I’m looking for some general information about the POIs ie: how are the POI selected for inclusion?

Hi all, I’m looking for some general information about the POIs ie: how are the POI selected for inclusion? Are POIs added and removed and if so based on what criteria? Are these POIs representative? Is coverage better in some areas of the country and/or industries than others? Also, for chain stores, are all of the locations included? Ie if Walgreens is a brand that is tracked, are data for all Walgreens locations available?

Hi Kara, I believe the Places Manual will help you get started. Check it out: Places | SafeGraph Docs

Thanks, Todd! Unless I am missing it, I can’t find anything in here about how representative the POI are. What is included/excluded.

@Kara_Masciangelo how about this section:

The current scope of a place is defined as a location where consumers can spend money and/or time in the U.S. and Canada. This definition encompasses a broad swath of places ranging from restaurants, grocery stores, and malls; to parks, hospitals, and museums. In contrast, places like the SafeGraph Office, homes, and residential-only apartment buildings are not places that consumers visit, so these are not included in the SafeGraph dataset. The one exception to this general rule is industrial POIs. We are now sourcing POIs such as distribution centers, warehouses, and B2B equipment wholesalers as a result of popular demand. See the industrial POIs section for details.
Maybe we don’t understand your question, can you elaborate on what you are confused about?

Hi @Kara_Masciangelo I hope I can help out here:

The POIs that are selected are typically based on 2 factors: 1) are they commercial/public/large entities (refer to @Ryan_Fox_Squire_SafeGraph comment above for more details) and 2) are they receiving visits . With that being said, Safegraph does spend more effort on some sub categories than others, for example, Safegraph has near perfect coverage of Restaurants - NAICS 72 - and that is due to high demand and trackability

POIs are added and removed as things change, places close, new places open etc… but Safegraph does as much as possible to keep up with the most current trend. If you are interested in seeing more detail on how the POI change each month, I recommend following the change log for a few months and seeing what is added or taken away and why.

If by representative you mean do they represent all or part of the total number, the answer is probably what you would expect. It depends. If we are talking about an industry like Restaurants where SG has a noticeably high coverage, then you can bank on SG probably including the POI you are interested in. If it is something like a Park with a bit lower coverage and a newer coverage, then maybe not. (for your example with Walgreens, I would assume pretty high coverage on SGs side - but I haven’t checked for myself)

Yes, coverage is better in some areas and industries than others, as with all things, the US is a country of 300+ million people with 1.9 billion acres of land, so some areas will be covered and reported on better than others. - think about a tiny town of 2k people reporting on a location vs a town of 30k people or maybe a small shop in NYC with 3 restaurants in 1 location - it gets tricky.

Chains are a bit easier because they are typically listed somewhere and can be checked via the website, so yes chains on average have high coverage

Assuming all of the Walgreens are getting plenty of traffic (they should be in these times), then yes the coverage should be great.

I know this is a lot, but I hope it has helped to clear some of your questions up. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.

Thank you, this is extremely helpful!

Hi, from where can i download the POI data set ?