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Placekey, the free universal standard identifier for physical places, is now available in Canada


Placekey, the free universal places identifier that makes it easy to link disparate datasets containing location data, is now available in Canada.

The purpose of Placekey, a free and universal location identifier, is to create a common industry standard for identifying physical places. Placekey creates a convenient way to perform address matching, entity resolution, data quality control, and deduplication.

Will Cadell is the CEO of SparkGeo, a geospatial data consultancy based in Prince George, British Columbia. He recently lauded the upcoming launch of Placekey in Canada as a way to deal with some of the unique challenges Canadians face when performing data analysis.

“Building common addressing or location fabrics that allow you to pull together datasets from more disparate sources and joining them together using a common location becomes really powerful,” Cadell says.

On the special challenges of address matching in Canada, Cadell explains, “Being able to provide location identifiers for places that typically don’t fall into the common denominator of addressing is useful”. Those locations might include “First Nations communities, mining or forestry camps.” Cadell continues, “We obviously have language to deal with. We’ve got French in there, as well as a variety of Indigenous languages, we’ve got a variety of different provinces and territories who see things in different ways. We also have a lot of remoteness. We have a lot of empty, and how we as a country manage for empty is interesting”.

This is where Placekey comes in, according to Cadell. Placekey helps bridge the divide between Canadian datasets from its culturally diverse and often geographically dispersed communities. Cadell explains, “You need a way of commonly understanding locations so you can join census data to location data to addresses to points of interest, and all that kind of stuff going together with a reasonable level of certainty.”

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