Places

Contents

Introduction

Radar can tell you when a user visits a place, chain, or category, even if you haven't set up a geofence for that place.

Radar is integrated with Facebook Places, the same place database that powers Facebook and Instagram, with over 140M places worldwide. We also ingest and curate place data from other sources, providing you with a comprehensive view of the world.

Enable Places to receive the following events:

  • user.entered_place
  • user.exited_place

You can enable Places on the Settings page, under Places.

Alternatively, if you have your own custom place data, you can create geofences instead. Learn more about Geofences.

Quickstart

Want to get started quickly? Follow these three steps:

  1. Start tracking. Integrate the SDK to start tracking users. Or, test with our toolkit apps for iOS or Android. Don't forget to install and configure the Facebook SDK, then set Facebook as your place data provider.

  2. Add context. Enable Places on the Settings page, under Places. Optionally, set category and chain filters to restrict the categories and chains monitored.

  3. Handle events. Handle places events client-side or server-side via webhooks or integrations.

How it works

Radar generates a place entry event if a user stops at a place matching filters with sufficient confidence, then a place exit event when the user leaves the place with sufficient confidence.

All place events have confidence levels, and places may have one or more categories and a chain.

If a user is at their learned home or office location, Radar will not generate a place entry event. Learn more about Insights.

Confidence

All place events have confidence levels. Confidence levels range from 1 (low) to 3 (high). Confidence is a function of the accuracy of the location reported by the device, the footprint of the place, the density of the area, the popularity of the place, and other signals.

You can ignore events based on confidence levels. For example, to ignore place events with low confidence, via a webhook:

app.post('/webhooks/radar', (req, res, next) => {
    const event = req.body.event;
    if (event.type === 'user.entered_place' &&
        event.confidence > 1) { // 1 === low, 2 === medium, 3 === high
        // do something
    }
}

Categories

Places may have one or more categories. Radar supports hundreds of categories, organized in a hierarchy. View the full list of categories.

You can listen for place events with specific categories. For example, to do something if a user is at an airport, on iOS:

Radar.trackOnce { (status, location, events, user) in
    if let place = user?.place,
       place.hasCategory("airport") {
        // do something
    }
}

Chains

Places may have a chain. Radar supports thousands of U.S. and international chains. View the full list of chains.

You can listen for place events with specific chains. For example, to do something when a user stops at a Starbucks, on Android:

public void onEventsReceived(Context context,
                             RadarEvent[] events,
                             RadarUser user) {
    for (RadarEvent event : events) {
        if (event.type == RadarEventType.USER_ENTERED_PLACE &&
            event.confidence == RadarEventConfidence.HIGH &&
            event.place.isChain("starbucks")) {
            // do something
        }
    }
}

Mappings

To map Radar chain slugs to custom IDs, set Chain Mappings under Places on the Settings page.

You can set a JSON string representing a dictionary with keys and values of type string.

For example, to map burger-king to 123 and mcdonalds to 456:

{"burger-king":"123","mcdonalds":"456"}

Custom chain IDs will be exposed as place.chain.externalId in the SDK, API, and integrations.

Metadata

To map Radar chain slugs to custom metadata, set Chain Metadata under Places on the Settings page.

You can set a JSON string with values of type dictionary, each with between 1 and 16 keys and values of type: string, boolean, number.

For example, to map metadata.category and metadata.enabled for burger-king and mcdonalds:

{"burger-king":{"category":"Restaurant","enabled":true},"mcdonalds":{"category":"Restaurant","enabled":false}}

Custom chain metadata will be exposed as place.chain.metadata in the SDK, API, and integrations.

Groups

Finally, places may have a group, distinct from chain or categories. A group is a curated list of places with special metadata, like major-us-airport or major-us-sports-venue-stadium. View the full list of groups.

Place filters

We recommend filtering events to specific categories or chains under Places on the Settings page.

For example, to monitor only fast food restaurants, you might add fast-food-restaurant to category filters, or add burger-king, mcdonalds, and others to chain filters.

View the full list of categories and the full list of chains.

Verify events

You can accept or reject places events after user check-ins or other forms of verification. Event verifications will be used to improve the accuracy and confidence level of future events.

For example, to accept an event on iOS:

Radar.acceptEventId(event._id, verifiedPlaceId: event.alternatePlaces[0]._id)

To reject an event on Android:

Radar.rejectEvent(event._id);

Report inaccurate places

In addition to verifying events, you can report missing or inaccurate place data to Facebook. Click the Facebook ID on the Place page. Then, on Facebook, go to the place's About page and click Suggest Edits.

Support

Have questions after reading the documentation? Visit our Help Center. Still have questions? Click the button on the bottom right of any page to chat with us.