BuildingFootprintUSA – Our Latest Release, Embracing Open Standards and More
Last week we delivered our data latest release to our clients; typically we spend time discussing the advances that we are making in adding new coverage, updating existing coverage, creating more building height content, adding to our rooftop geocoding statistics and more. This release is no different – height data for Vermont, new West Virginia coverage, hundreds of county updates and new coverage areas. However we also want to talk about an important standards-based improvement to our data.
We hear numerous things from our customers:
- Make it easy for us to create and maintain derivative products from your data
- Allow us to spatially link other open and commercial products to BuildingFootprintUSA building footprints
- Provide the capability to track change in the core building footprint dataset
We reviewed these and similar requests and determined we needed another attribute to add to our dataset. In our latest release we are adding support for the Unique Building ID, developed by the US Department of Energy. Every building in our dataset now carries the Unique Building ID, or UBID. We choose this standard for several reasons – it is open and not proprietary, it allows any of our users to detect and manage change in our data, it can be used to connect any other data (open or proprietary) to BuildingFootprintUSA data.
In practical terms what does this UBID look like over time? We can make small changes to the geometry of a building and you will not see the UBID change. You can reliably create and link other data work to the UBID and carry that data forward to join with future versions of BFUSA data. When the building geometry changes dramatically the UBID will change and you can determine how that impacts any derivatives or linkages that you have created.