Bring Geospatial Analytics Across Disparate Datasets Into Your Toolkit With The Unfolded Platform


June 26th, 2022

1 hr 7 mins 1 sec

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About this Episode


The proliferation of sensors and GPS devices has dramatically increased the number of applications for spatial data, and the need for scalable geospatial analytics. In order to reduce the friction involved in aggregating disparate data sets that share geographic similarities the Unfolded team built a platform that supports working across raster, vector, and tabular data in a single system. In this episode Isaac Brodsky explains how the Unfolded platform is architected, their experience joining the team at Foursquare, and how you can start using it for analyzing your spatial data today.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Isaac Brodsky about Foursquare’s Unfolded platform for working with spatial data


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what the Unfolded platform is and the story behind it?
  • What are some of the core challenges of working with spatial data?
    • What are some of the sources that organizations rely on for collecting or generating those data sets?
  • What are the capabilities that the Unfolded platform offers for spatial analytics?
    • What use cases are you primarily focused on supporting?
    • What (if any) are the datasets or analyses that you are consciously not investing in supporting?
  • Can you describe how the Unfolded platform is implemented?
    • How have the design and goals shifted or evolved since you started working on Unfolded?
    • What are the new constraints or opportunities that are available after the merger with Foursquare?
  • Can you describe a typical workflow for someone using Unfolded to manage their spatial information and build an analysis on top of it?
    • What are some of the data modeling considerations that are necessary when populating a custom data set with Unfolded?
  • What are some of the techniques that you needed to build to allow for loading large data sets into a users’s browser while maintaining sufficient performance?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Unfolded used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on Unfolded?
  • When is Unfolded the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Unfolded?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other shows. Podcast.__init__ covers the Python language, its community, and the innovative ways it is being used. The Machine Learning Podcast helps you go from idea to production with machine learning.
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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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