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Entity Resolution with Placekey

Entity resolution for place data

Entity resolution is the process of matching and merging records from different sources that refer to the same entity.

today’s episode is about entity resolution for place data, why you might want to do that, and what any of this has to do with the dollar, Unix time and the idea that If data is really driving innovation, join keys are going to become more valuable.

Today’s guest is Auren Hoffman

If you want to try Placekey for yourself go to

If you want to learn more about SafeGraph listen to this podcast episode

Challenges in Address Matching and Data Accuracy

Variability in Address Formats

  • Global Differences: Address formats vary significantly around the world. What constitutes a standard address in one country might be entirely different in another, leading to challenges in creating a universally applicable system for address matching.
  • Local Nuances: Even within the same country, addresses can vary by region, city, or even district. These nuances add layers of complexity to the process of accurately matching and cataloging addresses in a standardized format.

Inaccuracies and Inconsistencies

  • Human Error: Misentered data, typos, or outdated information can lead to inaccuracies in address databases. These errors can propagate through systems if not caught and corrected.
  • Changing Geographies: Addresses are not static; they can change over time due to factors like urban development, renaming of streets, or reorganization of postal systems. Keeping up with these changes is a continuous challenge.

Technical Limitations and Data Integration

  • Compatibility Issues: Different systems and databases might use varying formats for storing address information, leading to compatibility challenges when integrating data from multiple sources.
  • Complexity of Entity Resolution: Matching addresses across different datasets (entity resolution) is complex. It requires sophisticated algorithms to recognize that different entries (like “St.” vs. “Street”) refer to the same location.

PlaceKey’s Approach to Addressing These Challenges

  • Standardization: PlaceKey aims to provide a universal standard for addressing these variations by converting complex addresses into a consistent format.
  • Advanced Matching Algorithms: It likely employs advanced algorithms capable of handling variations and misspellings in addresses, thus improving the accuracy of matches.
  • Continuous Updating and Improvement: Acknowledging the dynamic nature of addresses, Place Key probably incorporates mechanisms for regular updates and corrections to maintain data accuracy.

Broader Implications

  • Impact on Various Industries: Accurate address matching is crucial for industries like logistics, real estate, emergency services, and many others. Inaccuracies can lead to significant operational inefficiencies or even critical failures in services.
  • Importance for Public Services and Policy Making: For government and public services, accurate geospatial data is vital for urban planning, infrastructure development, and policy-making. Inaccuracies in this data can lead to misallocation of resources and ineffective policies.
About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.