Boulder app uses data to make traveling safer

GeoSure Global is a Boulder-based app that uses data from a variety of sources to score travel destinations on factors like women’s safety and health safety. It also gives an overall score. (Courtesy GeoSure Global)

BOULDER — A Boulder tech startup is looking to bring a new level of safety and education to traveling the world.

GeoSure Global is an app that scores locations based on their safety record across several categories: women’s safety, physical health, theft, political freedoms, health and medical, and an overall safety score. The lower the score, the overall safer a location is.

CEO and founder Michael Becker said he was tired of the generic safety information he was seeing from travel blogs, magazines, government agencies and news reports.

“The whole idea of safety is it’s a function of location and time,” Becker told BizWest. “I wanted to apply a measurement system that was based on objective data sources.”

The app uses data from a variety of sources, including the CDC, Interpol and the United Nations, among others. The company then uses its algorithm to create the scores. One aspect that isn’t taken into consideration, however, is “force majeure” events: Things that are completely unpredictable, such as a terrorist attack or a hurricane. Becker said while those events may temporarily change safety, they don’t change the underlying safety of a city or neighborhood.

The app also targets three different groups: individual and family travelers, organizations that might be sending people on business trips and communities that want to be safer.

The app’s scores are catching on. Popular trip-organizing app TripIt is partnering with GeoSure to use its GeoSafeScores so users can see the safety rankings of 30,000 destinations.

“The notion of impact is very important to us,” Becker said. “It’s a key part of our mission to make a safer and more predictable world.”

Part of how GeoSure is doing that is by putting an emphasis on women.

“We want to empower female business travelers and so forth,” he said. “We want to provide tools so a female solo traveler knows when to raise or lower her safety antenna in a location anywhere around the world. We’re empowering them with information they might not have had.”

GeoSure also enables travelers to input specific information about themselves, which provides GeoSure with more data and can tailor the scores to be more specific to them.

To grow its business, the Boulder-based company charges organizations for its scores. GeoSure has about six employees in Boulder and 15 to 20 globally.

Looking ahead, the company plans to expand the reach of its scores to improve traveler safety and the safety of neighborhoods and communities.

“There are negative headlines every day about the impact of travel and what is happening in communities,” Becker said. “We take an objective view of safety as it relates to you and me. It can be measured, engaged and scaled to improve the economy and welfare of a community.”