Greenville SC Building Import

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Imports and automated edits should only be carried out by those with experience and understanding of the way the OpenStreetMap community creates maps, and only with careful planning and consultation with the local community.
See Import/Guidelines and Automated Edits code of conduct for more information. Imports/automated edits which do not follow these guidelines might be reverted!

Greenville SC Building Import


This page is intended to document plans for an upcoming import of Microsoft Building Footprint Data supplied under ODbL by Microsoft.

The plan is to follow the import checklist:

  • Identify data to import
  • Translate, tag, and otherwise tenderize the data
  • Do the work: Import/merge the data
  • QA the data


Heights will be added to existing buildings where they can be matched to the source height data. New buildings from the source dataset that don't already exist will be created.


The import will take place within a month or two after a 1-2 month review period.

Import Data


Candidate building additions are at buildingSquare*.osm (buildings will conflict with any manually drawn buildings created in OSM after November 1 2017.)

Data source site: Microsoft Building Footprint Data , the city of Greenville geographic portion of the South Carolina data

Type of license: ODBL

Local open data

Unable to obtain permission for use of this data in OSM.

OSM Data Files

There are 2 main types of processed .OSM files: one to modify existing building heights - greenville_heights.osm , and the second group containing new buildings is divided into equal geographical areas to limit the largest one to around 2,000 buildings: buildingSquare*.osm [1]

Import Type

This is a one-time import, done with JOSM using the processed .OSM data above.

Data Preparation

Data is prepared by adapting the toolchain from maxerickson/osm_ms_buildings , then dividing the new buildings into manageable squares.

Data Reduction & Simplification

An inspection of the data shows that the processed .OSM data does not have excessive nodes on the new building outlines.

Tagging Plans

The default tagging will just be building=yes , height=XXX.x , however the building type may be changed to something more appropriate during the review and validation process. No source= tag will be applied to all objects.

Changeset Tags

"Greenville City Buildings Import" with a link to this Wiki page

Data Transformation

Data transformations are performed by the toolchain referenced above.

Data Transformation Results - note that JOSM validations have not been performed, and will conflict with any recently added buildings.

Data Merge Workflow

Team Approach

All 3 other local mappers in the area were contacted. Two responded and agree with the building import concept. One has expressed an interest in helping with the validation and upload.

The dedicated accounts to be used for the import are named Greenville_SC_City_MSImport_1 and Greenville_SC_City_MSImport2.


  • Apply building heights to existing buildings - a single upload
  1. For each square of added buildings - load in JOSM
  2. Validate against the validator to resolve conflicts with existing objects, hydro features.
  3. Verify against imagery and adjust for local knowledge of construction changes
  4. Upload.

Uploads interrupted by network errors will be reverted before re-uploading.


The toolchain conflates data with existing buildings, any additional conflation of new buildings will be confirmed with imagery and inspected for conflicts with existing objects.


Review with KeepRight tool to catch missed errors.