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The building and open space layers from MassGIS have been imported for large swathes of Massachusetts, thanks to effort by User:crschmidt and others in the region. map

MassGIS ( is the Commonwealth's Office of Geographic and Environmental Information. Some data from MassGIS has been imported into OpenStreetMap.

Right to Use

Note on copyright from e-mail exchange with MassGIS:

All of our data is paid for by the taxpayers and is therefore in the public domain. We do prefer to be credited though in any publications... When using MassGIS data on maps or in digital applications, source credit should be stated as "Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs".

Imported layers

Please refer to the MassGIS list of available datalayers.

Import status and mappings notes by layer follow.

Executive Office of Transportation-OTP Roads Layer

This layer was imported in 2007.

Three towns were omitted from the initial import for various reasons:

  • Freetown (still missing signficant numbers of local roads)
  • Gloucester (as of 201203, OSM looks pretty complete)
  • Braintree (as of 201203, OSM looks pretty complete)

POI Layers

  • Police Stations
  • Fire Stations
  • Prisons
  • Hospitals
  • Lighthouses
  • Schools

Please add information about these imports.

OpenSpace Layer

  • Since much of this layer was produced by digitizing paper maps, the areas frequently do not line up with the surrounding streets. The MassGIS L3 imaging layer available in JOSM can be used to refine the imported boundaries.


  • Lakes, ponds, and Wetlands were imported December 2010. Only Cape Cod and Charles River were imported by user morganwahl.
  • The rest of MA lakes and ponds, but not the wetlands, are being currently imported MassGIS_DEP_Wetlands_Import_2013.

MBTA Rapid Transit Layer

Please add information about this import.

Bicycle Trails Layer

Town Boundaries from Survey Points Layer

Around 201110, Calvin Metcalf imported most of this layer, and then various people edited to resolve minor issues. As of 201203, it is believed that town boundary data in OSM is in pretty good shape. (However, coastline data was not necessarily aligned with town boundary data, this was fixed by importing the offshore town boundary layer in Aug-Sep 2012, see below).

A comprehensive list of boundary relations for each town/city which incorporates the survey points layer (and the offshore layer, below) can be found at: Massachusetts/Boundary Relations.

Offshore Town Boundaries and County Boundaries

As the above survey point layer lacked the offshore boundaries, in Aug-Sep 2012 System-users-3.svgfiveisalive (on osm, edits, contrib, heatmap, chngset com.) and System-users-3.svgmassDOT (on osm, edits, contrib, heatmap, chngset com.) imported the offshore boundaries only and connecting them up to the onshore town boundary and have adjusted the town relationships and county relationships, accordingly. The tags used for import are: attribution=MassGIS and source=massgis_offshore_town_boundary_import

The MA state boundaries has been fixed to be the outer coastal boundary of all towns/counties. Join the discussion on the Talk:Massachusetts/Boundary Relations talk page. As of early Sep 2012, there is still some checking on all relations to be done. See also: diary entry

Building Layer

  • Jan 2009, User crschmidt imported the 290,000 buildings around Boston. No wiki page exists for this import.
  • April 2013, the rest of the state MassGIS Buildings Import was completed.

Tag Cleanup

  • Best practices for tagging and imports have changed quite a bit since 2009. This project MassGIS Import Tag Cleanup 2013 is going to clean up some tagging issues with the 2009/2010 imports.


WMS Server

MassGIS provides an WMS server:

Particularly useful are the Color Ortho Imagery. As this data is more recent than aerial photography provided by Yahoo!, it is highly recommended that it be used when mapping the covered areas.

Links for use with JOSM's WMSPlugin:

USGS provides a WMS server with these same layers: