Top Geo Business Companies Using Open Data

Nowadays open data is overwhelming and become a capital to innovative company to make a product or service. There are many sources of open data which can be accessed across the globe varies from local to international level. According to Open Data Institute, open data has been fostering open innovation which drives many apps, products and service. This post will present some of top geo business companies which empowering open data to create a great product and service for their customers.


Based in New York, United States, Mapzen is an open source mapping platform and supporting open data and software to promote a healthy mapping ecosystem. To empower the platform, Mapzen is using global coverage street data from OpenStreetMap, addresses in OpenAddresses, transit schedules in Transitland, or global names and places in the gazetteer Who’s On First. Mapzen also provides geocoding and routing service that can be used with or without map. Their forward- and reverse-geocoding Search API let user to put searching and navigation application in their project anywhere. As open source company, Mapzen gives service and tools for developer. The tools or service are categorized based on the products, for example in Map product,  there are mapzen.js, cartography for basemap and icons, Tangram to render 2D and 3D map, vector tiles and terrain tiles. In Search and Mobility products there are two services available, Map Search to find places and addresses, and Mapzen Mobility for routing and navigation. For Mobile application, Mapzen provides SDK which can be run on Android and iOS. Lastly in Data product, they provide service like Who's on First for retrieving places data, Metro Extracts to download and manage a city size portion of OSM data, Elevation service for requesting Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data around the world and Address Parsing to parse address data with libpostal engine. Overall, as freemium service Mapzen gives a free access to the services for limited amount of request, and then user only pay for what they use.  


Geolytix won Queen's Award for Innovation enterprise in 2016. It is a company which provides location analysis mostly for retailers company. Founded in 2012 by Blair Freebairn and based in London, UK, Geolytix works with many blue-chip UK retailers including ASDA, Boots, TSB, Camelot, Sainsbury’s, the Post Office, John Lewis and Barclays Bank. These UK businesses are creating new profitable location strategies across their physical and digital interactions with customers. Geolytix helps businesses to make better decision and understand how to optimise its store network by combining customers' data with open data. To achieve this mission, Geolytix offers four main services: Network Strategy, Location planning, Omnichannel Retailing and Spatial Modelling. Geolytix uses OpenStreetMap for street network, official demographic, administration boundary and tiles from CartoDB. Moreover it has numerous location dataset across UK such as Retail Points, Retail Places, Public Transport, Postal Geometries, Town and Suburb, Education, Work Places, Points of Interest, Residential, and Property. Those dataset are not free, anyone who want to get the data must pay about 3000 Pound.   


Doorda was founded in 2013 by Clifford McDowell, with a mission to make open data accessible to all. Most of the data is coming from official resources. In a bid to win the international data race, the UK has encouraged individual government departments to release data as soon as they can before any national framework or index is put in place.  In essence, there are over 908 data publishers releasing data openly. Currently over 140,000 datasets available to date. Doorda presents an in-depth local and national view by connecting up-to-date Open Data releases covering for socio-demographic, environmental, crime and road traffic accidents, utility consumption, company information, planning requests etc. Doorda’s Open Data solution underpins the timely collection, packaging and delivery of augmented and aggregated Open Data, which can be seamlessly integrated with a company’s existing data. Using Doorda's service enable a user to navigate vast quantities of Open Data via the Doorda API and extract via JSON or CSV format. They also provide Data as a Service (DaaS) to create customised mash-ups and investigate the availability of open data sources relevant to an area of interest. Moreover a user can interrogate specific datasets or bespoke data solutions from Open Data released locally, nationally and internationally. Lastly Doorda also monitor updates to existing datasets, and recommend relevant newly released datasets to ensure competitive advantage.


Shoothill was established in 2006, by Rod Plummer and Erik Nodland, to provide a full end-to-end service for custom software projects, including web and mobile application development, API solutions and data visualisation, for both consumer and corporate audiences alike. At the core of Shoothill's ethos is a continual commitment to explore and apply new technologies to create bespoke, innovative business solutions. Recognised by Microsoft as a Silver Development Partner, it has a proven track record of successfully delivering over 300 projects. Shoothill have been at the forefront of visualising and disseminating flood & river level data since early 2012 when Flood Alerts, the UK’s first live flood warning map, was launched. FloodAlerts was licensed by the Environment Agency for use on their website, is supplied to the BBC and used throughout the UK media. In 2014, Shoothill launched the award-winning GaugeMap service, an interactive visualisation of over 3000 river level gauges, showing current river conditions through England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. As part of this project, and to maintain Shoothill’s position at the forefront of innovation in this area, each river level gauge has been connected to Twitter - an Internet of Things world first! As well as this outstanding work in hydrological data visualisation and social media dissemination. Shoothill have also developed software solutions for some of the world’s biggest companies such as BT, HSBC, Experian and Formula One.


Telenav was established in 1999 by HP Jin, YC Chao, Sal Dhanani and Robert Rennard, with a mission to make people's lives less stressful, more productive, and more fun. Telenav is location-based services company that provides services including Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation, local search, automotive navigation solutions, mobile advertising, enterprise mobility and workflow automation. The company’s headquarters are located in Santa Clara, California with branch offices in Germany, Romania, China, Brazil and Japan. One of the main corporate's service are intelligent navigation service which expertise in location-based services and driver, car, and road intelligence enables proactive, predictive, and personalized navigation and ADAS experiences. These experiences are powered by a comprehensive set of location services across the car, mobile, and cloud including global one-box search, real-time traffic, dynamic routing, fully interactive maps, and ADAS features, which is empowering by OpenStreetMap(OSM). To enhance the service based on OSM data, Telenav provides a map-making tools, that enable the OSM community of more than 3 million contributors to make OSM a richer map for navigation, ADAS, and autonomous driving applications. Moreover, Telenav also give service in mobile advertising and location intelligence which is helping brands better understand the consumer path to purchase and build experiences that more effectively engage with target audiences.          


Mapbox-logoFounded in 2010 Mapbox is a map and location data platform for web and mobile applications. It is using by a number of leading application namely: Foursquare, Pinterest, Evernote, the Financial Times, The Weather Channel and Uber.  Using Mapbox, a user can focus on their application without worry about design, cause They know not everybody could design a nice map. Therefore Mapbox provides professional designed maps which can be customized with Mapbox Studio. As a geo business company which is using open data, the vast majority of Mapbox's data is open from large open data resources include OpenStreetMap, USGS, Landsat, Natural Earth, and OpenAddresses. Furthermore they also contribute to the resources ,participate in communities and invest tools to improve them. Besides map, they also develop other products such as mobile navigation with an open source SDK, which can be run on Android and iOS. Other Mapbox's products are geocoding and satellite imagery service. Mapbox offers their product as freemium service. Its free for starter with 50000 map views/month or 50000 mobile user/month.

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