Startup hacks and engineering miracles from your exhausted friends at Faraday

Faraday Places: our simple gazetteer

Bill Morris on

At the core of the Faraday platform is the concept of an audience. For most of our customers, the first step toward focusing in on the people they want to reach is choosing a geography. That's where Faraday Places comes in.

Faraday search

We draw our collection of geographies largely from data offered by the US Census Bureau. In addition to nationwide coverage, these have the benefit of being the "official" administrative boundaries in most cases. States, counties, metro areas, cities, villages - we pull them all into our system with one long bash script, and then make them searchable for our customers.

place types

We retained the census-assigned GeoID of each place, which makes it easy for us to grab data via census APIs, check out demographic details via 3rd party apps, and even prepare ourselves for the updates that are due ahead of the 2020 census.

Our collection of places contains 78,000 unique geographies - it may sound like a lot, but we've weeded out tens of thousands of records we thought we could do without. Gazetteers are hard; we've very deliberately kept it simple.

Here's a shortcut to the data, or just head over and start searching on the platform!