Data analyses and visualizations for the rollout of “Local Guide”
The company known as local.ch is the leading provider of telephone and address directories in the Swiss market. Faced by the task of launching “Local Guide,” its latest product, the local.ch commissioned the services of EBP.
More than 4 million individuals in Switzerland continue to use phone books. The local.ch company has now introduced the Local Guide as a replacement for two previous types of phone directory. The main selling point for this new type of directory is its emphasis on providing key information about local communities and individual regions.
With support from EBP, local.ch completed a project at the end of 2015 to optimize the shape and distribution of regions it planned to cover in its Local Guide books. This work included the use of geographic data and spatial analyses to define compact and economically interconnected regions. We also used a region-growing approach based on transportation networks, population densities and other data. The closely networked regions that were generated in this manner were then refined to arrive at optimal Local Guide areas.
local.ch also requested various visualizations (using their corporate design) of its directory regions and other company data regarding the following topics:
- Directory regions and respective zip code areas
- Zip code areas covered by multiple directories (overlapping directory regions)
- Regional headquarters and responsible individuals
EBP helped local.ch to match the 6-digit zip code areas to the current official zip code regions. After successful matching, we were able to derive the geometries of the Local Guide directory regions. For each region, we then drafted various cartographic representations offering additional information about topographic features, water bodies and major municipalities. The resulting visualizations were used by local.ch to help it design the new directories, solicit ad customers and efficiently monitor its sales.
In addition to this, EBP supplied local.ch with various visualizations in a web GIS application that offers responsive design for use on desktop computers and tablets. Finally, EBP produced various paper plots and PDF files of the visualizations for offline use.
Dr. Ralph Straumann