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Release Notes: 2018-11-30

11 months ago by Simon Yu

Welcome to the post-šŸ¦ƒedition of SafeGraph Places!

Enhancements

  • Added detailed store-level polygons for ~6,000 malls, covering both indoor malls and strip malls.
    • Note that for a multi-story indoor mall, we currently only have the first floor mapped out.
    • As always, given the GPS drift that occurs when users move inside large structures such as malls, and given the difficulties of determining which floor a user is on based solely on phone altitude readings, we highly recommend the incorporation of other data points such as IP, wifi, and place centroid to determine POI visit behavior.
  • Streamlined our brand_info database -- removing over 500 listings that don't fit our definition of a SafeGraph brand
    • See :point-down+: for more details

Brands clean-up: tell me more!

One of the most well-received features of SafeGraph Places is brands. Brands allow customers to unambiguously select stores associated with a wide range of chains, from national names such as Target or Pizza Hut, to regional or even local chains.

A SafeGraph brand is defined as:

a logo or branded store which has multiple locations all under the same logo or store banner

The major improvement to brands in this release is that we have carefully pruned over 500 brands that do not satisfy the above definition of a SafeGraph brand, from the brand_info (https://docs.safegraph.com/docs#section-brand-info) file. Their inclusion in prior versions of SafeGraph Places was creating inconsistencies and ambiguities for our customers.

To illustrate, here are some examples of organizations that are no longer included in SafeGraph brands:

  • Zumba Fitness (zumba.com)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters (www.bbbs.org)
  • Jacuzzi (www.jacuzzihottubs.com)
  • Toys 'R Us (www.toysrus.com)

Jacuzzi is a major brand in the whirlpool and hot tub industry. However, there are not a chain of Jacuzzi-branded brick-and-mortar retail stores. Instead, Jacuzzi sells its products through partnered retail locations such as Lowe's (lowes.com, SG_BRAND_4f8a39fb928268edb1ab256922e436d7) and Ferguson (ferguson.com, SG_BRAND_e6ea0b3f88e22276c807f9f50199057b). Lowe's and Ferguson are each a SafeGraph brand, but Jacuzzi is not.

Toys 'R Us used to be a SafeGraph brand, but no longer operates brick-and-mortar stores.

Zumba Fitness and Big Brothers Big Sisters are associated with physical locations, for example a gym that offers a Zumba class or the private offices of BBBS staff and volunteers. But these locations are not brick-and-mortar retail stores under a common banner or logo.

Note: just because a brand is being removed does not necessarily mean we are removing that "brand's" POI from places. We are just removing these brand identities from the brand_info file. The gym that hosts the Zumba class will still be in Places. If a POI in Places was formerly associated with one of these non-brands, for example a POI mistakenly branded as Jacuzzi, these brand references have now been removed (i.e. brand and safegraph_brand_ids column in Places will be null).

We love hearing feedback! Please get in touch with your Customer Success Manager if you have any suggestions or questions.