Hiroshi Tomita

Business Analyst

June 14, 2013

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5 Ways Data and Maps Can Help brands Expand Environmentally

how companies like getchee might be able to offer green solutions.

ForestMap

Time magazine recently released a series of  time-lapses showing changes on the surface of the earth between 1984 and 2012 caused by human development. With every descent into Lagos, Nigeria I started thinking how companies like getchee might be able to offer brand solutions that not only help companies expand or optimise networks, but help them to do it in ways that are sensitive to global impact. 

Here’s 5 possible ways data and maps could be used to help brands expand in environmentally conscious ways.

1. Use mobile data to track and prioritize public transportation and infrastructure optimization

Mobile networks are often notoriously closed with their data – understandably for safety reasons. However, earlier this year the Orange telecom network released anonymous Côte d’Ivoire mobile user data for the Data for Development challenge. One of the winning submissions from IBM Research in Ireland used the data to track and find ways to optimize the public transportation network. The research evaluated migration patterns to determine where public transportation is needed most, and recommending nodes and peak times for resource management. City governments can take this information a step further to ensure those high frequency road networks are well maintained to avoid congestion – a common problem in Nigeria exacerbated by flooded roads during the wet season where some folks commute 5 hours to get home. Optimizing road infrastructure in tandem with public transportation accessibility might alleviate the number of cars – and it would certainly lower the idle time cars spend in traffic. 

2. Collaborate on city studies

As MIT puts it, “In the future, cities will account for nearly 90% of global population growth, 80% of wealth creation, and 60% of total energy consumption. Developing better strategies for the creation of new cities, is therefore, a global imperative.” getchee has location data, industry knowledge, and awareness of policy constraints in each city we’ve worked in. By collaborating, we have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on city development research. In addition, we could apply city research in emerging markets to help avoid common pitfalls of other established cities and implement expansion policies that fit the local area. 

3. Map ecologically sensitive areas and protect them with zoning regulations

getchee collects reams of data when we work in any market to estimate market potential and predict where it is concentrated for different target segments. We could take it a step further by synthesizing our data with data on ecologically diverse and sensitive areas and finding advocacy or government agencies that could benefit from our maps. They could determine which protection areas are at the highest risk of encroachment and prioritize mitigation strategies based on the types of development that is encroaching on the area. To learn more about available mapping tools you can find online, check out this article on “5 Mapping Tools That Can Make Your Job Easier

4. Nurture development that encourages public spaces

Cities are space-constrained and it is often the governments’ or the peoples’ responsibility to zone and maintain public spaces like parks. We often work with private banks in emerging markets, and in Lagos I’ve noticed they are pioneers of development with modern architecture and cash inflow into the economy. In recommending target expansion areas, getchee could map and recommend locating near government designated public spaces if it aligns with their business strategy, but also as a way to provide an indirect sponsor to the area by being a stable community anchor. 

5. Find companies doing innovative things and make ripples together

Through sharing niche knowledge and expertise across multiple domains, we can create unforeseen ripples. There are companies like Ecovative using mycelin as a low impact, reusable substitute for Styrofoam packaging. Now they’re expanding applications across multiple industries including insulation and building material adhesive. When there is an innovate solution at hand, it may not be enough to stand by and admire, but to find myriad ways to support. 

If data itself is a mystery to you, check out our article on “5 Easy Ways To Learn More About Big Data” to help get your head wrapped around things first.

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