Cuebiq and University of Washington Win Cynopsis Social Good Award for Their Work in Population Mobility During Hurricanes

By Cuebiq Marketing Team / 4 minutes

← Resource Center Home

UW THINK Lab utilized location data, through Cuebiq’s Data for Good program, for the development of a predictive population movement model that will empower hurricane-prone communities

New York, NY (April 2, 2019) – Cuebiq, a leader in offline location intelligence and consumer insights, and University of Washington’s (UW) THINK Lab today received Cynopsis’ annual Social Good Award in the National Disaster/Relief Coverage category. Through its Data for Good program, Cuebiq worked with researchers at the UW THINK Lab, to analyze how populations move as a result of a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Harvey, and their overall mobility-related decision making.

“Cuebiq is passionately committed to leveraging big data to create positive community action, so it is especially meaningful for us to have the work of UW THINK Lab and our Data for Good initiative recognized,” said Brennan Lake, Program Director of Data for Good, Cuebiq. “Through this program, we provide anonymous, aggregated location intelligence to nonprofits and universities that are working on humanitarian initiatives and research projects for the greater good.”

More specifically, UW is developing predictive models by analyzing location data from Cuebiq, which is collected from mobile device users through a privacy-compliant opt-in process. UW mapped aggregated mobility patterns of 100,000 anonymous mobile devices before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey to identify mobility trends and how they changed as a result of a disaster.

Through this analysis, the researchers can understand whether residents decide to stay in place or evacuate, and when they return home on an aggregated level. For example, during Hurricane Harvey, the number of people evacuated peaked in the afternoon and morning of August 25, 2017, just hours before Harvey made landfall. The researchers found that overall only 20% of people evacuated with an average stay of 4 to 5 days, before returning home. Additionally, those who evacuated earlier were less likely to return home after the disaster.

“Evacuation ahead of a disaster is critical in avoiding casualties and facilitating community organization, and our insights will help first responders more efficiently deliver aid and essentials (such as food, fuel and medicine) to those in need, as well as inform public mitigation efforts before and after a disaster strikes,” said Cynthia Chen, lead researcher, UW’s THINK Lab. “Additionally, better understanding of transportation usage, like driving or taking public transit, and types of destinations (hotels, shelters or the homes of friends or family) will help communities devise more effective strategies.”

Cuebiq’s Data for Good program was launched in 2017 so that researchers at nonprofit organizations and top universities across the globe can have access and leverage location insights to drive innovation in community causes such as improving quality of life in underserved communities, natural disaster response, epidemiology and medical planning, and smart city development.

Most recently, Cuebiq worked with the MIT Media Lab in developing the Atlas of Inequality, an income inequality metric for the Boston metro area.

Cuebiq also works with companies like GasBuddy to help people identify gas station locations during times of natural disaster, such as for Hurricanes Irma and Florence. Cuebiq provides GasBuddy hourly updates on dwell times at gas stations across hit areas and neighboring states for the length of the emergency, which allows GasBuddy to assess the wait times at specific locations. 

About Cuebiq

Cuebiq is a leading location intelligence and consumer insights company leveraging the largest database of accurate and precise location data in the U.S. Its data intelligence platform analyzes anonymous location patterns to allow businesses to glean actionable insights and better understand the offline consumer journey. Cuebiq’s SaaS platform provides clients offline location analytics, real-time campaign optimization and footfall attribution, as well as geo-behavioral audiences for cross-platform ad targeting. Cuebiq is headquartered in New York with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Italy, and China.

Cuebiq’s proprietary methodology enables anonymous collection of location data from users who have opted-in and analysis of aggregated offline trends. As members of the NAI and TrustArc certified, Cuebiq applies its gold-standard, transparent approach to privacy in its data collection.

To learn more about Cuebiq, please visit