24.3% and to an industry market cap of over $300 billion by 2030. As the demand for these services grows, the need for reliable mapping solutions becomes increasingly important.

The drawbacks of conventional POI collection methods

Most conventional POI data sources on the market are outdated, generic, and have a low refresh rate. Popular POI collection tools, such as web scraping or crowdsourcing lack advanced or custom attributes that are essential for many businesses. For example, a delivery business can benefit from knowing the exact pick-up points at a restaurant, a rideshare app can benefit from a photo of the entrance and drop-off location for riders etc. Managed services can provide this customizable data, but they can be prohibitively expensive to scale as they are labour-intensive and time-consuming.

Some digital mapping businesses are leaning on user generated data to update their maps and keep them current. Many companies with ride sharing, wearable tech, and navigation apps are asking users, employees, and partners to supply information to enrich their POI datasets. However, since improving maps is not their primary job, the process inherently lacks focus. 

Despite these drawbacks, many mapping and navigation platforms continue to use these data collection methods. As a result, they are constantly playing catch-up with changes in the physical world. Location-based services and platforms that rely on this low-quality, incomplete, and generic POI data are at the risk of losing business to competitors, increasing operational costs, and delivering poor user experiences.

Just how bad is the state of map data?

While conducting a manual POI collection campaign in Amsterdam for one of the world's most popular mapping platforms, we discovered that 11% of locations within a control dataset for public maps were incorrect. We also found that 14% of locations within the city's government directory were also outdated. This is a significant issue for businesses that rely on POI data from popularly used maps.

Streetview POI data outdated

The left street view shows an image of an EV charging station on September 2021. The image on the right taken on May 2022 for the same coordinates shows that the EV charging station was replaced with a bike stand.

Gov Directory POI data outdated

The image on the left shows coordinates from the POI database of the City of Amsterdam. Upon arrival at the site, we found that the station was only accessible to residents of that particular building, therefore of no use for the general public.

Read the full case study here

Geolancer is the only solution of its kind that is practically solving these glaring challenges in the mapping industry.

Geolancer is Quadrant's POI Data-as-a-Service solution that offers the scalability of web-scraping, the coverage of crowdsourcing, and the quality and customizability of managed services. We provide customers with attributes relevant to their business, a unique feature that sets us apart from other POI data vendors. Geolancer is currently collecting POIs in the US, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei, and is being used by some of the world's largest firms, including three of the top five mapping companies. These companies rely on Geolancer's data to ensure the accuracy and completeness of their maps.

“The world's largest mapping companies trust Geolancer because we guarantee the most accurate POI data for their business. This guarantee of accuracy and quality is crucial for mapping and navigation companies, as users rely on this accuracy in their daily lives. For example, a salesperson using an online map to find a suitable electric charging station for their car along a route needs this information to be accurate in order to avoid inconvenience and potential harm to their livelihood. The same is true for a fleet of electric delivery vans used to deliver parcels around a city. Inaccurate data can have a significant impact on businesses, which is why Geolancer's commitment to quality is so valuable.” Says Julien Escande, Commercial Director for Quadrant’s POI Data-as-a-Service.

Geolancer is the only solution that is completely focused on making observations and updating maps on the ground. To do this, we have established an engaged network of freelancers, known as Geolancers, who are incentivized with our own Ethereum-based cryptocurrency (EQUAD). This allows us to expand across borders without worrying about the overhead associated with micropayments. It also provides a fast and global solution, ensuring that our Geolancers are adequately rewarded while keeping costs under control. 

As a pioneer in the location data industry, Quadrant is committed to making high-quality, customizable POI data more accessible and affordable. Our efforts are already helping rideshare, delivery, wearable tech, and several other companies increase their profitability. We are actively supporting the world’s most popular mapping providers and location-based technology companies improve the reliability and efficiency of their platforms that bring critical services and convenience to people around the world. 

Interested in leveraging Quadrant’s high-quality POI solution for your business?  

Contact our POI data consultants today! 



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