Randy Meech

Randy Meech

Randy was recently CEO of Mapzen, an all-open mapping platform for map display, search, and navigation that created durable and significant open software and data assets such as the Pelias geocoder, Valhalla routing engine, Tilezen vector tile libraries, Tangram rendering engine, and Who's on First gazetteer. He has worked in open mapping for a decade, beginning at Patch where he first worked with POI data collection systems. When Patch was acquired by AOL, he became CTO of MapQuest, then serving 50M monthly users. A leader on company collaboration with projects like OpenStreetMap, he has frequently written and spoken on how open map datasets can help users and companies access the best products.

Blog Posts

  • Enhancing POI Data

    We explored a new business model in LA and NYC, where we imported partner data and worked with the StreetCred community to improve it in targeted ways, like adding photos, hours of operation, and phone numbers.

  • Open Access to Your POI Data

    We think you should have access to the data you create, and that it should be usable for any purpose you want. StreetCred is a way to create and improve POI data in a fun, collaborative game, and we think it can help in a lot of ways.

  • Clean Messy POIs With This Fun Game :)

    By taking the Place Challenge, participants will collectively reveal the truth about each place. If multiple challenges indicate incorrect data, it will be flagged for others to fix. Unlike in the past, we don’t want people to focus on matching the answers of others, instead they should identify the ground truth as part of the challenge, and the StreetCred platform will take care of the rest.

  • Moving to LA (But Staying in New York)

    We’re excited to announce what’s next: a multi-city, multi-partner launch across the two biggest cities in the US, New York and Los Angeles! StreetCred users will compete for Bitcoin prizes as they create and update point of interest data across both cities simultaneously.

  • Getting All the Places

    We’re bulk importing open POI data from the All the Places project. A secret about the commercial POI industry is that much of the data is crawled and scraped from across the web. Many companies duplicate this work behind closed doors, creating private scrapers for brands with store locator data. We thought: why duplicate this effort? And wouldn’t it be better with real-world verification?

  • Mapzen to the Linux Foundation

    Our involvement with the Linux Foundation over the past few months has been useful and educational, and we look forward to continue the work of Mapzen and maybe even contribute some relevant new work from StreetCred (software and data) in the future.

  • The Stablest Token on the Las Vegas Strip

    Our plan is to run a total of four tests before a full launch. Future tests will build on the lessons learned from previous tests, so that by the time we launch we’ll have the right technology and a reasonable understanding of human behavior acquired from real-world users.

  • Opening MapNYC Data

    We’re making MapNYC data available on Github under the CDLA-Sharing license.

  • Doctor, My Eyes: 15,000 Places!

    MapNYC is a game with incentives, and we’re testing how to use those incentives to collect useful data.

  • NYC Wheelchair Access Data

    For most places you create around the city, adding wheelchair accessible data will be required. At the end of the contest, we will release all the data we’ve collected under an open license so others can use this important data as well.

  • We Have Some Blocksplaining To Do

    There are intractable mapping problems for which blockchain offers bright promise. StreetCred is focused on points of interest: the restaurants, doctor's offices, and other places you care to visit. Even with the highest-quality datasets, we've all used an app to find a place to learn too late that it closed. This is due to an incentive problem: what's our incentive to mark something as closed in an app that's just disappointed us with incorrect data? Points of interest are more dynamic than other types of map data; they show data problems more quickly than roads or bodies of water, which change infrequently. They're the hardest problem in open mapping, and an ideal candidate for a new incentive structure.

  • Mapping Out Protocols

    After a decade of working on open source maps and trying to figure out how companies can work with open software and data communities, I want a system that will persist long after I’m gone. It should move forward indefinitely as long as there’s enough interest behind it. And it shouldn’t die if people still want to use it as it is.