Both of those strategies (licensing a database of business listings and collecting user-generated listings) are valid approaches, and Nelso will take advantage of both of these sources of business listings in the future. However, we still believe strongly in the value of collecting our own business data from staff in the field equipped with GPS-enabled cameras.
- Many databases of business listings are updated only infrequently, and are very slow to remove closed businesses from that database.
- Most databases of business listings have incomplete, and even worse, incorrect data.
A good recent example of data that cannot be sourced any other way than through sending out photographers is the McDonald's in the center of Bratislava, Slovakia. We photographed the door of this business, as we usually do, and recorded the hours of operation in our system.
When checking these hours against the hours on the official McDonald's of Slovakia site, we found the following:
If you click on the above image, you can see that even McDonald's official site doesn't have the correct hours for this location. It is actually quite common for us to find errors in a business' own website. Usually, a business puts up a site, and never looks at it ever again, or only infrequently. Thus, even getting business details from a business itself would not result in accurate data. Only collecting the data ourselves will allow us to provide quality data for our users.