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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".

On 2020-02-21 a MassGIS person confirmed that the 2019 Orthophotos are usable for OpenStreetmap (and other purposes). MassGIS appreciates attribution but it is not required. (Omitting name and not posting the mail because this is a odd combination of a public record and standard courtesy of not posting email.)

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 2011-10, Calvin Metcalf imported most of this layer, and then various people edited to resolve minor issues. As of 2012-03, 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.

MassGIS released an updated boundary data set on 2019-09-03. This updated geometry was finished being applied to the existing OSM boundary geometry on 2020-06-02. Each line was checked manually one at a time, and any errors from the previous imports was removed. This included removing source & attribution tags from the nodes & ways. The source tag was added to the changeset as per current policy. Duplicate lines underneath the admin lines were removed. MassGIS notes several boundary discrepancies still exist. In addition to these the MassGIS boundary of NW Brookline did not mesh up with the parcel map, so it was made to align with the parcel map instead. In cases where boundaries were obviously meant to follow a lake's shoreline, the boundary was attached to that.

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.


Imagery and Feature Services

WMTS Service for Imagery Layers

MassGIS 2019

This layer is 15 cm color leaf-off orthophotos, acquired from airplanes in spring 2019. MassGIS refers to it as USGS because of joint sponsorship, but within OSM the preferred label is "MassGIS 2019".

MassGIS 2015

This layer is approximately 50cm color leaf-on satellite imagery.

USGS WMS server

As of 2020-02, this link seems broken.