GeoSure’s Michael Becker uses a data-driven app to assess how safe our travel destinations are—down to a city block.
GeoSure’s digital offerings inform travelers about a particular destination’s safety.
Michael Becker believes in the safety ethos. The concept is monumentally important these days, when everyone on the planet is thinking about issues ranging from travel safety to how to secure our health amid a pandemic. “If you’re thinking about safety and can participate in it, you can predict a safer and better world,” says Becker, the CEO of GeoSure, a data science start-up offering free apps and other digital products that allow users to assess safety for locations worldwide. GeoSure covers 65,000 places—and growing rapidly.
Becker, who spent a chunk of his career in finance on Wall Street, has traveled lots of his adult life pursuing adventure. “I’ve always been intrigued with data and trend analysis,” he says. “And I wanted to know if the places I was traveling to were safe. But the process always took too long and was unwieldy.”
GeoSure founder and CEO Michael Becker
So, Becker launched a company, which now has 20 employees. “We wanted to make it a rapid, simple approach to gleaning and understanding information,” he says. The platform’s scoring system, or deep data dive, is derived from publicly available sources (including Interpol, WHO and the CDC), unstructured data sources (social media, foreign-language media) and crowdsourcing from users and private data sharing. “That information is then processed through analytical engines to produce scores, which are dynamic over time and by location.” Hyperlocal safety scores can change based on daytime or nighttime and individualized by variables—entered into the app by the user—such as who’s visiting a locale. For example, a safety score could change if the traveler is a woman under the age of 25 who doesn’t speak the local language versus a 40-year-old man who’s fluent in the dialect.
Another benefit of GeoSure: health and medical. Becker explains, “Users of mobile can rapidly gauge safety across seven categories, including health and medical, which bakes in COVID, air and water quality, women’s and LGBTQ safety, and more.” Above all, Becker’s company is building a more secure world for those who roam. As he puts it: “If you can create a safety ethos, you can help tourism worldwide by changing and improving local economic development.”