Location Glossary

We are here to help you speak the language of location. Learn more about the terms frequently used in the world of location-based marketing and technology.

Above the Fold

Above the Fold refers to the top area of a web page that is first visible in an Internet browser before having to scroll down the page. Typically, the content above the fold is seen as a priority to communicate with users as it is the first section of a page that is seen.

Active Check In

Active Check-in refers to a user check-in from the Swarm app. Via the app, a user can confirm their check-in with a “I am here” to help validate the visit data.

Ad Frequency

Ad Frequency is the frequency (or number of times) a particular ad is seen by a user within a given time frame. For example, your ad appeared to a user 10 times in 24 hours.

Ad Impression

Ad Impression is when an online ad that has been sourced or fetched and is countable. An impression count does not take into account if the ad was viewable or seen by a user.

Ad Inventory

Ad Inventory refers to online publisher’s total amount of space that is available for online ads. Publishers can sell inventory to advertisers directly or through other channels like an ad exchange.

Ad Network

Ad Network is an intermediary company that connects publishers and advertisers. One of the functions of an ad network is to match ad supply from publishers with an advertiser.

Ad Reach

Ad Reach refers to the total number of unique people that saw your ad at least once in a given period and or location. This is often used to get an estimate of how many people your ad can reach.

Ad Server

Ad Server is software focused on delivering ads to the end user’s device where the ad is displayed. This can be on websites or applications.

Ad Tag

Ad Tag refers to web browser HTML code used to retrieve an ad from an ad server. Ad tags often allow advertisers to make adjustments on the ad or view reporting.

An IP (Internet Protocol) Address

An IP (Internet Protocol) Address is a numerical label (address) assigned to a device connected to a network that uses the Internet. IP Addresses indicate location addresses and network interface identification.

Beacon Advertising

Beacon Advertising is advertising that sends a signal via a beacon transmitter to mobile devices to help marketers target users based on the user’s location.

Beacon Technology

Beacon Technology refers to small devices that send Bluetooth signals, which are typically short-range, to mobile devices. This technology enables the gathering location-based data and the ability to personalize ads. A beacon is a small wireless transmitter that transmits data via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless signals, up to 50 meters, to nearby smart devices, making location-based searching and interaction easier and more accurate.

Behavioral Analytics

Behavioral Analytics focuses on analyzing the behavior data or consumers on digital platforms. Marketers use behavioral analytics to turn raw consumer data into strategic and actionable insights to better understand consumers.

Cell-Tower Triangulation

Cell-Tower Triangulation is the process where multiple cell-towers are used to track a phone’s location. The location is tracked by measuring the delay of a signal from tower to phone.

City Centroids

City Centroids refers to the center of a city, which is often stated in latitude and longitude. City centroids are typically used when exact location data is not available.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the measurement of the number of clicks an ad receives per number of impressions. The formula is: total clicks on ad/ total impressions = CTR.

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

A Demand Side Platform is a software system that enables users with an automated method of purchasing ads via multiple ad exchanges through one interface. Demand Side Platforms are used to buy display, video, and mobile ads.

Designated Market Area (DMA)

DMA (Designated Market Area) regions are the geographic areas in the U.S. in which local television viewing is measured. A DMA is a region where the population can receive the same (or similar) television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media such as newspapers and internet content. They can coincide or overlap with one or more metropolitan areas, though rural regions with few significant population centers can also be designated as markets.

DMA data is essential for any marketer, researcher or organization seeking to use standardized geographic areas within their business.

Dynamic Creative

Dynamic Creative are ads that adjust to the environment, location, user behavior, and other factors where it is intended to be served. The ad request in Dynamic Creative is sent to the server based on the customer and their behavior.

Dynamic Distance Overlay (DDO)

Dynamic Distance Overlay (DDO) is text that appears over an ad to tell the user how far they are from the nearest business location. Dynamic Distance Overlays are used to spur users to visit stores and ultimately make a purchase.

Effective Cost Per Visit (ECPV)

Effective Cost Per Visit (ECPV) is an advertising formula calculated by dividing the total store revenue by the number of visitors in a certain period.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement Metrics are the measurement of how users engage with your advertising campaign. Metrics may include ad clicks, completed video views, shares or likes of a post, and duration of visit.

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate is the measurement of the interactions on an ad divided by the number of impressions of the ad. Engagement Rate is frequently used in social media marketing.

Explicit Check-in

Explicit Check-in (see Active Check-in) is when users in the Swarm app actively confirm their location check-in.

Feedback Loop

Feedback Loop, which is also known as the Customer Feedback Loop, is a marketing tactic where marketers use customer feedback on a product or service to improve future customer outcomes.

Firmographic Data

Firmographic Data is data used to categorize a company. This data can help categorize an organization by geographic area, type of industry, technologies deployed, customer base, and more.

First-Party Location Data

First-Party Location Data is data that a company has collected directly from their audience, which can include site visits, ad clicks, viewing history, and social media followers.

Frequency Capping

Frequency Capping refers to setting a limit to the number of times an ad is shown to a visitor. Frequency Capping is primarily used to prevent an ad being overexposed to a visitor.

Geo-Aware Ad Targeting

Geo-Aware Ad Targeting is an advertising strategy that uses mobile device location data to improve ad targeting. Marketers use this method to tap into geographic information to help define and target their audience.


Geo-Conquesting is the use of location data to target consumers within an established perimeter around a competitor’s business locations. This Geo-Aware Ad Targeting method relies on location data from mobile devices.


Geofences are a virtual boundary around a geographic area. Geofences are often used to establish the boundaries where a Geo-Aware Ad Targeting strategy can be deployed.

Geofencing Marketing

Geofencing Marketing is a marketing method that uses location-based advertising targeting mobile devices. Geofencing Marketing works when mobile users have enabled location-based services on their devices and are located within a Geofenced territory.

Geofencing Radius

Geofencing Radius refers to the radius of a geofenced area where the perimeter is established as a pre-set geographic distance from a single location.


Geofencing is the process of using geographic location data, which is taken from mobile devices, to set a perimeter around a defined area. Marketers use Geofencing to trigger mobile ads to display when the mobile device enters this determined location.


Geotargeting is an advertising solution that targets content to users based on their geographic location at the time of ad exposure. This technology can use geofencing data to deliver appropriate advertisements or content relevant to consumers on mobile devices.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based technology that uses detailed latitude and longitude information to identify user locations in relation to fixed locations and geography.

Graph Technology 

Graph technology captures data relationships to model complex, real-world dynamics, using nodes to store data entities and edges to store relationships between entities.

Ground Truth

Ground Truth refers to real-world or hard information used to validate the efficacy of an algorithm or other data-driven service.

In-Store Traffic Lift

In-Store Traffic Lift is a metric that measures the success of an advertising campaign in increasing the number of in-store visits. For example, if a marketing campaign increased in-store visits by 20%, the In-Store Traffic Lift would also be 20%.

In-Store Visitation Rate (IVR)

In-Store Visitation Rate (IVR), which is like in-store traffic lift, calculates a marketing campaign’s ability to motivate users to visitor to a store. However, calculations can vary. Some in-store visitation rate formulas count total visitors to a business location while others only count first-time store visits.

Indoor Positioning System

Indoor Positioning System uses beacons and other indoor technology to track small movements of users within a building. As an example, IPS can track the dwell time of individuals within certain shopping aisles or in front of product displays.

Lat/Long (Latitude/Longitude)

Latitude and longitude are a coordinate system used to define a given location on the Earth’s surface. Latitude is a series of horizontal lines extending from the equator toward the North and South Poles; Lines of longitude are vertical lines that wrap around the world.

Location Audiences

Location Audiences refers to a group of mobile users who have visited a specific business location within a defined period.

Location SDK

Location Software Development Kit (SDK) provides mobile app publishers with the software development tools needed to use location intelligence within their mobile apps.

Location Targeting

Location Targeting is an advertising method that uses GPS to target mobile device users based on their location or past visits to relevant locations.

Location as a Service (LaaS)

Location as a Service is a method where location data of users is delivered to enterprise customers as a service.

Location-Based Marketing

Location-Based Marketing is a marketing tactic that uses location-based data to target consumers. While used primarily for targeting mobile device users, Location-Based Marketing can also target desktop computer users.

Location-Based Mobile Marketing

Location-Based Mobile Marketing is a marketing tactic that uses location-based data to only target mobile device consumers.

Managed Service

A Managed Service is a business service that is managed by a service provider to simplify the process for the end customer. For example, an advertising managed service provider will often handle all the ad media buying responsibilities for a customer.

Media Brief

A Media Brief is an overview of key information concerning a media plan and advertising campaign. This often includes goals, budget, target audience, targeting strategy, and other considerations.

Media Planning

Media Planning is the strategic objectives and processes for planning ad campaign placement.

Mobile Ad ID (MAID)

A Mobile Ad ID (MAID) is an identification decimal address assigned to a mobile device by Apple or Android. Marketers use mobile ad IDs to track consumers, gather data, and as a resource to improve ad targeting.

Mobile Unique Identifier (MUID)

A Mobile Unique Identifier (MUID) is a unique combination of characters or numbers associated with a mobile device but anonymizes the identify of private consumers. However, a mobile unique identifier still allows consumers to be trackable for advertising initiatives.

Neighborhood Targeting

Mobile Neighborhood Targeting is a mobile marketing strategy targeting a segment according to data on a specific neighborhood.

Offline Attribution

Offline Attribution is a method of measuring the impact of marketing campaigns on foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations.

Parcel Map

A Parcel Map identifies the geographical boundaries of businesses and other properties within a region. Parcel maps can be used to augment location-based targeting efforts.

Passive Check-in

A Passive Check-in uses enabled location-based services to indicate when a mobile device user visits a business location – even if the user doesn’t open the app to check in.

Pay Per Action (PPA)

Pay Per Action calculates the success of an ad campaign to drive a user action. These actions include a call to a business, visit to a website, visit to a store, and other user behaviors.

Point of Interest (POI)

A Point of Interest (POI) refers to a known landmark or destination that doesn’t have a postal address but can offer value in location-based marketing. The Eiffel Tower, for example, could be a point of interest used by nearby businesses.

Polygon Geofences

Polygon Geofences is a common shape used in geofencing that is often centered around a business location or point of interest to enable geofencing marketing in this area.

Post-Click Rate

Post-Click Rate is an online advertising performance metric that measures the rate of ad viewers who take action beyond the initial click of the ad.

Programmatic Buying

Programmatic Buying refers to the automated method of buying and selling digital advertising through bidding platforms and targeting technology.

Proximity Targeting

Proximity Targeting is a targeting strategy that utilizes a geofenced radius around a location to target mobile device users when they come within a set proximity.

Push Notification

A Push Notification is a message sent by a mobile app that appears on a user’s mobile device when the app is not open. Swiping push notifications brings users to the mobile apps.

Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)

Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) is a tagging and tracking wireless technology system that can be added to objects to improve location tracking initiatives.

Radius Targeting

Radius Targeting uses a predefined radius around a business, point of interest (POI), and other destinations to deliver targeted mobile advertisements.

Secondary Action Rate

Secondary Action Rate, which is another term for post-click rate, is the secondary action measurement of how an ad leads to another action (secondary) beyond the initial ad click.

Store Visitation Lift

Store Visitation Lift is a metric that represents the percentage of incremental visits caused by exposure to an advertising campaign.

Third-party location data

Third-party location data is location data, which is often focused on consumers, is data collected and distributed by a vendor or partner that does not have a direct connection to the consumer from whom the data is focused on.

Tiles (Location tiles)

Tiles, which are also known as Location Tiles, is the defined boundary of a location-based campaign, often in the shape of a square.

User Segments

User Segments is the categorizing of an audience based on shared interests, demographics, or psychographic traits.

User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content refers to content created by an audience and not the business. User-generated content includes photos, videos, online reviews, social media content, and other content created by non-businesses related users.

User-Reported Location Data

User-Reported Location Data refers to location data including venue name, address, and zip code voluntarily provided by a given user.

Visitation Metrics

Visitation Metrics are metrics that measures foot traffic and other aspects of in-store visits. Data points may include visitation rate, visitation lift, and dwell time, and other performance indicators.

Weather Targeting

Weather Targeting is a marketing strategy that uses weather-derived data points around temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, and more to time the delivery of ads.

Wi-Fi Triangulation

Wi-Fi Triangulation is the process that uses the relative strength of Wi-Fi signals available to a mobile device to determine a more specific location for that device.

Wi-Fi hotspots

Wi-Fi hotspots provide Internet access to connected users who have connected their device to the wireless network. A Wi-Fi access point is often found in public buildings, airports, performance venues, coffee shops, and other establishments.

Get in touch with our location experts.

Together, we’ll move your business forward.