BuildingFootprintUSA’s Commitment to Geocoding Accuracy and Freshness

We aren’t just a building footprint company, we are also a company that finds, blends, and maintains high accuracy address information.

How accurate is your data?  We get asked that all of the time; usually our first step is to ask what someone means when they use the word “Accurate”.  When someone asks about the accuracy of our geocoding, we know we have a great story to share, and we can tell it here.

When we created our nationwide building footprint dataset we knew from the beginning that we wanted to join the freshest, most up-to-date address information to our building footprints.  We had a few choices – we could use an open data aggregator, we could license a commercial address dataset, or we could DIY.  

We decided that we would take on the task of gathering as much raw address information material as possible.  Our thesis was that we could leverage the work of tens of thousands of GIS professionals across the country who are continuously improving their local address information on behalf of city and county governments.  We would identify every source  possible, and gather updates to those sources as quickly as possible.

We know that what we are doing is differentiating, allowing us to create a better product that challenges the big players in spatial data. 

Does all of this work that we do matter?  Who else is making the commitment to gather and integrate the freshest data available?  We did a study to look at all of the new data coming into our shop, identifying addressing information and sources that are new, recently changed, or hard to find, to see if other companies used this same data.  

Local county and city GIS teams regularly capture detail in both residential and commercial areas.  A typical improvement is to capture more secondary address and spatial detail within retail buildings, including strip malls and multi-building retail complexes.  The very first address that we tested was a significant improvement that a local GIS team made to a retail complex, adding in additional addresses to the strip mall which we then marry with our building footprints.  We compared our results against all of the big players – we are the only company that is integrating this updated dataset.

We looked at every pattern of address and housing stock.  In residential neighborhoods the benefit in utilizing the freshest data can be subtle.  In this example we integrated a new vintage of data from a county where the local GIS team corrected some small, but significant issues in address assignment to single family homes.  The tested address recently moved one building to the east as the local GIS team improved the data.  Only BuildingFootprintUSA and one other company are utilizing this update.

Multi-building apartment complexes are challenging.  Frequently geocoders will point to the middle of a complex as an approximation for all addresses within the complex.  We find sources of information that provide individual building detail wherever possible.  In this example we are utilizing a city source of information to geocode to the specific building.  Only Mapping Company B is using this same source.

Geocoding industrial and heavy commercial locations improve when you are using the latest data.  Here is the site of a county waste complex where we are tagging the correct building while other companies come up with approximations.

When we use the latest data available it improves your retail destination finding.  In this city we (and two other mapping companies) are making use of a dataset that affords pinpoint accuracy; 3 other companies are not.  For many spatial applications this difference in accuracy may not matter; for others it is critical to analyzing a location’s relationship to the world.

These stories are representative of what we have found.  Examples like this validate our strategy to identify every addressing ingredient possible, to repeatedly capture updates to those datasets, and to integrate that data as quickly as possible.  This gives you the highest accuracy and confidence in BuildingFootprintUSA rooftop geocoding.

Interested in understanding more about our geocoding accuracy?  Do you want to have questions about what this means for your location analytics?  Whether you operate in real estate, telco, insurance, location based marketing, or any other industry, we can help you understand the value of utilizing the latest data for decision making.  Catch us at or visit our contact page.

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