UNL has recently introduced Virtual Private Maps (VPMs), a collaborative workspace that enables multiple stakeholders to collaborate and contribute to location data while still retaining full control over its use and accessibility.
We sat down with Nishu Jain, UNL’s Chief Product Officer, to explore how VPMs are changing the paradigm of location-based services and empowering companies to contribute to the mapping ecosystem while keeping their data secure and up-to-date in real time.
Q: In what ways is UNL’s VPM technology transforming the traditional approach to mapping by creating a collaborative space for location data?
Nishu: With organizations generating vast amounts of data, the potential for leveraging location technology is enormous. However, many tools and technologies do not support third-party data integrations, and if they do, companies often lose ownership of the data.
UNL is changing this paradigm by creating a fully integrated ecosystem, where users can bring their own data to their Virtual Private Maps and maintain full ownership.
We designed UNL VPMs as a collaborative workspace that allows different stakeholders to connect, analyze, and visualize data in various capacities. Users can integrate their own data in real time, empowering them to deliver a personalized service experience. Furthermore, VPMs facilitate interactions between data points, allowing users to work together efficiently and effectively by discovering relationships among different data layers.
Q: How does UNL’s VPM approach to location data and maps enhance the performance of location-based services?
Nishu: VPMs are at the core of the UNL platform and seamlessly integrate with all UNL Location Services.
For instance, if a user possesses a substantial amount of point-of-interest (POI) data and wishes to integrate it through UNL Location Search Services, they can effortlessly do so by integrating their data via UNL Bring-Your-Own-Data APIs. By integrating their location data with UNL’s Location Services, companies can enhance their business maps and provide personalized search capabilities to their users.
Another example is UNL Geocoding services, which are integrated into VPMs. Users can easily bring their own data into UNL’s Geocoding pipelines, thereby improving the quality of their data. The UNL Geocoding solution is available globally and continuously improving with hyperlocal patterns and address training, resulting in a high-quality geocoder at a regional level. This powerful combination enables users to leverage UNL’s core technology and vast dataset, while also adding value by integrating their own data.
Q: With data ownership, privacy, and security being key concerns for companies, how are VPMs addressing these issues?
Nishu: One of the most significant concerns when it comes to data is data privacy and ownership, especially in the location technology space. This concern is more critical in the location space due to the scale and type of data generated by companies or users.
The design system of existing location tools and technology providers has forced companies to rely on building their data ecosystem, which can be costly and challenging, or rely on a third-party source that may not guarantee data privacy or ownership.
However, UNL solves both of these problems by allowing users to bring their location data to VPMs, enabling them to leverage highly sophisticated and detailed location-based services at minimal cost without creating their own technology setup.
The VPM concept empowers organizations to create multiple Virtual Private Maps, which facilitates data ownership and privacy at a granular VPM level.
This feature enables companies to restrict access to data by creating specific VPMs for different departments or teams, ensuring that each department has access only to the data they require.
This level of control makes it easier for organizations to manage data privacy and security while fostering collaboration among teams. With VPMs, organizations can be assured that their data remains secure and accessible only to those who need it.
Bonus Q: Apart from what we've discussed, can you highlight any other distinctive functionalities that users may find valuable?
Nishu: I would like to add that the VPMs present companies with the potential for monetization. Once they have gone through the integration cycle and created value within their ecosystem, they can choose to share their data with other users and earn monetization value. UNL is also developing a data marketplace based on the VPM design principle, which allows companies to derive extra value from their data.
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