Geospatial Data Headache Solved with Placekey Launch


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SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – October 6, 2020: Placekey, a new industry standard for identifying physical places, will launch publicly on October 7, 2020 with over 500 organizations committed to its long term success—including Esri, CARTO, SafeGraph, and Nielsen.

Placekey solves a major problem for organizations that leverage data assets to drive geospatial innovation. Without being able to access a common identifier, data analysts must dedicate a significant amount of time cleaning, normalizing, and organizing datasets in order to join them together. “Placekey is a standardization the entire industry can all agree on,” said Matt Shaw, VP of Engineering at Fiddlehead. “I’m excited to discover what I can do with all the time freed up from data cleansing and normalization.”

More importantly, Placekey will provide organizations with a free, common, universally-accepted industry standard for identifying physical places. “To take the next step in unleashing global innovation around the power of location data and information, we need an open, commonly-used designation for place,” said Keith Masback, Principal Consultant of Plum Run, LLC. “Placekey unlocks that potential.”

There have been a number of attempts to create an industry standard for identifying physical places in the past. Unfortunately, none have ever been broadly adopted. Previous identifiers were built and designed specifically for mapping data but not necessarily to support joining datasets together. Grid system identifiers, for example, are great at identifying physical locations on a map but often fail to provide context for what is at that location. Placekey, on the other hand, takes a unique, places-centric approach that can be applied consistently and uniformly across different disparate datasets.

To celebrate the official launch of Placekey, a free, digital event will take place on October 7, 2020 where supporters and partners of the Placekey movement will come together to discuss the future of GIS and get exclusive access to live demonstrations of Placekey implementations.

And in an effort to encourage continued GIS- and Placekey-related innovations, the Placekey Community has been formed, creating a space where over 4,000 (and growing) Placekey users can collaborate, ask questions, and share insights and innovations with each other. This Slack community is free to join and open to geospatial experts using Placekey.

More details about Placekey, the Placekey Community, and the Placekey launch event can be found at

About Placekey

Placekey is a common industry standard for identifying any physical place in the world, which also helps to eliminate the headache of joining geospatial datasets together. Over 500 organizations have signed on to support Placekey’s launch, including Esri, SafeGraph, Affinity, CARTO, JLL, Nielsen, and Landgrid. Visit to learn more and to join over 4,000 geospatial experts in the Placekey Community.


For more information about Placekey or questions about how to get involved, please contact

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