What you will learn in this article

How to import libraries of Points of Interest using directly through your HEROW interface? Where do we source our POIs from Open Street Map (free) and Google Places (paid) and how to define your POI strategy?

What are the locations that matter to your app?

What are POIs

  • Acronym for “Points Of Interest” or “Places Of Interest”, a POI is a location point, described with latitude and longitude coordinates and associated with a specific location,
    Example: airport, shop, restaurant. 
  • POIs are locations that are available for everyone and are not ‘personal’ locations..
    i.e. someone’s home is not a POI.
  • Mobile apps can use POIs to understand user behavior at key locations and adapt app experience accordingly, on a very wide scale.
  • POI libraries are a list of numerous POIs that have the same category, or attributes.
    Ex: Restaurants in France.

How to add a POI library on the HEROW platform


1/ In the ‘Manage’ section in the side panel, select the library icon in the toolbar (on the bottom).

2/ Select the library of POIs that you want to add, you can use the search to facilitate your search.

3/ Define the POI library's radius in which you want to track user activity

4/ Start analyzing user's behavior at those key locations

Where we source our POIs from


At HEROW we use two sources of POIs in order to fit best our client’s needs, and their budget!

A- OpenStreetMap (free)

By default, the HEROW platform uses the POIs from the open-source service: Open Street Map. The service is free and is frequently updated by contributors around the world.

Its open-sourced model has the big advantage of providing is service for free, it is also very reliable for POIs that do not change very frequently (such as airports, stadiums, train stations etc..), however for POIs that are susceptible to change such as shops, OpenStreetMap can lack updates.

B- Google Places (paid)

For use cases that require POIs that are more susceptible to change (such as bars or restaurants), HEROW uses POIs information from Google Places because it is trusted to be the most up to date information. When a bar location closes and becomes a restaurant, the first online platform where this change is going to be announced is Google Maps. Moreover, Google Places is trusted to have the most up to date opening hours and business information.

While Google Places is the preferred source for up-to-date POIs information, it is also a paying service that adds extra costs to our monthly subscription price. Pricing is made on-demand based on the volume and refresh frequency requied.


With these two services, HEROW can customize its offering in order to provide the most up to date POI data, while making sure that clients don’t pay for something they don’t need.

How to define your POI strategy

Because POIs are the starting point for the data that the HEROW platform uses to analyze users' behavior, segment and engage with them, it is important to define a well-thought-out POI strategy. 

The HEROW can help you define this strategy by helping you answer the following questions:

  • What are the best POIs for your business?

What are the best places to track your business goals? Which location have an influence on my revenue? Are specific locations giving me information about my users? 

  • What should be the radius or each category?

A bigger radius will see more traffic, however, it will be less certain that users are truly visiting the POI. While a  bigger radius (above 200 m) is essentially made to monitor areas traffic, a smaller radius will be used for engagement or location-specific monitoring.

  • What source of POIs should you choose?

OpenStreetMap vs Google Maps, how often do my POIs need to be refreshed? Is the information key to my business model? Can I monetize these data?

  • How many POIs? What distribution?

The geographical distribution of your POIs needs to thought out in way that you do not have any bias. For example, you might think that your users in New York visit more bars than your users in Chicago simply because there are more bars locations in New York than in Chicago.

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