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UBID Marks the Spot

buildings from street-level, upward-looking perspective

UBID can create identifiers in 5-to-10 minutes for a dataset of about 1 million records.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers have developed software that uses geographical data to build an open-source grid reference system, providing a precise method to declare a location for structures. The U.S. Department of Energy expects the Unique Building Identifier (UBID) system will enable programs to better track and reduce energy use and emissions from buildings.

UBID's creators enabled the software to speak a common language to declare where a structure is located, using a code that corresponds to longitude and latitude coordinates. UBID's data can be used in conjunction with maps.

UBID assigns a code string of letters and numbers based on an open-source grid reference system. UBID uses this system to locate the center of mass of a shape — a building, for example — and then uses the center to compute the north, east, south, and west sides.

The open-source version of UBID is available free on GitHub. To date it has been implemented in four programming languages to enhance its reach and adoption, with more implementations planned.

From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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