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How? We need to go back a bit. Starting with something that probably seems like ancient history.
You knew the address where you needed to go. So first you needed a paper map to look up the street name in the index at the back, then you memorised the page number and the grid reference. With luck, you’d remember the grid reference once you found the right page – and let’s hope you weren’t looking for one of those awkward addresses that were right at its edge! With bigger and heavier versions of the maps, then you might even see tiny house numbers on major roads.
Nowadays, that’s child’s-play – we’ve all got much more powerful tools sitting in our pockets.
So getting back to the next advance and the buses: the part of the software that does the job we used to have to do manually - looking up addresses and finding them on the map (and its reverse: telling you the address of places you pick out) – is called a geocoder.
The speed, accuracy and completeness of the HERE Geocoder isn’t just of use to regular people, but also to businesses.
One of our customers, IVU Traffic Technologies, is a specialist in business applications that turn location data into useful information, mainly providing services to retail, logistics and public transportation clients. IVU Traffic Technologies implemented HERE Geocoder into its geomarketing tool, “IVU.locate”. The tool can evaluate and analyse location data and provide its users with useful insight into market structures and customer behaviors.
As an example, one of IVU’s clients is Metrocali, a public transportation company in Santiago de Cali, Colombia’s third-largest city. It needed new software to help control its fleet of 1000 buses, plus the information systems that were used by the drivers, shown to passengers, and to people waiting at bus-stops. With its solution based on the HERE Geocoder, IVU Traffic Technologies successfully supported the company to reduce traffic jams, shorten journey times and lower costs. Then, they went on to help the company expand its bus network based on very precise geographical information, to see how the biggest needs could be served best.
In addition Metrocali wanted to get a better understanding of their customers’ preferences and ticket purchasing behavior. Geo-demographic information was combined and visualized on a map to enable interpretation and analysis of where, and when ticket booths and bus stops existed. Translating and interpreting the collected geographical data led to a solid foundation for redistributing the locations of ticket booths.
Oliver Schaefer, IVU’s Head of Department Logistics, said:
“It is the wide and rich variety of features of the HERE Geocoder and the complete HERE platform solution that offers the critical value to IVU. The fact that you can interpret results and understand the geocoding process based on the result scores and rankings is an important feature.”
In fact, IVU also integrated the maps and routing services from the HERE platform to create a consistent and complete solution for their client.
There are lots more possibilities, of course, and developers can take a look at the HERE Geocoder API on our developer portal.
How else do you think this solution could apply to business problems?
image credit: Amanda Slater