Coming up with a genius idea is the easy part when it comes to creating a new hyperlocal company. In order to get your startup off the ground, you’ve got to have a way to bring your idea to life. For many founders of hyperlocal platforms, the ideas they’ve envisioned require access to local location data—and lots of it.
Some of the most important background players in the hyperlocal ecosystem are the local data aggregators, which supply clients with the basic NAP (name, address, and phone number) identities of millions of businesses and points-of-interest worldwide. By scraping the web, managing raw data, and combing publicly available sources, data aggregators are able to build powerful databases that hyperlocal startups can tap into when building their own mobile apps and local directories.
Here are five local data aggregators that hyperlocal vendors can use to power their local listings.
1. Infogroup: Personal phone calls ensure the accuracy of business listing data.
Local search and navigation vendors can license Infogroup’s business and points-of-interest location database. The company offers customization tools that clients can use to select the size of the data set they need, along with the level of quality assurance and the frequency of updates. Like many data aggregators, Infogroup is focused on providing clients with accurate business listing information. The company verifies its data by placing more than 25 million calls per year through its in-house call center to ensure its listings stay updated.
2. Acxiom: Get licensed business data that’s updated weekly.
Acxiom licenses location data to local search platforms and directories, focusing on business and residential listings in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s national business directory file is updated weekly, helping to ensure the accuracy of business names, phone numbers, addresses, latitude/longitude, classification codes, and “firmagraphics,” which take into account sales volumes and employee size. Acxiom also provides developers with data on community points of interest, along with more than 100 million indexed keywords and phrases.
3. Localeze: Access local listings with latitude/longitude point code tags.
Localeze is a business listings identity management provider. The company partners with digital directories, review sites, and other hyperlocal vendors to supply enhanced local business listings, which include the name, address and phone number information for groups of businesses. The data that clients get from Localeze can be filtered by community or by category. For example, Localeze could provide a family-focused startup with NAP data for children’s stores and activity centers in communities across the country. Localeze currently has more than 13 million business listings, many of which are geo-coded with latitude/longitude point codes.
4. CityGrid: Use local search results to position merchants on in-app maps.
By tapping in to CityGrid’s Places API, developers can add features to their web and mobile apps that allow users to find local businesses and points of interest. Publishers can then display content associated with those locations on a map. In an effort to boost publisher confidence in the accuracy of its listings, CityGrid has created a “claimed” feature that lets publishers know when a listing has been verified by the business owner. In addition to basic NAP information, claimed listings may also include images, offers, menus, and external reservation URLs. CityGrid’s Places API is available for free when developers create apps that display CityGrid place pages.
5. Saturn by Locationary: Merged data improves the quality of search results.
Powered by Locationary, Saturn is a management and exchange platform used for collecting, merging, and verifying local business data. Locationary provides access to 5.61 billion data fields, 175 million profiles, and 253 feeds and repositories. What makes Locationary different from other data aggregators is that the company uses a “real-time blending technology” to merge data from multiple sources. The company says it can help web and mobile app publishers reduce data integration costs and improve data quality by providing a centralized system for place information.
Know of other tools that developers can use to power their local listings? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.