Point of Interest Data (POI data) | All You Need To Know

August 23, 2023
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Optimize Your Point of Interrest (POI data) Quality: Insights and Considerations for Buying High-Quality POI data to Enhance Accuracy and Decision-Making

What is Point of Interrest Data (POI data)

Points of Interest (POI) data is a collection of info about specific places like restaurants, parks, and shops. It's used in maps and apps to help you find and learn about different locations.

For example, when you're searching for a nearby coffee shop or checking out reviews for a new restaurant, POI data comes into play. However, collecting accurate and up-to-date POI data can be challenging because places change, new spots open up, and old ones close down. Ensuring the quality and reliability of this data is important to provide users with accurate information for their journeys and adventures

Types of Point of Interrest data (POI data) from data collection perspective

POI Data Types

Points of interrest data (POI data) can be manually collected through surveying techniques, crowed sourced, or aggregated from multiple sources as below:

Surveys and Field Data Collection

Organizations send teams to physically survey and collect information about various locations, noting details such as names, addresses, categories, and attributes. It's accurate but very time consuming and expensive to collect. This type of data collection is not suitable for frequently changing cities and business types like restaurants, cafe's etc.

Government Databases

Government agencies often maintain databases of important locations such as government buildings, parks, hospitals, and more, which can be used as a source of POI data. This type of data collection cover most government related facilities, but does not usually cover a lot in the private sector.

Commercial Data Providers

Companies specialize in collecting and curating POI data from various sources, including public records, web scraping, and partnerships with businesses. This is aggregated points of interrest data.

What is Aggregated Point of Interrest Data (Poi data)

Aggregated POI data sourcing

Aggregated Points of Interrest data (POI data) refers to a collection of information from various sources that have been brought together or combined into a single dataset. Instead of relying on just one source, aggregated POI data compiles details from multiple sources, such as maps, directories, user contributions, and more. This comprehensive dataset provides a broader and more diverse view of different places, making it useful for applications like mapping services, navigation apps, and location-based searches. Aggregated POI data can help users find a wider range of places and enhance the accuracy and coverage of location-based information.

Surveying grade Poi data vs Aggregated POI data

Point of Interrest data (POI data) cleaning and standardization | Full Process

This overview illuminates the Points of Interest (POI) data cleaning process. It involves tasks such as duplicate removal, outlier handling, categorization, standardization, validation, geocoding, user review integration, photo inclusion, and periodic updates for data accuracy.

POI data pipeline preparation

Data Cleaning

  • Duplicate Removal: Identify and remove duplicate entries to avoid redundancy and confusion in the dataset.
  • Outlier Detection: Identify and handle data points that are significantly different from the majority, which could be errors or anomalies.
  • Address Normalization: Standardize address formats to ensure uniformity and accuracy.


  • Category Identification: Assign appropriate categories to each POI based on its attributes and characteristics.
  • Hierarchy Establishment: Create a structured hierarchy of categories to organize POIs (e.g., Food -> Restaurants -> Italian).
  • Category Enrichment: Enhance POI data by adding secondary categories to capture more specific attributes.


  • Name Translation: If the POIs come from different languages, translate names to a common language to improve consistency and user understanding.
  • Coordinate Verification: Check and validate the accuracy of the geographical coordinates to ensure precise mapping.
  • Attribute Standardization: Ensure uniformity in attributes like phone numbers, opening hours, and descriptions.

Quality Control

  • Data Validation: Use validation rules to check data against predefined criteria for accuracy and completeness.
  • Error Handling: Identify and rectify errors in data fields, missing information, or inconsistencies.
  • Manual Review: Assign trained reviewers to manually verify and correct data, especially for critical or high-value POIs.

Geocoding and Mapping:

  • Geocoding: Convert addresses into geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) for accurate mapping.
  • Mapping to Hierarchy: Associate POIs with their appropriate category hierarchy for better organization. Such as Country -> City -> Neighborhood

Data Enrichment

  • User Reviews and Ratings: Collect and incorporate user reviews and ratings to provide additional information to users.
  • Photos and Descriptions: Include images and detailed descriptions to give users a better understanding of the POI.

Regular Updates

  • Set up mechanisms to periodically refresh the data to reflect changes, new additions, and closures of POIs.

How to Evaluate Points of Interrest Data (POI data)

Data Completeness

Check if the essential information is present for each POI, such as name, address, category, and contact details. Incomplete data can lead to confusion for users.

Duplicate Entries

Identify and remove duplicate POI entries to avoid redundancy and confusion.

Geographic Accuracy

Evaluate the coordinates of the POIs. Incorrect positioning can lead to inaccurate navigation instructions.


Verify whether the data is up to date. Businesses can change locations, close down, or move, which can make outdated POI data misleading.


Assess if the POIs are correctly categorized. A restaurant listed as a park can lead to inaccurate results. Check if the categories match the actual nature of the business or location.

Data Format and Structure

Ensure that the data is in a consistent format and follows a standard structure. Inconsistencies in data formats can affect the usability of the data.

Data Integrity

Check for data corruption or errors during data collection, storage, or transfer that could affect the accuracy of POI information.

Validation Techniques

Utilize automated validation tools to identify common data quality issues, such as missing fields, inconsistent formatting, or potential errors.

Statistical Analysis

Perform statistical analysis on the data to identify patterns, outliers, and anomalies that might indicate data quality issues.


Maintain comprehensive documentation of your assessment methodology, findings, and actions taken to address data quality issues.

What to look for when buying Points of Interrest data (POI data)

  1. Freshness:Ensure that the data is up to date and regularly maintained to reflect recent changes in businesses, locations, and addresses.
  2. Accuracy:Verify that the data is accurate by cross-referencing it with reliable and authoritative sources. Inaccurate data can lead to incorrect decisions and navigation.
  3. Coverage:Assess the comprehensiveness of the data. It should cover a wide range of categories and industries to meet your specific needs.
  4. Categorization:Check if the data is properly categorized and tagged to allow for accurate filtering and searching based on user requirements.
  5. Geographic Scope:Ensure that the data covers the geographic areas of interest to you. Whether it's a specific city, region, or country, the data should align with your target market.
  6. Data Format and Structure:Confirm that the data is provided in a format that is compatible with your systems and applications. Standardized data formats like CSV, JSON or Shapefile are common.
  7. Data Licensing and Usage Rights:Review the terms of use and licensing agreements associated with the data. Ensure that you have the necessary rights to use the data for your intended purposes.
  8. Update Frequency:Understand how often the data is updated. Frequent updates are important to maintain accuracy and reflect real-time changes.
  9. Data Enrichment:Consider whether the data includes additional attributes beyond basic information, such as reviews, ratings, photos, or hours of operation.
  10. Customer Support:Assess the level of customer support provided by the data provider. Responsive support can be crucial if you encounter issues with the data.
  11. Price and Value:Consider the pricing structure and whether the data's freshness and coverage justify the cost.
  12. Data Integration Compatibility:Confirm that the data can be easily integrated into your existing technology stack, including databases, mapping systems, and analytics platforms.

When "NOT" to buy aggregated POI data

100% Full Coverage Needed

If your project requires 100% coverage of all Points of Interest in your local areas, especially in rural areas – surveying grade data can ensure comprehensive and accurate representation. Aggregated data can reach very high coverage up to 95% in most urban areas, but might lack in rural area that does not have enough information on the map.

Niche or Specialized Data Attributes Needed

For industries with unique or specialized requirements, aggregated data might lack the specificity and detail needed to cater to specific niches. For example, Knowing the types of product a grocery store sell or the speciality within each hospital.

Small Area of Interest Needed

If your project focuses on a small geographic area, surveying grade data can provide a highly detailed and precise dataset for that specific region.

Infrequent Updates Needed

If your project doesn't require frequent updates to the dataset and can operate effectively with static data, surveying grade data offers the benefit of accuracy without the constant data refresh.

Homogeneous Style or Category For Rare category (e.g. Warehouse)

If the majority of your points fall into a single category or have a similar style (e.g., retail stores), surveying grade data ensures consistency and precision within that category.

When to to buy aggregated POI data

When to Buy Aggregated data

Real-Time Insights

When you want to provide users with real-time updates and information, as aggregated data often includes user-contributed content that's constantly updated.

Quick Deployment

If you need to quickly launch an application or service and don't have the time for lengthy data collection and verification processes.

Broad Coverage Needed

If you require a wide range of POIs from various categories and locations to offer a comprehensive service or application.

Market Tracking and Monitoring Change

Aggregated data enables tracking changes and trends in different locations and industries over time, helping businesses monitor market shifts. Especially capturing new businesses and businesses that closed.

Limited Budget

If you have budget constraints and need access to a large volume of data without the costs associated with extensive field surveys.

Surveying grade data can be 10x more expensive

User-Generated Content to understand popularity

If you want to leverage user-generated content, reviews, and ratings, foot traffic.

General Mapping and Navigation

When your primary goal is to offer general mapping, navigation, and location-based services to users.

Exploratory Analysis

If you're conducting exploratory data analysis or research and need an initial overview of different locations and trends.

Local Search Apps

Aggregated data is well-suited for applications that help users find nearby restaurants, shops, attractions, and more.

Startups and MVPs

When launching a startup or Minimum Viable Product (MVP), using aggregated data can accelerate your development process.

Visualizing Trends

Aggregated data can help visualize trends, patterns, and popular locations across various categories.

Preliminary Market Research

For initial market research and feasibility studies, aggregated data can provide a starting point for understanding local businesses.

How xMap's POI Data Can Help Your Business

  • Advanced Visualization Techniques: xMap leverages sophisticated visualization tools to present comprehensive POI data, making it easy for businesses to understand location dynamics and identify strategic points of interest.
  • Deep Data Analysis: Dive into detailed analyses with xMap, exploring aspects such as demographic trends, consumer behavior, and local attractions, facilitating informed decision-making for market expansion and customer engagement.
  • Periodic Updates: Stay ahead with the latest POI data, ensuring your business strategies are informed by the most current insights for dynamic market responsiveness.
  • Custom Insights for Strategic Planning: xMap's customizable analysis tools allow for targeted insights, enabling precise strategy development based on specific business needs and objectives.
  • User-friendly Interface: With its intuitive design, xMap ensures that stakeholders at all levels can easily access and interpret POI data, fostering collaborative and informed decision-making processes.

To get all the details about our Point of Interest (POI) data, visit our catalog page.

If you’d like to data samples for other countries like Egypt, USA, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey, UAE, and others, please visit our platform and sign up.

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