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FAQ > General

What is Footprint?

Footprint is an interactive, web-based application that provides information and data modeling for a range of geographic dependent industries. It currently contains four main sets of information:

  • Road atlas and points of interest
    Detailed map of South Africa including all major freeways, main roads and small roads, municipalities, suburbs, parks and water features
  • Stores/outlets
    To date, over 25 000 outlets coded, encompassing over 360 brands including clothing and footwear, grocery, books, home ware, fast food, restaurants, banks, gyms, hotels, motor dealers and many more.
  • Shopping centres
    Central source of information on shopping centres, including photographs and information such as the year of development and any subsequent refurbishments, the gross leasable area, the number of parking bays, the latest foot count, the number of shops as well as a list of shop names
  • Population demographics
    View of the demographic profile of the people residing in each of the ~80,000 Enumerator Areas (EAs) that cover South Africa, including household income, number of households, number of adults, number of economically active adults and age


Who is behind Footprint?

Footprint was developed by Lightstone (PTY Ltd), a specialised data and knowledge management company established in 2005.


Who is Lightstone?

Lightstone was founded in 2005 to provide analytical solutions and products to a range of geographic dependent industries. The business is built around a core competence in analysis of a wide variety of data types, particularly in a spatial manner. Together with our staff's understanding and experience in the financial services, retail, government and property sectors, Lightstone customizes its products and solutions to address the needs of its diverse client base.


Who can benefit from using Footprint?

Retailers, real estate agents, franchisees and franchisors, property developers and more.


Where does Footprint get its data?

  • Road atlas and points of interest
    - MapIT (suppliers to major GPS systems such as Garmin) spatial data sets
    - Lightstone research and updates
  • Stores/outlets
    - Lightstone research including weekly store visits across the country
    - Company websites
    - Information supplied by clients and potential clients
  • Shopping centres
    - Lightstone research including weekly shopping centre visits across the country and monthly phone calls to obtain foot count data
    - Company and public websites (including Shopping Centre Council of SA and Mallguide)
  • Population demographics
    - Proprietary geo-demographic database based on unique views of StatsSA demographic data
    - Database initially built on Census 2001 data (at the Enumerator Area level)
    - Database maintained through ongoing correlation with property transaction data and recent StatsSA releases (e.g., Community Survey, Household Income and Expenditure Survey)


What is the most detailed level of data available?

  • A zoom level of less than 1 km for road atlas.
  • For the demographic profile of South Africa, data is available at an Enumerator Area level, that is an area of approximately 200-250 households.


How often is Footprint updated?

Footprint is updated constantly.

  • When stores are opened or closed
  • When demographic information is updated with e.g. new property data
  • When new areas are built up or shopping centres are opened


How can I add my outlet(s) to your database?

If you're a Footprint member, either:

  • Email Footprint (and one of our consultants will add your data to the database
  • Log onto Footprint and click on 'Home'. Add your own outlet with out "Add an outlet" panel, on the right of the page.


How can I add my shopping centre or group to your database?

Email us the relevant details. We'll contact you if we have any additional questions.


I've got some a news article about retail I'd like you to publish on your blog, where can I submit it?

Email us at We'll contact you if we have any additional questions


What can I expect from Footprint in the future?

Growing functionality (for example, better understanding of cannibalisation between brands in an area), growing list of brands, outlets and shopping centres as well as information on these and any other cool ideas we come up with!


What browsers do you support?

Internet Explorer is fully supported by Footprint.
Firefox, Safari and Chrome are partially supported - the panning tool does not work in these browsers.


Internet Explorer won't let me use your site

Before using Footprint, please do the following:

  1. Change your view to "compatibility view" by going to "Page" and clicking on "Compatibility view"
  2. Ensure that Footprint is a "trusted site" by going to "Internet Option", "Security" clicking on "trusted site", opening the box "sites" and adding as a trusted site


What operating systems do you support?

Any operating systems that can run Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome. They can be Windows, Macintosh or Linux.


Any questions not listed here?

Send us an email at and we'll get back to you.


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office hours, Monday - Friday 08h00 - 17h00
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Monday to Friday 08h00 - 17h00
0860 106 389