Frequently Asked Questions

Please see here for a list of frequently asked questions regarding Factual Places. If your question is not answered below, please contact your Factual representative.



Data and Attributes


Why do I see so many closed businesses?

Factual delivers all POI records we have for each country to our customers, including those that have been deemed to be closed businesses, duplicates, or junky data. In order to filter out those records, you will need to leverage our existence attribute.


What languages does Factual support?

Factual’s data processing pipeline is language-agnostic. We publish our POI data in the same language as our input data. In most cases, this tends to be the most commonly spoken language of the country.



Categories


How do restaurant categories relate to the cuisine field found in Restaurants extended attributes?

Factual assigns categories to all businesses and places of interest using a hierarchically arranged taxonomy. These are broad categories, intended make it easy to search and filter businesses in our global place data. Among the categories, you’ll find a number of granular categories for types of restaurants, such as Japanese, Indian, Sushi, and Steakhouses.

Restaurants extended attributes contain a more granular field called cuisine that may list various types of cuisines available at each restaurant. Data in the cuisine field is not guaranteed to be consistent with the restaurant categorization. For example, it is both valid (and likely) to find a restaurant categorized as American that serves cuisine that includes either Pizza or Sushi.


How do I know when to use category_ids versus category_labels?

Factual uses an ID based system to define the taxometric relationship between categories. Businesses are assigned to as many as three category_ids. Correspondingly, English-readable representations of the category, including hierarchical relationships, are provided for convenience in the category_labels field. Relying on IDs provides an abstraction layer with a number of significant advantages:

  • Changes to names of categories can be made without disturbing the relationship of categories
  • Changes to category relationships can be made without changing the names of categories
  • Categories can be searched/filtered in a regionally agnostic manner.



Data Delivery


When will we receive the data files?

We will deliver the data upon notice of payment from our accounting department. We aim to deliver your files within 48 hours of receiving payment confirmation. Please note that we require payment prior to releasing the data - contract execution is not sufficient.


How do we access the data?

We provide the data via a Dropbox folder specifically created for you. You will need to provide us with the email address(es) that should have access to the folder and that will receive notifications from Dropbox. Factual data files are provided in compressed, tab-delimited format and the filename includes a UNIX timestamp in milliseconds, ex:

us_places.developer_preview.1345052880000.tab.gz

Compression is gzip format – it can be opened with most Windows, Linux, and Mac compression utilities.


I did not receive a Dropbox notification. Why not?

It’s possible that our accounting team has not yet processed your payment. If that’s not the case, please check your spam folder to make sure the notification from Dropbox did not skip your inbox and go straight to spam.


When do you update and replace the data?

We release updated data files roughly once a month, at which points we will replace the old data files in your Dropbox folders with the latest ones.


Will you let us know each time a new data file is released?

We do not provide notification each time we release updated data files, however, every 4 to 6 weeks you can expect that new data files will be uploaded to your Dropbox folder.


Do you replace the files with bulk downloads of the data, or do you replace them with diffs files?

We replace the old file with a new file containing the entirety of the data. Our standard arrangement is to not provide diffs.


How do we get access to the new data?

When we release new data files we will upload them to your Dropbox folder.


What happens to the old files?

The previous data files will be placed into the will_remove_30_days folder until the next data file is released, at which point they will be removed from the folder entirely.


What type of files do you provide, and how would you recommend we open them?

We furnish our data in plain text format encoded with UTF-8. Fields are delimited by the tab character. The files are compressed .tsv.


File Size

Factual files contain millions of records. If your’re trying to use Excel, don’t. Do not load the entire file into memory, and don’t try to view with an editor - use head, tail, sed, awk, grep, and other utilities. These are all available for Windows at http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net.


How do I open a text file that is tab delimited?

You will most likely not be able to open documents in tab delimited formats in programs like Excel, etc. There are a number of known text editors and command-line tools we can recommend, such as emacs, vim, etc. If you continue to experience issues, contact Factual and we can help.



Submitting Data to Factual


What do I do if I submit data to a Trusted Data Contributor and it doesn’t show up in Factual’s data?

Please direct your questions directly to the Trusted Data Contributor with whom you submitted your data. We are working with our partners to ensure that your contributions to them are reflected in our dataset as soon as possible, but make no specific guarantees.


How long before new places appear in Factual?

If you submitted data about your chain or business through a TDC, your data may take as long as 8 weeks to appear. If you submitted data through Factual’s online submission form, there is no guarantee that your data will appear in Factual’s dataset, as it is contingent on us receiving other submissions and inputs that verify your contribution.