Cell Phone or Geolocation Datasets

I want cell phone data.  Location tracking or call detail records, both have their users and can answer research questions.  Basically nothing is publicly available, but lots of companies exist and some say they will work with academics.  This post is for me to keep track of those companies.

  1. SafeGraph – Focused on places, not people, but I have seen research that uses their individual level data.  Here is their COVID work.  Their terms of service allude to an “Academic Partnership Program”, but there is no clear link to more information about that on their website.  I believe US focused. Cell phone location data.
  2. Descartes Labs – Via their Impact Science Program, Descartes Labs provides free API access to academics and small organizations.  They are a geospatial satellite data company and appear to have a pretty sophisticated platform.
  3. Xmode – App based location data for “Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Australia, Singapore, U.K., Spain, Italy, and France.”  Elsewhere on their website they say they have 15% of Americans too.  A lot of the apps they get data from are theirs.  Not sure where I heard about it, no word of academic partnerships.
  4. Cuebiq – I learned about this company from someone I used to go to school with.  Their Data for Good program is what academics would use.  Looks promising.  Cell phone data.  EDIT: I contacted them, and, as of 05.26.2020, they are not providing disaggregated data to new researchers.
  5. Digital Globe – They provide satellite imagery, and they have free data around natural disasters.
  6. Planet – This company provides daily satellite imagery data.  Academics get a free 10,000 km^2 per month, and they will sell you more after that.  A UCLA geography graduate student has worked with these data.
  7. unacast – Started in Norway, this company provides cell phone location data.  They have a Data for Good program and have partnered with three universities, but using their data requires completing a contact form.  The map here suggests a pretty extensive coverage, though they are coy about data sources.  They say they have information on 127 million Americans.  GDPR compliant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.