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Summary:

The map analytics company offer a free product that lets users explore their neighborhoods. But a new paid service is aimed at marketers trying to figure out where to put their next store.

InstaGIS
photo: InstaGIS

If you want to find out who your neighbors are, you can look at Census data, which will tell you things like the number of private businesses or by how much the population increased in your area — all in a spreadsheet format.

InstaGIS offers a lot of the same kinds of information — it also has crime and traffic data, for example — but presents it in a different way. It turns your neighborhood into an infographic with bold colors and icons for things like gender and households.

Flatbush, Brooklyn

Two infographics generated with the free version of InstaGIS. Note the difference in race and wealth between my neighborhood in Brooklyn and our offices in Manhattan.

Two infographics generated with the free version of InstaGIS. Note the difference in race and wealth between my neighborhood in Brooklyn (top) and our offices in Manhattan.

The company, a member of the 500 Startups accelerator program, plans to release a paid version in two weeks. That version will draw not only on data from government sources (Census, Department of State), but also social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare) and private sources (Gnip, Topsy, your own data).

Users will be able to create real-time heatmaps of specific demographics—say young, affluent Asians living in San Francisco—and social media info, like what people are tweeting or where they’re checking in on Foursquare in those neighborhoods. They can also overlay traffic and crime data, as well as their own.

InstaGIS heatmap of Asians living in San Francisco making over $100,000 a year. One can further drill down into the map to find out more about that demographic.

Example of what marketers do with the maps: a heatmap of Asians living in San Francisco making over $100,000 a year.

The company pitches itself at marketers. The idea is that a business can use the mapping data to target its customers or to seek out locations with certain demographic characteristics. For the past eight months, InstaGIS has been working only with big, paying companies, including Walmart, Unilever and Kimberly-Clark.

Now its hoping to find clients in businesses across the U.S. that will shell out $2,000 a month for the software. It’s aiming the service at retail, government, insurance and utilities companies. About 2,500 people have used the free version before it was publicly announced Friday.

The company is a less-technical version of Esri’s ArcGIS, which is still geared mostly toward GIS professionals. It also has far fewer data sets than Esri and concentrates mostly on demographics, less on things like oil pipelines and natural disasters.

“Those kind of tools are not made for the decision makers, they are made for technical people,” Canals said. “We enable decision makers to play with realtime data.”

InstaGIS was founded by market researcher Julian Garcia and Ignacio Canals who has worked in SAAS companies for 18 years. So far it has raised more than half of the $800,000 in funding that it’s looking for, and its advisors include the founders of Visual.ly and Topsy.

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  1. This is a lot like BIonaMAP that I was involved with in New Zealand with the addition of Infographics and social media. Very cool. Very valuable. I assume it only works in the US.

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    1. In the US and Chile for now.

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  2. It looks really cool! I have been working in marketing my whole life. This could do my life so much easy! Please let us know as soon as the payed version is available!

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  3. Steven Echtman Saturday, August 3, 2013

    Looks very cool. I can see marketers paying this, for sure. Lots of GIS services being web enabled and potential disrupting the entrenched services. AmigoCloud.com is another enterprise class service that looks interesting.

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  4. This definitely looks a lot like business analyst http://www.esri.com/software/businessanalyst

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