Orbital Insight Adds Heatmaps to its Location Data Analytics

Visualizing geospatial data is a powerful way to unlock our planet’s hidden trends. In our mission to help customers understand what happens on and to the Earth, we have developed products that reveal daily or even hourly activity, such as:

  • Hourly consumer traffic at retail malls
  • Daily workforce levels at crucial links in corporate supply chains
  • Vehicle counts at areas of strategic geopolitical importance

Now Orbital Insight Customers can Create Heatmaps of Daily Location Data

We are proud to announce that our customers will now be able to generate their own heatmap analyses directly within our commercial geospatial analytics platform. As we ingest more data sources and develop new algorithms, customers will see the latest features appear directly in their GO account as our data science and engineering teams create features that are ready for our self-service product.

What are heatmaps?

Heatmaps are insightful data visualizations that display information spatially — such as air pressure on a map of California, foot traffic on a retail floor plan, or a web traffic on your homepage.

Many business intelligence and GIS analysts use heatmaps as a technique in their daily insight generation process, contrasting rich hues of color to signify “hotspots” of activity.

Adding this layer of data visualization is crucial for identifying business insights that would not be visible from just a time series analysis alone.

A commodity analyst, for example, would need to understand specifically which units are affected when a key petrochemical facility is impacted by unplanned maintenance. It is critical to know where repair staff is located in the facility in addition to how many workers are on the site in order to pinpoint the source of an outage — fundamental information in the petrochemical and specialty materials manufacturing industry.

Adding a new Dimension to Data Visualization

Use Case

Temporal Analysis

Spatial Analysis *New*

Real Estate

How many visitors are coming to the mall each day?

Which tenants are seeing more traffic?

Supply Chain Intelligence

Are maintenance workers returning to Gulf Coast refineries?

Which specific refinery units are the focus of maintenance operations?

Macro Analysis

How many New Yorkers have relocated?

Which neighborhoods are currently the most trafficked?

Disaster Relief

When did residents start evacuating prior to a hurricane?

Where did those residents go?

Example Use Cases

Macro Analysis

Jerry Seinfeld’s New York Times Opinion piece has New Yorkers questioning whether COVID-19 migration patterns are permanent, the economic impact on America’s cities, and even what it means to be a New Yorker.

But Is New York actually Dead?

Cutting through the anecdotes are millions of daily GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth signals analyzed by Orbital Insight’s new heatmap feature, quantifying how many New Yorkers are still in the city that never sleeps, but also spatially visualizing where the city’s traffic is clustered - an important indicator of which areas could be the next generation of desirable retail and residential neighborhoods.

Disaster Relief

Natural and manmade disasters have the potential to devastate communities through displacement and infrastructure damage. To help victims receive aid and life-saving resources, heatmaps help first responders get a near real-time objective view of impacted areas for operational intelligence and efficiency.

Orbital Insight has a record of creating analytics for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) for governments and NGOs, starting with Hurricane Harvey and as recent as Hurricane Laura. Through the new heatmap feature in GO, Orbital Insight clients can now conduct these analyses themselves within minutes, generating actionable intelligence that may save lives.

Asset Management

Understanding asset utilization helps institutional investors support research on acquisitions and redevelopment proposals. By identifying tenancy and parking lot utilization, a study at Northgate Mall in Seattle, WA showed consisted under usage of its 5th Ave parking area, opening the possibility to repurpose the area.

Getting Started

These are just a few of the many use cases Orbital Insight customers use for their geospatial analyses. Are you ready to get started? Add heatmaps to your next Orbital Insight GO Project for an additional layer of analysis to discover previously hidden trends. To get started:

  1. Simply click the checkbox next to “Add Heatmap” when running a foot traffic project
  2. Define your level of granularity (low, medium, high, or very high)
  3. Run the project

To learn more about heatmaps and how to unlock business and policy insights with spatial visualizations, please contact