OpenStreetMap (OSM) is an open, community-maintained base map of the world. It includes the outlines of countries, locations of cities, important places and landmarks, natural features like rivers, and roads – all of which can be important for businesses looking to perform geospatial analytics. Especially when customers must travel to a retail store front, the distance from a major road and proximity of other places plays a major factor and OSM data can help provide those key insights.
In Hex Tiles, an analytic data tiling system that Foursquare launched just this past year, data is projected into a hexagonal H3 grid system in order to have a common unit for joins. The uniform grid of hexagons provides a convenient way to define analytics on top of the joined data. Our previous post expands more on why transforming data from its source geometry into the H3 grid is useful.