Most of our job is to collect data including POIs, roads, and etc, and then process these data using ESRI ArcGIS platform or something else, finally create map for client.

Now we meet some problem for the collecting of POIS, since these kinds of data may change frequently, we have to update them accordingly.

And now we collect all the pois manually, I mean we hire some guys, one for one area, then they will collect the infomration of the pois inside his area, for example, take a photo for the place, register the street name,number and photo, website(if any) and etc.

But it will cost much time to do this complete manually, so I wonder if there are any automatic collecting solution or research?



1 What kind of data do we need? Generally speaking, POIs.

For example the restaurant,pub,fast_food and etc, we need the know the address,street name, number.

2 What do we want to improve?

We now collect them all manually, take me for example, I will go to the pub directly, record the long/lat, take some photos, got the photo or website from the service guy of the place. Then go to another place.

After this original data are collected, we will import them by the GIS paltform(ESRI or something else), then we will draw them at the map one by one, and add the attributes if any(like phone,photo and etc)

Note, the attributes are not all required, and some of them can be recognized from the photo(Like the exact name and type of the place,).

This is rather slow if we have a large area to update. So we wonder if there are any devices can improve this. For example, we can drive along a street with a camera, then we can take photos for the places along the street, then we get all the required attributes like geographic position,name,type from the photo, and draw them ....

  • Please edit your Question to revise it with the precise steps of how you do this now, and which step(s) of those you are hoping to automate. – PolyGeo Dec 12 '13 at 0:35
  • @PolyGeo:I am sorry, but I think I have make it clear in the post as I said "we hire some guys, ... will collect the infomration of the pois ...take a photo for the place...",is this not enough? – giser Dec 12 '13 at 0:40
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    The question is unclear. What are you looking for? Data collection is usually going to need human interaction. What can change, is the process and devices. You need to tell us your current procedure. We'll also need to know what kind of data and what accuracy you need. – Devdatta Tengshe Dec 12 '13 at 1:01
  • Ok, I have updated my post, please let me know if this is still not clear enough. – giser Dec 12 '13 at 2:14

This is a broad question, and there isn't going to be one Objective answer. There could me a million improvements, all dependent on your individual situation and the characteristics of your Area of Interest.

Firstly, it is not clear how your people are collecting the data. Do they write that on paper? How do they collect the photos and GPS point? Are the Locations marked on a paper Map? This process could be improved quite a bit.

Developing solutions for these kinds of field surveys, is one of my primary role, at my employer. We've developed custom apps for Android and iOS devices which enable the ground surveyors to collect all this data, and instantly transfer all of it to a centralized database. You could do something similar with ESRI's mobile Solutions, or even something like Open Data Kit We have found that using appropriate technology in this process leads to faster surveying, and judicious use of data validation in apps leads to better quality of results.

Can there be a completely automated solution for this? Probably not. Could you use something like Photographs from the Street(similar to street view)? Partially.

There will be many limitations to collecting data from Street Photographs, including:

  • You'll be able to get the Location, Photograph and probably name of the POI. But can you get the Phone Number, URL, timings etc? NO
  • Will you be able to get the address of a POI? That depends on the addressing scheme of your country. In many places, the addressing scheme is irregular, and you won't get address for a given location.
  • Does each building have only one POI at a location? In my country there will be multiple shops and offices in a multi-story building. Not all of them have a 'store-front' You can't handle that without manual intervention.

In Conclusion, I feel that many small tweaks could be done to your current process, but a fully automated solution isn't possible.

  • So, if we make the Phone Number and URL and multi-story build out of consideration,then any improvement? – giser Dec 12 '13 at 3:57
  • That's a calculation that you'll have to do. Are there enough cost saving when you take into account the data acquisition system plus cost on training and then data processing? Someone will have to sit down and extract POIs from the photographs. Only you can calculate the ROI – Devdatta Tengshe Dec 12 '13 at 4:00
  • We have other guys processing the original collected data. Different people for different job. BTW, are there any so said data acquisition system or research? – giser Dec 12 '13 at 4:04
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    I think this is a good answer to a poorly defined question. The OP may want to review how to ask a good question in the FAQ as well as the meta topic "What makes a good question?" for more tailored answers in the future. – blah238 Dec 12 '13 at 4:10

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