Import/Jefferson County, Idaho Buildings

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This is a plan for the addition of building footprint data for Jefferson County, Idaho. This effort builds on successful import projects completed last year and more recent assisted mapping projects in which buildings data has been prepared for mappers to add to OpenStreetMap via OSM editors (see Data Updates section below). For a list of other Esri-curated datasets that are available for mapping, please see Esri ArcGIS Datasets.


The goal of this effort is to add the Jefferson County buildings data to effectively complete the coverage of building footprints for the County, using authoritative data from the County. This effort would greatly enhance the coverage of buildings for the County, while retaining the many buildings already added to OSM. The County buildings data includes a couple fields that can be added as tags.


Data preparation was completed in October 2021. The edits to OSM would be performed incrementally by OSM mappers over the remainder of 2021 and beyond, starting after data is reviewed by the OSM community.


The source building footprints were assembled in September 2021 as part of Esri Community Maps Data (v1.4), made available by the County through Community Maps Data Sharing.

The processed building footprints that could be added to OSM are available to access on ArcGIS Online (see Jefferson County, ID Buildings). You can Open in Map Viewer to preview (click features to view tags) or sign in to export data for offline use.

OSM ODbL Compliance: Yes, the data is provided under a CC-BY 4.0 license, with explicit waiver for use in OpenStreetMap as defined by LWG.

Data Preparation

The processed building footprints referenced above were created using these Esri Data Processing Steps for Buildings and Addresses, developed and refined while doing data prep for several city and county communities in the United States. Below are a couple notes specific to the Jefferson County buildings data data.

  • The processed building footprints data contains 17,327 buildings, most of which do not already existing as building features in OSM.
  • The data includes only one field (building) that has been prepared to be added as a tag in OSM.

Data Conflation

Existing building features in OSM will not be replaced. The plan is to perform the updates in phases. In the first phase, only new buildings that do not intersect existing buildings will be added. In future phases, existing OSM buildings may be updated to include additional tags or improved geometry.

Data Updates

The plan is to perform the updates using an updated version of RapiD and an updated Map with AI plugin for JOSM (see Esri blog post on new tools in OSM editors for more detail). The new tools enable OSM mappers to access ArcGIS Datasets hosted in ArcGIS Online and select individual features to use while editing OSM. The mapper is able to select a feature, review and edit the feature geometry and available fields, and then save their edits.

The mapper has the benefit of using existing features that have been created by the data provider, along with their available field values that have been pre-processed by Esri, while also being able to compare that feature with existing OSM data (e.g. street names) and imagery to ensure it is accurate and consistent. The data source used for the edit will be added as a tag to each feature that is saved as part of a changeset unless deleted by mapper.


The plan is for OSM mappers to use their standard OSM accounts if they are editing with RapiD and JOSM editors for OSM and editing individual features. However, if OSM mappers wish to do any 'bulk' edits or imports where they do not examine individual features, then they should create and use new dedicated import accounts (e.g. <username>_<community>_import) for those changesets.