October-2023 Release Notes (10/01/23)

Welcome to the October 2023 Release Notes! ๐ŸŽƒ ๐Ÿ‘ป ๐Ÿ•ธ๏ธ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฆ‡
We're looking forward to Halloween but even more so looking forward to dressing up all these polygons.
(2023-09-27/1695783347shipped on 2023-10-01)

Places Highlights

  • +794K new POIs across the globe :earth-americas:
  • +43 new brands across 38 countries ๐ŸŒ
  • +716K new POI in the United States ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
  • Improved Handling of Closed POI in US ๐Ÿšซ
  • Improvements to US Geometry Attributes โญ”

SafeGraph evaluates the quality and completeness of our US POI data on an ongoing basis using two key metrics:

  • Coverage Rate: The percentage of real and open SafeGraph POIs compared to the industry standard. In the US, this is Google.
  • Real Open Rate: The percent of SafeGraph POIs we claim to be real and currently open compared to those that actually are real and open.

Each month, we randomly select two zip codes as a method of sampling one urban and one more rural area. This month we're looking at:

  • 02903: Providence, RI - Representative of Urban
  • 39429: Columbia, MS - Representative of Rural

Here's the summary (full breakdown on the Metrics page):

Geo AggregationCoverage RateReal Open Rate
Total Sample72%74%
02903 (Urban)71%75%
39429 (Rural)78%72%

Check out our Accuracy Metric Methodologies for more detailed info on how we arrived at these calculations.

Interested in a particular zip code for a future month? We're taking suggestions!

Growth

SafeGraph is delivering more POI each month in countries around the world. This month SG Places has a grand total of 51,176,687, including POI with or without geometry, closed POI and parking lots. This is a net increase of 793,992 places from last month, including:

  • +716,251 in US ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
  • +12,035 in DE ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช
  • +5,118 in TH ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ

Of course, you can always visit our Places Summary Stats to find more details on our continued growth.

Brands

We've added a grand total of 43 brands across 38 countries. Some of the highlights:

Notable brands :earth-africa:

  • Marston's Pubs (SG_BRAND_c41375b0ba49112d) with 1,231 POI ๐Ÿป
  • Raiffeisen Switzerland (SG_BRAND_0fabe8ba50d72ea6) with 555 POI ๐Ÿง
  • Hy-Vee Pharmacy (SG_BRAND_286427914f5a1df6) with 283 POI ๐Ÿง‘โ€โš•๏ธ

:eyes: Are we missing a brand or country? :eyes: Please let us know here!

Brand Openings and Closings

  • We rely on POI metadata to track store openings and closings, and we are especially interested in understanding open/close dates for branded POIs. It can take more than a month to infer open/close dates, so we report brand open/close metrics on a one month delay.
  • In this release, we flagged 2,030 brands with at least one store closure in August 2023 and 2,288 brands with at least one store opening in August 2023:
    Learn more about our open/close columns here

Categories

The POI we've added this month span a wide range of categories, including the following additions:

  • POI with geometry:
    • Religious Organizations (813110) with +130,503 POI โ›ช๏ธ
    • Hair, Nail, and Skin Care Services (81211) with +72,850 POI ๐Ÿ’‡
    • Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers (713940) with +65,296 POI ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ
  • Point-only POI:
    • Other Gasoline Stations (447190) with +5,044 POI ๐Ÿ”Œ
    • Financial Transactions Processing, Reserve, and Clearinghouse Activities (522320) with +1,878 POI ๐Ÿ’ธ
    • Commercial Banking (522110) with +1,177 POI ๐Ÿง

Improved closed_on Handling for Non-Branded US POI

As part of our ongoing obsession with accuracy, SafeGraph attempts to flag the month and year that a POI permanently closes so that it can be appropriately accounted for by our customers.

But in some circumstances, we don't know the exact date of closure. With this release, we're implementing improvements to our closed recognition and introducing a placeholder flag (1900-01) to signal that we know that a POI is permanently closed even if we are unsure of the exact date of closure. This allows our customers to have even more confidence in the real and open state of the POIs we include in our dataset.

The new flag has now been applied to over 300k non-branded US POI previously masquerading as "open". The top categories for the POI newly flagged as permanently closed include:

  • 621111 (Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists))
  • 531210 (Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers)
  • 621210 (Offices of Dentists)
  • 5617 (Services to Buildings and Dwellings)
  • 541110 (Offices of Lawyers)

Also, we previously had two other dummy dates for specific instances where we had non-branded POI that were permanently closed on an unknown date. These prior flags of 2020-10 (applied to ~370k POIs) and 2021-10(applied to ~139k POIs) have now been removed and migrated to the new 1900-01 flag so there is only one placeholder date to account for.

Note: POIs with a safegraph_brand_id are not a part of this new attempt to infer a โ€˜1900-01โ€™ value, and any existing date for branded POIs should continue to be trusted within our standard accuracy window

Drops โฌ‡๏ธ

  • We are ingesting many sources and due to source changes and processing changes, Placekeys do drop over time. In this release, we dropped 119,943 Placekeys (69,758 branded and 50,185 non-branded).

Geometry Improvements

We made several meaningful improvements to our Geometry attributes in the October Release, including:

  • We switched to new sources for building footprints in three US cities:
    • Philadelphia, PA ๐Ÿ””
    • Boulder, CO ๐Ÿ”๏ธ
    • Washington, DC ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
      Now their POI polygons will be significantly more precise and granular.
  • We added +70k hand-drawn POI polygons in the US, focusing on major retail brands like Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Anytime Fitness, Petco, Kohlโ€™s, Tractor Supply Co, Dickโ€™s Sporting Goods and many more.
  • We have been making efforts to decrease the number of shared polygons across prominent retail brands. We measure this by tracking and attempting to maximize the percent of POI that have polygon_class = OWNED_POLYGON. In this release, many brands saw substantial increases in the percent of their polygons that are now "owned", including:
    • Hibbett Sports (+58% up to 70%) ๐Ÿšด
    • Target (+34% up to 58%) ๐ŸŽฏ
    • Trader Joe's (+15% up to 73%) ๐Ÿ›’
      Look out for similar increases to a much larger list of brands coming in the November release!
  • Finally, we improved the computation of the includes_parking_lot column, and we improved the entries for +250k US POIs with a high degree of confidence.

Expect continued improvements to the Geometry product in future months. Please reach out to your CSM or Eugene Chong ([email protected]) for any questions on these changes or the upcoming Geometry roadmap.