In our increasingly connected world, information reported from all our devices and sensors creates a colossal amount of data. Making sense of that big data, especially within a geographic context, can be a challenging task. That’s a job we sought to make easier with our Geovisualization API.
Geovisualization is a relatively young but powerful tool in the HERE Location Suite. It’s a specialized API for handling large amounts of geo-referenced data sets that seamlessly integrates the normally dry numeric output, while creating compelling, aesthetically pleasing map visualizations.
Normally, visualization of geo-referenced data is a task that a company would have to take on for themselves. With this developer-first approach, we’re striving to provide a ready-to-use tool which can be easily used as it is already integrated within the HERE Location Services. This enables developers to quickly prototype and build applications with rich data visualizations on top of HERE maps, rather than spending time coding a solution from scratch.
The impact of geovisualization
Raw data output is hard to digest. Adding machine learning to aggregate that data is possible, but it may still be challenging to gather actionable information and insights from numbers in a spreadsheet. For many business cases, adding data on top of an area helps make that decision-making process clearer, and easier.
To deliver robust, comprehensive visualizations, developers must normally combine data from multiple sources and services on their own. We integrate those sources for you, providing easy-to-use tools for visualizing big data sets on HERE Maps. One recent example is the HERE Venue Maps API. That integration allows us to extend beyond the standard outdoor visualization use case, while tapping into the potential that maps of thousands of venues across the world have to offer.
Let’s look at activity within a venue. In this case, the foot traffic in a mall in Berlin is over a 3-month period.
If this were represented in a spreadsheet with dimensions of time, latitude, longitude, it would be nearly impossible to graft accurate, actionable insight from the data. However, with our geovisualization capability, we can draw immediate insights from this data.
This could mean that a business owner can gain more insight into where they might want to set up their store for maximum foot traffic. The mall’s infrastructure developer likely knows where they need to expand parking. Safety planners know where more emergency exit points may be necessary. Ad Technology companies know where they’ll get the most impressions for their billboards … and a host of other business insights.
This is just one area where taking these immensely large data sets and applying our map visualization capabilities can bring ease and peace-of-mind to business decision making.
Logistics tracking made clearer
Geovisualization also provides powerful insights to logistics that move goods over distance and over time. Say, for instance, you’re an auto-manufacturer moving parts and engines.
Normal map tracking will show the movement of your goods from one street address, to another, and to another. This information is reported by check-in style processes where crates and parts are scanned and uploaded into a system. That process is not automated, so boxes can be missed and lost. What’s more, once that box arrives at a 30,000 square foot warehouse, there is no reliable way of tracking it within that facility.
For this scenario, think of how geovisualization helps an end-to-end tracking solution for shipping and manufacturing. The output of that tracking system will provide a set of locations, items and dates for each individual item you’ve shipped. From that, you may be left to optimize your shipping logistics from a set of numbers alone.
With Geovisualization, you could see a data overlay of the journey of shipments over hundreds of items and trips. With that simple but powerful view, one can quickly see where improvements can be made both on the journeys between facilities, and also within the facilities themselves – all in the same view.
The Geovisualization API is part of the HERE Location Suite, and is integrated with a variety of HERE Location services (like the Custom Location Extension and the HERE Routing API) but is also flexible enough to integrate with third party libraries. You can sign up for a free trial with our developer platform here.