Add Some History to Your Data Solutions

Add a Historical Perspective to your Data Solution

What’s the most common question that business leaders ask us?  

“Can you deliver us a data solution that …?”

This question challenges us to create a package of data that solves a problem, frequently a problem where no company has created a great solution. We get a chance to follow those data solutions into the field and make sure that we’re providing all of the support required for clients to get great value from it. 


An aggregate analysis of assessed properties in Alameda, California.  Why did the assessed value peak in 2018 and decrease substantially in 2019?  Why have the number of assessed properties been relatively flat since 2017?


We’ve seen a new theme in the questions that we’re getting – tell us the history of a building, let us analyze change over time.

  • How has a franchise expanded into new markets over the past 20 years and has their real estate profile stayed the same or gone upscale?


  • What census block groups have the largest building valuation changes in the last 10 years?


  • Which of these buildings have had static versus dynamic tenants?


  • Which buildings have changed their tenant composition, for example from medical arts to white collar professional?


  • Where has the profile or amount of owner-occupied buildings changed over the last 5 years?


  • Which businesses have gone away?  Which property definitions are no longer present?


These are all questions that we can answer by bringing in historical data.  Let’s explain two of our most popular historical datasets to add to a data solution.


Historical assessor data, dating back to 2010 contains ownership, valuation, construction, and tax load information (and much much more).  For any specific property you can utilize a persistent unique ID to find the records for both current and historical data.  Perform any trend analysis or change detection that you need.  Aggregate any of the results to a census tract, block group or neighborhood boundary.  


Infogroup historical data, dating back to 1997, contains businesses, their locations, their classifications (SIC and NAICS), their firmographic information (employee count, sales), their corporate parentage, and so much more.  Utilize the Infogroup unique ID to look back at the history of a specific business.  Analyze businesses using the appearance and disappearance of Infogroup IDs to find out where businesses are born and have gone out of business.  


We see our clients using historical datasets in conjunction with each other.  For example, you may want to understand how the development of new properties and neighborhoods drives the development of neighboring retail/commercial activity.  


All of these uses have a theme – how can information on the past inform how we solve our problems now, and in the future.  To understand more about the value of historical data as a component of your data solution, visit our Contact Us page.

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LightBox acquires industry leader BuildingFootprintUSA™

IRVINE, CA – February 1, 2021 – LightBox, a leading provider of commercial real estate data and workflow solutions, announced the acquisition of BuildingFootprintUSA™, the premier provider of building and structure boundaries for location analytics. With this acquisition, LightBox will immediately make building footprints available to its customers.

Connecting BuildingFootprintUSA datasets to LightBox data will create the industry’s only fully integrated parcel, building structure, and property attribute datasets for comprehensive location intelligence across the commercial real estate, telecommunications, routing & logistics, and insurance markets, as well as the broader geospatial ecosystem.

“This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to innovation that serves the commercial real estate ecosystem. We’re looking to replace existing information silos with industry standard linked datasets. Our parcels and property data will now be integrated with rooftop-level geocodes, addresses, and boundaries,” said LightBox CEO, Eric Frank. “We strongly believe the future is one of connected datasets and we want to drive this change for the commercial real estate industry in the US and Canada.”

BuildingFootprintUSA was founded in 2016 in Albany, New York. The company serves customers of all size within commercial real estate, telecommunications, insurance, and mapping solutions with high-accuracy location data to facilitate accurate site selection, routing, spatial analysis and data visualization. Customers leverage building geometry, height, and ground elevation data to assist in determining potential flood risks, expanding broadband connectivity, policy planning for safety and security, and broader geospatial analytics.

“Joining LightBox gives us an exciting opportunity to grow and deliver our data and solutions to a broader segment of the commercial real estate market in the US and Canada,” said Karl Urich, founder and president of BuildingFootprintUSA. “By combining our datasets with those of LightBox, we will be able to offer the most accurate boundary, address, and geocoding dataset available.”

To learn more about how you can begin leveraging solutions that combine the best of BuildingFootprintUSA and LightBox today, please visit

LightBox is building the world’s leading real estate information and technology platform. LightBox customers comprise all types of enterprises needing authoritative real estate data and workflow solutions, including brokers, developers, investors, lenders, insurers, environmental consultants, corporations, technology companies, and valuation professionals. LightBox is backed by Silver Lake and Battery Ventures.

Learn More About LightBox at

At BFUSA LightBox, we develop next-generation geolocation data centered on the built environment — where people live, work, shop, and play. Our hyper-accurate building and address data helps customers make critical decisions that are highly dependent on location. Learn more about BFUSA.

Learn More About BFUSA