The Future is Hyperlocal: Driving business success with new generation mapping

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In recent years, the term hyperlocal and the issues and considerations associated with businesses becoming more hyperlocal have become increasingly prevalent.

 

Earlier this month, we co-hosted a Webinar session with e27 and invited a diverse range of panelists across different industries to discuss the opportunities and challenges surrounding the newly heightened interest in hyperlocal.

Opportunities all around

This increased demand for hyperlocal services was particularly evident during the COVID period when logistics companies and food and grocery delivery services were greatly impacted. However, businesses have yet to realize their full potential in tapping into new markets and they still have a long way to go in reaching their maximum operational efficiency.

 

Today, hyperlocal businesses are still focusing their operations primarily on urban areas. It is essential, however, for businesses to consider expanding their delivery services to more rural areas, where customers would benefit from the convenience of having their orders delivered directly to their doorsteps, thereby reducing the number of trips to the city.

 

It is also expected that businesses in the autonomous sector will see more adoption of its hyperlocal services as drone deliveries and self-driving cars gain popularity.

Obstacles to success

Billions have been lost due to incorrect addresses and failure of deliveries. In the hyperlocal space, knowing your customers and being able to reach them in the most effective and efficient manner is crucial, especially for last-mile delivery services.

 

While these are today’s requirements, location data has yet to be standardized. 75% of the world is still badly addressed, leaving 4 billion people with no access to a proper address. And when it comes to addressing structure, rural and urban addresses differ significantly. Even in urban areas, different cities may have different address structures depending on their maturity.

 

Providing unified addressing solutions remains a challenge for mapping technology companies. The one-map-fits-all approach does not meet the needs of hyperlocal addressing. It is often the case that the dominant mapping provider would vary across different regions, for example, one map provider may be highly effective in Singapore but may not be as successful in Indonesia.

 

The biggest challenge today is not a lack of location data, but in capturing that data in a manner that produces high-quality information. For example, companies are increasingly implementing machine learning in order to standardize the collected data and ensure a higher level of consistency. However, it has varying success since the initial data may not be accurate.

 

Data quality can be affected in many ways – by the interpretation and structure of the data, how you create inferences from the metareferences, and how to create contextual relationships between data points.

 

It is one thing to capture different addressing structures, but another to capture descriptive addresses. Current mapping technology is only capable of cleaning and standardizing structured addresses. In many emerging markets, it is still a challenge to translate a descriptive address such as “turn left, at the petrol station you will see a yellow building, and it’s the building behind it” into something contextual and pins it on a map.

Road to hyperlocal mapping

In today’s digital economy, there is a need to challenge the status quo regarding how mapping is built. Mapping should not be limited to one company or individual, but that it be driven by the community at large. Currently, mapping solutions do not allow businesses to integrate their own location data and collect data contributions from other stakeholders.

 

As a first step toward a new generation of mapping, businesses and communities that rely on location-based services need to build an integrated system that leads toward data democratization, allowing them to utilize data and create different types of interfaces around the data and develop a technology platform.  

At UNL, we built a first-of-its-kind Data Agnostic Platform that allows businesses to build,  connect, and enrich maps with the data sources of their choice. The UNL Platform enables businesses to access 3rd party (private and open-source) data providers at various geographic levels, and seamless integration of data with UNL’s location services to create distinguished services.

 

Businesses can access, manage, and maintain their location data through Virtual Private Maps (VPM). VPM is a private virtual workspace within the UNL Platform where businesses can organize their data and tap into powerful, DIY location APIs, SDKs, and plug-ins such as Maps, Hyperlocal Geocoder, Routing, and more. Additionally, companies can securely bring their own data and keep 100% data ownership and control within their organization.

 

UNL Platform is accessible to different sizes of organizations in the ecosystem ranging from start-ups, SMEs, to enterprises. Companies can either keep their data private or they also have the option to open up their data and integrated applications to the marketplace and tap into opportunities to monetize their data.

 

To know more about how you can power locations with hyperlocal intelligence, book your demo with our experts at hi@unl.global.

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