Miami-Dade County Large Building Import

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This project aims to import almost 100,000 buildings into OpenStreetMap. We will be inserting new buildings along with additional information (such as building heights and addresses - where available) into the OSM database to improve the biggest collaborateive mapping project in the world.


The Miami-Dade County government has made a polygon layer of building footprints -- known as "Large" Buildings -- available for a few years through both its GIS Self Services and GIS Open Data platforms. The purpose of this project is to execute an import of these large building polygons into the OSM.

The project currently is close to the execution phase. We are testing data files and setting up a Task Manager instance for the manual review process.

Large Buildings Data Overview


"[Large Buildings 2013 is a] collection of vector polygon features for large buildings within the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) and outside the UDB, approximately 938 square miles. Large buildings are defined as structures in an apparently commercial, industrial or other non-residential area. Any other structures located in residential areas of large size exceeding eight thousand (8,000) square feet, with the exception of detached single family residences (SFR), were digitized as large buildings, i.e. condos, town, homes, etc. Individual structures such as sheds, small barns, or other small indistinguishable structures that can be identified as part of a large building were not digitized."

Spatial Extent

Miami-Dade County, FL (BBOX: -80.8786,25.2356,-80.1184,25.9746)

File:Building import in Miami-Dade.jpg
Buildings with no detected conflicts (green) and Buildings included in the manual review process (red)


This project is currently being planned. The following timeline is proposed for this project:

April 2016

  • Exploratory data assessment
  • Schedule events for community buy-in and feedback
  • Develop initial technical workflow procedures

May 2016

June-July 2016

  • Code and document all steps related to this import (GitHub repo)
  • Prepare data for conversion
  • Perform data consistency checks, asking for community help for review the process
  • Test upload process on the dev servers
  • Create methodology and tutorials for the manual review process

August 2016

Import Data


Data source site

Large Buildings 2013 via Miami-Dade County GIS Open Data

Adress via Miami-Dade County GIS Open Data

Data license

According to the Miami-Dade County GIS Open Data site, there is "No license specified" for this particular Large Building 2013 footprint dataset.

The data is public domain, so no clarification needed from the county. This is true for all data produced by governments in the state of Florida unless there is an exception specified in the public records statute.

Brian aka grouper

Data Preparation

Code used in the data preparation and import phases is currently being developed in a GitHub repository. Technical description and repruducible code can be found in that repo. Feel free to chip in with ideas and coding time.

The basic idea is to separate the building dataset into 2 chunks. One for the bulk import process, and one for manual review view Task Manager. We are currently checking if buildings are

  • Overlapping with existing OSM buildings
  • Overlapping with highway/railway=*
  • In the proximity of existing OSM addresses

To avoid any possible conflicts in the upload process, we won't upload buildings falling in either of the categories above automatically. Thos buildings will be reviewed by the community based on US Census Block Groups organized in Task Manager jobs.

Assigning addresses

For the bulk process, where 1-1 relationship was found between the buildings and address datasets, we assigned the full address to the buildings. For the manual review process, all addresses are included in the sample files therefore it's the reviewer's task to decide to merge them with OSM data.

Changeset Tags

We are using "source=Miami-Dade County GIS Open Data," tags on changesets. Changeset comments "comment=Miami Building Import 2016" will be also set.


Data Merge Workflow

Team Approach

A team-based approach is being employed for this project. Following the Maptime Miami event held May 16, 2016, several members of the mapping community have stepped forward to participate and/or offer oversight of this process.

Join the conversation at the #osm-bulk-import channel of Code For Miami's Slack channel.



Upload scripts

Task Manager

Sample *.osm files

Sample *.osm ifles are available for review at Please open an issue on GitHub to give feedback or hit us up directly.

mia_building_5k.osm contains part of the data for the bulk uploads. Other files correspond to some US Census Block Groups and contain data for the manual review process. Please DO NOT upload any of this to OSM.

Contributing OSM members

Coding, organizing, executing the process

Levente, Adam, Matthew

Manual review process

Append your name to either of the lists.

How to join?

Say Hi at the OpenStreetMap South Florida Facebook group.

Join the conversation at the #osm-bulk-import channel of Code for Miami's Slack.

Come and see fellow mappers at Maptime Miami's Meetups.

Follow Maptime Miami on Facebook.