A custom online database is giving the term ‘street smarts’ a whole new definition. A new analytical tool called Streetlight Data aims to optimize retail locations and minimize travel time by utilizing data based on the routes people actually use, reported Bacon’s Rebellion. Co-founded in 2011 by transportation sustainability advocate Laura Schewel and online database architect and analyst Paul Friedman, Streetlight Data began its first round of venture funding in April 2013.
The impetus for the enterprise stemmed from an urban redevelopment project in Oakland, CA, reported Bacon’s Rebellion. Schewel noticed that although some locations had a bad reputation, they were actually frequented by many young professionals, who passed through the areas every day on their way to work or to enjoy nightlife. Data showed that these locations could actually be retail boons.
The online database utilizes a variety of sourced information, reported Bacon’s Rebellion, including wireless data, GPS navigation data and Census data, to make insights about mobility patterns. Planners and retailers can benefit from smarter data insights to make decisions about store locations and transportation infrastructure investments.
Streetlight wrote that their data, which is not taken in real time in order to protect people’s privacy, is aggregated into statistically relevant groups according to travel destinations and visit frequency.
Schewel stated that the online database can provide more resources to transportation developers, who can visualize the results of their decisions like never before, according to Bacon’s Rebellion.
“[State governments] really don’t know what happens after they institute a new policy,” said Schewel. “They can’t measure the before and after very clearly. We can.”