FootFall FAQs


What are visits?

Visits are the estimated number of unique daily visits to a FootFall location (i.e. geofence), banner or category by the household population aged 15+ within a specified time frame. For example, if a person visited a store once a day for 1 week, 7 visits would be reported. If a person visited a store twice in 1 day, 1 visit would be reported. Visits reflect visits made by individuals living in Canada and can originate from anywhere in Canada. Attempts have been made to exclude any residents or employees of the specified location, banner or category from the visit data

What is a banner?

The chain name (i.e. banner) associated with a location. This field is populated for any location (i.e. geofence) that is part of a chain; for any location that is not part of a chain, it is left blank.

What is a category?

The categories in FootFall (e.g. hospitals, mass merchants) are sub-classifications of major industries (e.g. Healthcare, Retail). 

What is a location (i.e. geofence)?

In the FootFall product, locations are geofences created by EA, which are geographic perimeters around physical locations. FootFall uses geofences to identify devices that are spotted or identified within a specified time frame. Geofences can be used for destination-based mobile movement queries and summaries across various EA tools.

EA has undertaken a large-scale effort to build a vast layer of geofences for Canadian commercial, institutional, and recreational locations. At present, the EA Geofence Library is the most comprehensive and accurate database of points, geofences, addresses, location names and categories that can be used to monitor changes in movement and behaviour in Canada. The geofences were drawn by geographers and specialists referencing satellite imagery. Quality checks were completed to ensure the most accurate drawing of geofences. Refer to MobileScapes EA Geofence Library FAQ for more information about geofences.


What is a Census Subdivision (CSD)?

Census subdivision is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., Indian reserves, Indian settlements and unorganized territories). Municipalities are units of local government.

What is a Census Metropolitan Area (CMACA)?

A census metropolitan area (CMA) is a grouping of census subdivisions comprising a large urban area (the "urban core") and those surrounding "urban fringes" and fringes" with which it is closely integrated. To become a CMA, an area must register an urban core population of at least 100,000 at the previous census. CMA status is retained even if this core population later drops below 100,000. CMAs may cross census division and provincial boundaries, although the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area in Ontario and Quebec is the only current one crossing a provincial border.

A "census agglomeration" (CA) is a smaller version of a CMA in which the urban core population at the previous census was greater than 10,000 but less than 100,000. If the population of an urban core is less than 50,000, it is the starting point for constructing a 'census agglomeration.'

What is a Census Division (CD)?

Census division is the general term for provincially legislated areas (such as county, "municipalité régionale de comté" and regional district) or their equivalents. Census divisions are intermediate geographic areas between the province/territory level and the municipality (census subdivision). Usually they are groups of neighbouring municipalities joined together for the purposes of regional planning and managing common services (such as police or ambulance services).

What are the designations at the end of the Census Division and Census Subdivision names? (e.g. CY, RM)

Census subdivisions are classified according to designations adopted by provincial, territorial or federal authorities.

Data Source and Methodology 

What is the data source for FootFall?

FootFall's input is MobileScapes, which uses a combined database of three trusted data aggregators selected based on high standards for data quality and privacy compliance. See MobileScapes Canada opens in new window support documentation for further details. Demographic data from our DemoStats and PRIZM products are used to estimate the weighted visit data for the general population.

Is FootFall privacy-compliant?

Yes. The mobile movement data are collected only if the individual device user has enabled location sharing. Depending on the individual app settings, device holders can decide if a particular app should share their location while in use or block that permission outright. EA acquires data from organizations that are compliant with privacy laws. All demographic data ingredients for MobileScapes come from DemoStats and PRIZM, privacy-compliant geodemographic data sources that have been trusted for decades.

How often are the visit data in FootFall updated?

The FootFall dashboard is updated twice weekly, Wednesday and Sunday, at 12:00 PM ET, showing visit data up to seven days prior. For example, on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022, you would see visit data up to and including Wednesday, December 7th. Refresh your browser to see the reflected changes.

Can I see the boundaries of the locations?

If you are a MobileScapes licensee, you can see your licensed locations (i.e. geofences) in the MobileScapes Data Extract tool in ENVISION using the Geofence Explorer.

Is international foot traffic captured?

FootFall is designed to capture the foot traffic trends of Canadians. Foot traffic for international visitors is outside the scope of FootFall and is not captured in the data.

How far back in time does the visit data go?

FootFall data is available from January 1st, 2019 and is updated every Friday, current to the previous Sunday. Weekly data starts on January 7th, 2019.

How are weeks defined in FootFall?

There are two definitions for a week in FootFall:

  1. Weeks Starting Monday: Monday to Sunday. Week 1 of any given year begins on the first Monday of that year (e.g. Week 1 of 2022 is January 3-9).
  2. Weeks Starting Thursday: Thursday to Wednesday. Week 1 of any given year begins on the first Thursday of that year (e.g. Week 1 of 2022 is January 6-12).

The dashboard will only show full weeks, so if you select a start date that falls in the middle of the week, the dashboard will display the next full week, starting on a Monday or Thursday, depending on the time frame type selected.

Why can’t I find my location or banner?

Since the MobileScapes Geofence Library (i.e. location library) is growing and improving every month, your location or banner of interest may not have been created yet, or it may not be possible to differentiate the perimeter of your location from other surrounding locations using current data sources (e.g. limited satellite imagery). More specifically, locations that share their building footprints and are not the primary destination of the building are excluded unless they have a clearly identifiable perimeter. For example, a store in the basement of a mall may not be included as it is impossible to distinguish the store’s visitation from the other stores in the mall using current sources. Additionally, locations are excluded if limited or no foot traffic is exhibited.

Lastly, included banners are selected based on certain business rules (e.g. 5+ locations, being mindful of the business objectives and use cases for clients). The aim is to capture the key players and drivers within a category of interest.

Feedback for our Geofence Library (i.e. location library) is welcomed in our online form. opens in new window For support, please contact opens in new window

The Dashboard

How are the data for banners and categories calculated?

The banner and category-level data are aggregations of locations (i.e. geofences) available in the EA Geofence Library, except for locations that share their building footprint and are not the primary destination for visitors.

For example, a small store in a mall may not be included since the visitation cannot be differentiated from the other stores using available data sources. A specific example would be if a Walmart location also has a McDonald’s in its footprint. The Walmart would be classified as the primary location, and the McDonald’s would be classified as the non-primary location. Non-primary locations are excluded from FootFall.

Therefore, depending on your variable selection, the banner or category displayed may have lower counts than expected if many locations within that banner or category are non-primary shared locations.

How can I access the FootFall data?

FootFall is delivered to licensees through interactive dashboards in Tableau Server. When purchasing a FootFall license, you will receive Tableau Server credentials from EA, which can be used to view and interact with the FootFall insights. If you have issues accessing your account, please contact our support team at opens in new window

Can I download the data being displayed in the dashboard?

The data displayed in the dashboard can be downloaded to a .xlsx or .csv file. To download the view, click ‘Download’ > ‘Crosstab’ in the top right actions panel. Select the sheet with the prefix “@SUMMARY” and then select your file format. Alternatively, select the sheet with the prefix “@DETAIL” to get a more granular and detailed breakdown of your selections.

Note: The data that feeds into FootFall is available in EA's MobileScapes product. Find out more about MobileScapes. opens in new window

Can I combine multiple locations, banners or categories?

Yes. The Foot Traffic Trend dashboard allows you to combine multiple locations (i.e. geofences), banners, or categories to see the total daily visits for the combination selected. However, combining across variable types (e.g. location + banner) is not possible.

What does the benchmark refer to on the Foot Traffic Trend dashboard?

The optional ‘Select Benchmark Type’ on the Foot Traffic Trend dashboard allows you to overlay the visit metrics for the respective banner or category to your selection. For example, if you select a McDonald’s restaurant location, you can overlay the McDonald’s banner or the Restaurants-Quick Service category. This overlay allows you to compare trends of your variable selection to the larger banner or category.

If you select multiple locations (i.e. geofences), banners or categories, all banners/ categories associated with them will be included. For example, if a Fiat and a Fiat/Chrysler location are selected, both Fiat and Chrysler banners will be included in the benchmark overlay.

Why are the comparison period lines only partially showing?

Since the FootFall data starts in 2019, the 1- and 2-year percent change calculations may not be possible because a full 1- or 2-year period has not occurred yet. The comparison period line will extend as far back as the data will allow.

Why can’t I drill down on my comparison period line?

The comparison period line is designed to provide information about past trends. If a point on the comparison period line is selected, demographic and PRIZM® details for the most current corresponding week or month will be displayed.

How do drill-downs work?

Drilldowns allow for sub-selection of a time frame(s) or variable(s) for on-the-fly comparisons. When drilldowns are selected, top-line metrics, demographic highlights, and top PRIZM® segments will be refreshed.

Can I do a multi-selection drill-down?

Drilldowns are available for single– or multi-selection. Multi-select can be adjacent and non-adjacent.

How are demographic highlights determined?

Demographics are selected from evenly distributed characteristics by theme based on their highest likelihood of being held. They are benchmarked to the whole of Canada.

Demographic highlights are available for the whole of FootFall and are available to all users.

What do the topline metrics refer to?

There are 5 topline metrics in the dashboard:

  1. Locations Selected: The count of unique geofences contributing to the visits reported on the dashboard.
  2. Average Distance Travelled: The average distance travelled by all visitors to the locations selected. Average distance travelled excludes distances more than 2 standard deviations above the average for a given geofence.
  3. Total Visits: The aggregate visits to all locations selected.
  4. Average Weekly/Monthly Visits: The total visits to all locations selected, divided by the number of weeks or months included in the time frame.
  5. Latest Weekly/Monthly Visits: Aggregate visits to all locations selected for the most recent week or month.

Topline metrics will refresh if one or more specific bars or points are selected from the chart as part of the drill down.

How are the top PRIZM segment(s) determined?

The top PRIZM® segments are selected based on which segments contribute the highest volume of visits based on location(s) and time frame selected.

A PRIZM® license is required to view the top 5 PRIZM® segments. Users without an active PRIZM® license will only see the top PRIZM® segment.

Why are there no top PRIZM segment(s) listed?

PRIZM® results are only available in FootFall for the past year. One year is defined as the past 52 weeks or 12 months, depending on the time frame type selected. All periods before the most current one year will return no PRIZM® details.

What is “partial PRIZM details” referring to?

Partial PRIZM® details refer to the time frame selected when it includes dates both within and outside of the most current 1 year. As PRIZM® is only available in FootFall for the most recent year, only the most current visits will contribute to the top PRIZM® segments displayed.

What is the minimum line and average to maximum range?

For the Foot Traffic Trend page, the chart contains two reference indicators:

  1. Minimum line: indicates the time period with the lowest aggregate visits.
  2. Average to maximum range: indicates the range of visits between average weekly/monthly and the time period with the highest aggregate visits. This range allows for quick reference markers on which time periods are at–or above-average for the target time period selected.

The minimum line and average to maximum range are determined based on the location(s) selected and the target time frame and will not change with drill-downs.

Can I save my selections?

Yes. You can create Custom Views of your selections in the dashboard interface, which can then be named and saved. To save or access a view, click the “View” button in the top right actions panel.

Custom Views can be set as your default view (optional) in the Custom View Settings. See more information about Custom Views here: Tableau Custom Views. opens in new window

Can I share the dashboard?

You can share your Custom Views of pre-selected inputs with other FootFall licensees via URL. This link is found by clicking “Share” on the top right actions panel.

As a monitoring tool, you can also set up a recurring email notification containing a snapshot of your Custom View. For example, you can receive an email every Monday morning containing a snapshot visualization of the visit trends of Store A. To do so, click “Subscribe” in the top right actions panel. You can only subscribe to the email associated with your Tableau account. See more about subscriptions here: Create a Tableau Subscription to a View or Workbook. opens in new window

Why is there no count data being displayed for my selection?

No Counts Available: 9 categories are better analyzed using relative metrics (e.g. percent change) and are therefore limited to relative metrics in the dashboard (i.e. no count values). The count data will not be displayed if you have any locations (i.e. geofences) or banners selected within these categories. These variables are identified with a suffix “(No Count Avail.)”. Count data are unavailable within these categories due to methodology constraints related to activities with shorter average visit durations. Key questions for these categories should be focused on ‘how is my visitation changing?’, ‘how does my visitation compare to that of my competitors or the industry?’ and ‘what is my percent share and how is it changing?’ These categories include:

  • Greenspaces – Small CMA Park
  • Greenspaces – Unclassified
  • Restaurants – Pizza
  • Restaurants – Specialty Items
  • Retail – Alcohol
  • Retail – Cannabis
  • Retail – Convenience
  • Retail – Fuel
  • Retail – Fuel and Convenience

UX Selections: Another reason for no data to be displayed (either count or relative metrics) is if you have exceeded the selection limit of certain input parameters. You can select up to 25 variables (categories, banners or locations (i.e. geofences)) on the Foot Traffic Trend dashboard, and up to 5 variables (categories, banners or locations) on the Compare Foot Traffic and Percent Share Trend dashboards.

Alternatively, your data may not be displaying because you do not have a variable selection made. Toggling between geographies and variable types without selecting a variable will result in an empty display until you select one.