Revolution #11: The Holiday Season

With the holidays soon upon us, I wanted to briefly reflect on the pattern of users we’ve seen over the year – it’s been very busy, and very exciting.  The takeaway is, we had 944 users put in 3,098 requests for data since we went live.

Not just surprising, but shocking to us that we’ve seen such large uptake.  We thought this tool would be helpful, but these numbers are orders of magnitude larger than similar organizations.  For context, our benchmark going in was the awesome tool over at Terrapop (with really incredible microcensus data – you should go check them out!). They’re just hitting #4000 after nearly 5 years.

While we had some extensive PR and marketing in March regarding GeoQuery which pushed our initial growth, there was a sharp drop in use during the summer months.  Some of this may be because academics drop off a bit, but it could also just be because the initial burst of interest wore off.  What we’re excited about is the strong uptick during the Fall – we haven’t been doing extensive outreach, but word of mouth seems to be getting around.


In to 2018 we go – next post (at least, that I write) will be looking forward at some of the things we’re really excited about, including data visualization, GeoBoundaries, the full AfroBarometer release, and more.

About the author: Daniel Runfola

Dan's research focuses on the use of quantitative modeling techniques to explain the conditions under which aid interventions succeed or fail using spatial data. He specializes in computational geography, machine learning, quasi-observational experimental analyses, human-int data collection methods, and high performance computing approaches. His research has been supported by the World Bank, USAID, Global Environmental Facility, and a number of private foundations and donors. He has published 34 books, articles, and technical reports in support of his research, and is the Project Lead of the GeoQuery project. At William and Mary, Dr. Runfola serves as the director of the Data Science Program, and advises students in the Applied Science Computational Geography Ph.D. program.