Why are safegraph_place_id from previous versions of Core Places or Patterns missing from the latest version of Core Places or Patterns?

  • This is caused by both changes to the real world and by known shortcomings in SafeGraph’s data system.

  • SafeGraph updates Core Places once per month. One of the biggest challenges in maintaining highly accurate and up-to-date monthly releases of SafeGraph Places is the challenge of maintaining consistent, persistent, and unique safegraph_place_id (SGPID). How do we know that a POI in v1 is the same POI in v2? What if they change their phone number? What if their parent shopping mall reconfigures their street addresses?

  • Every version of Core Places we observe some SGPIDs dropping and new SGPIDS adding. Some of these drops and adds are due to real-world store closings and openings. The rest is due to what we call “bad SGPID churn”. Bad SGPID churn are undesired failures to maintain a consistent safegraph_place_id between releases (see discussion in March 2019 release notes.).

  • Usually bad SGPID churn affects a minority of obscure POI. If you notice unexpected changes to SGPID for POI you care about, please let us know.