As safety concerns amount among the global population at large, one app is aiming to make safety risk more transparent for travelers - particularly for women and the LGBTQ community.
GeoSure, a safety assessment app, uses real-time local data to rate the safety of more than 30,000 neighborhoods around the world. The app measures the safety of an area on a scale from one to 100, with one being the safest and 100 being the least safe.
The app launched in 2014 with a dedicated focus on women’s safety, and last month, it launched LGBTQ safety ratings, which GeoSure says are the first of their kind.
“Our whole mission and goal is to empower, to inform, to engage travel – not to telegraph safety through a prism of fear or anxiety," says GeoSure CEO Michael Becker.
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“The idea is to give travelers an instantaneous understanding and assessment of what safety looks like anywhere in the world. [The rating system] is a very quick way of knowing when to raise your safety antenna or when to lower it.”
Becker says predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to produce the scores, which change over time and by location. In addition to women's and LGBTQ safety, GeoSure also measures safety in categories including health and medical, physical harm, theft, political freedoms and overall safety.
Data is culled from large sources such as the World Health Organization and crime organizations like Interpol, as well as from “very esoteric sources” and from data sources on the regional, country, city and neighborhood level.
While the GeoSure app can be used by individuals, the company also sells its score data to large travel actors such as SAP Concur.
In TripIt, which SAP owns, a meter will display the safety rating of the neighborhood in which a user is having a meeting, for example.
“It’s a really wonderful way of understanding safety content right in your itinerary app,” Becker says. “If you’re going to a city you’re not familiar with, it can help you understand the safety of your hotel location, meeting location or a point of interest.”
Businesses, he continues, are increasingly interested in “trying to do the right thing and have a social impact,” which is where GeoSure’s corporate partnerships can come into play.
“The notion of travel risk and duty of care is evolving, and what organizations want to do is empower as opposed to create anxiety. We can help organizations really turn this cost and time liability of duty of care into a global branding asset.”
GeoSure’s next phase involves providing an immediate solution to travelers who find themselves in unsafe situations. While full details are under wraps, Becker says the innovation will “solve some of the biggest problems for many of the largest travel platforms and revolutionize the way travelers stay safe while enjoying the travel experience.”