Category: Anything

03 Jun 2016
If content is king, then context is God- (1)

An Abundance of Data Requires an Abundance of Context

Gary Vaynerchuk said it best – “If content is king, then context is God“. Of course Gary was mostly referring to marketing and advertising content. However, the same holds true for location based data as content. Data, content, big data, whatever you want to call it, is becoming more readily available. This is in part due to the great work of Code for America and the open data movement. The problem is we have more data than we know what to do with – unless we add context to the data. There are lots of opportunities to take all of this content and add context by making it extremely relevant for very specific purposes.

Foursquare provides a great example. If you’ve read my other blog posts you know I’m a big fan of Foursquare and that’s in part due to being a big fan of location based data. You may think of Foursquare as an app company. Actually, they are a data company. They have one of the best location based platforms on the market with 65 million venues, billions of check-ins, and 70 million tips tied to those locations. That’s the reason more than 85,000 developers have built products using Foursquare’s data. When you open the Foursquare app, you’re not overwhelmed by the massive amount of data that powers the app because the data is made contextually relevant for a single purpose – location based search and discovery of venues.

We’re currently seeing a trend whereas apps are becoming more focused on the context of very specific actions. Just look at all of the single purpose apps popping up.

  • Foursquare with Swarm
  • Instagram with Hyperlapse and Layout
  • Facebook with Messenger and Groups
  • LinkedIN with LinkedIN Connected, LinkedIN Job Search, LinkedIN Recruiter, and LinkedIN Slideshare

Parcel, or property data, is another location based layer that’s quickly “opening up” and becoming more readily available. Many companies, mine included, sell that content in bulk format. However, as the data flood gates open, content will give way to context. You’ll see less of a need for selling the data and more of a need for selling very specific and contextually relevant solutions tailored to a variety of industries.

I’m excited to see all of the solutions that will come out of the open parcel data movement. By the way if you have any ideas for one of those contextually relevant solutions for your industry using property data – email me atbilly@courthouseusa.com. We are on the lookout for partners / developers that want to build solutions for an industry using nationwide parcel data.

18 Sep 2015
GridlockHigh carbon emissionsClimate change (1)

A New Smart Growth & Sustainable Development Solution for You and Your Clients

2MAPS is a geospatial-based application that provides a parcel-level affordable housing location and traffic reduction model to aid in “smart growth” and sustainable development.

The Problem

All over the world, public officials are under increasing pressure to meet carbon reduction mandates. At the same time, the general public is suffering from crippling traffic jams. “Smart growth” principles offer a remedy for both problems. These principles focus on where to best locate town workers and small businesses to expedite development of pedestrian-oriented communities and reduce auto dependency. Combining geospatial tools and available data, these smart growth models can be developed and easily visualized to aid in the decision making process.

The Solution

The 2MAPS solution includes the only spatial algorithm built for assigning every parcel in America a categorical score to formulate overlay zones that identify optimal development areas to increase affordable housing while improving traffic flows.

How it works

A Relative Walk Potential map layer is created by first mapping all the destination parcels (retail, service, amenities) and buffering those parcels by a certain radius. The resulting Relative Walk Potential map assigns a categorical walkability rating to each parcel according to the total number of nearby destinations.

The Relative Walk map is then overlayed with parcels that are considered candidates for development (multi-family, commercial, office, mixed use).  The intersecting parcels from these 2 maps creates the High Walk Overlay Zone essentially identifying parcels that are optimal for redevelopment to offer affordable housing for town workers based on walkability

pic

 

The same process is used to create a Relative Transit Potential map although this time, a categorical walkability rating is assigned to each parcel according to the total number of nearby destinations factoring each parcel based on transit potential using bus stop and accessible jobs data. Like the Relative Walk Potential map, the transit map is overlayed and intersected with the candidates for development parcels to create High Transit Overlay Zone essentially identifying parcels optimal for redevelopment based on public transit access.

pic

The final outcome when combining the High Walk Overlay Zone and theHigh Transit Overlay Zone is the Climate Change Overlay Zone, where, locating town worker housing, retail, and rent control will decrease traffic and trip generation as well as greatly reduce the area’s carbon footprint the most. The pink area in the Climate Change Overlay represents the high trip generation reduction zone.

pic

Benefits

  • Decreases traffic congestion
  • Reduces a community’s carbon footprint helping to reverse climate change
  • Increases affordable housing
  • Added housing inventory expedites compliance with new HUD Fair Housing Act Guidelines

Whether you’re in traffic engineering, economic development, regional planning, or with a company that services those markets, this is an optimized solution that immediately addresses one of the most prevalent issues facing this country today.

Contact me at billy@courthouseusa.com to discuss how we can partner to help apply sustainable “smart growth” principles.