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H3: Uber’s Hexagonal Hierarchical Spatial Index

Grid systems are critical to analyzing large spatial data sets, partitioning areas of the Earth into identifiable grid cells.

With this in mind, Uber developed H3, our grid system for efficiently optimizing ride pricing and dispatch, for visualizing and exploring spatial data. H3 enables us to analyze geographic information to set dynamic prices and make other decisions on a city-wide level. We use H3 as the grid system for analysis and optimization throughout our marketplaces. H3 was designed for this purpose, and led us to make some choices such as using hexagonal, hierarchical indexes.