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Jul 31, 2017 1:50:00 PM

Venue Density Explained

Posted by Skyhook

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With so many location products and companies to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which one will provide services at the quality level that best suits your needs. Location data is only useful if it accurately and dependably matches your particular use case. Achieving high accuracy and dependable performance in many situations - particularly in densely developed, highly urbanized areas - is complicated. Of course these complex and congested areas are usually the places where people tend to be.

High positional accuracy in challenging environments has become a particular concern when a device is trying to determine what store or venue it is actually operating in. If you are an advertiser trying to reach devices in specific stores in densely clustered areas, you will need a location provider that can leverage all available device signals to weed out the false positives.

A recent Ad Age article pointed out important things to consider when choosing a location provider. We broke these down to describe how Skyhook takes on location and venue density.  

How Do We Get Our Location Data?

Skyhook pioneered the mobile location technology revolution, and we have been providing location services to the smartphones since they exploded on the scene a decade ago. Our sustained attention to overcoming the complexities of Wi-Fi location has given us the world’s most complete and accurate database of over 3 billion Wi-Fi access points and counting.

Skyhook’s hybrid positioning system incorporates data from Wi-Fi, GPS and cell for more precise location than pure GPS or cell towers can provide alone. We don’t take location signals simply at face value; we always combine and cross-reference all available location and environment signals using our patented technology, which continues to be improved and refined throughout our entire technology stack. Skyhook venues are just an extension of our signal-based location tech. Through extensive filtering and entity association, we construct and curate a highly accurate and actionable database of signal-informed places of interest.

At Skyhook our objective isn’t to compile venues that look good on maps. We are all about seeing the venues the way the devices see them, using the right signal strength and proximity calculations to interpret and segment the billions of location requests that arrive in our database from the field every day. This lets us treat practically every Wi-Fi enabled location request as an automatic check-in and continuously keeps the database fresh and accurate. Skyhook partners who implement location services using Skyhook SDKs can leverage these benefits from day 1.  

What About In Dense Areas?

Skyhook uses all of these signal measurements to refine precise device location. This helps us make high confidence assumptions about many aspects of mobile device behavior, including the most difficult challenges around deep-indoor requests and multi-floor solutions. We can pinpoint device-to-business relationships based on signal identifiers and strength readings wherever devices are wirelessly connecting to the internet. With a Skyhook SDK running on a phone or IoT device, these relationships can be converted into a highly accurate lock between pure location and actual business identity for millions of venues.  So in a case where most of a retailer's stores are in a mall, the exact device-to-venue relationship can be established, without leaving anything to guesswork.

Quality Over Quantity

Location service providers tend to brag about raw numbers of venues in their databases - tens or even hundreds of millions of venues or places or POIs. But when it comes to matching device locations with venues, quality and organization are more important than raw numbers.  

Skyhook Context provides -- at enterprise scale -- advanced venue detection capabilities to identify a store’s unique location, enabling you to capture the exact moment a user enters a venue. This previously unattainable accuracy means brands can now confidently verify a user's precise location and collect valuable user insights from their devices. This means we can determine when a devices enters a specific store, while eliminating the majority of false positives related to people who may be on the road outside or in a neighboring store.


Bottom Line

Ever since Skyhook first put the blue dot on the first iPhone maps, we have been pioneer in the location space. Our expertise has helped build and maintain the most accurate mobile services available, by using GPS as well as Wi-Fi, along with carefully curating venues to maintain rigorous quality in the signal-to-venue relationships.  As a leader in the industry, we can tackle any location challenge and ensure that you’re targeting consumers in the most accurate way possible.