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Pennsylvania, United States, North America

latitude: 40.27, longitude: -76.91
Browse map of Pennsylvania 40°16′12.00″ N, 76°54′36.00″ W
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Use this template for your locality

Pennsylvania is a state in United States, North America at latitude 40°16′12.00″ North, longitude 76°54′36.00″ West.



Organizing real-life meetups is a great to way to attract more mappers in your area!


Main article: :Category:Users in Pennsylvania

If you have questions, these mappers may be able to help you out. (Let everyone know where you like to contribute!)

Find non-wiki-using mappers using Who's around me? And be sure to subscribe to the talk-us mailing list, where the broader U.S. mapping community discusses tagging, imports, policy, evangelization, and more. If you have any questions, you can also ask on the #local-pennsylvania channel of the U.S. community's Slack workspace (invite yourself).

Current Projects

  • Review road classification, taking into account PennDOT's functional classification system as one of several determining factors
  • Map of Rural Pennsylvania (sometimes refer to "Pennsyltucky") is notoriously lagging behind the reality, we need help to revive the whole region.
  • ATV trails are not properly mapped in rural area (Leonard Harrison State Park) because of poor imagery.
  • Address in PA is problematic because of townships and boroughs, they need to be carefully examined.
  • Organized Imports

Address Boundaries

Per Commonwealth Law, Pennsylvania has 6 kinds of local government:

  1. County
  2. Township
  3. Borough
  4. Town
  5. City
  6. School District

For general address mapping in OSM, only Township, Borough, Town and City will be involved. An administrative border (boundary=administrative) should surround the local government. Please check USPS Address Lookup if adding multiple addresses to the same location is needed (For example "King of Prussia" vs. "Upper Merion Township").

When adding addresses in OSM, please ensure to include zip code. There are many townships with the same name across different counties, it will be a huge benefit to include a zip code so people can look up easily. Currently there is no consensus of prepending county name to addr:city=*, you may ask on the #local-pennsylvania channel of the U.S. community's Slack workspace if there is any better idea.


Initial TIGER imports contained quite a few duplicate counties in Pennsylvania. These have now been fixed. Some counties require extensive review as ways do not correspond to aerial imagery, or are over-connected or otherwise badly proportioned. Correcting these issues is a relatively easy way to get involved in improving OSM, yet tremendously helpful. There is an extensive guide to improving the TIGER import.

For state route naming adopted in Pennsylvania, please check Key:ref:penndot.

Route relations

Public Lands

Pennsylvania has over 4 million acres of federal and state owned public lands. These include State Parks, Forests and Game Lands. For information on standard tagging and the status of mapping these features, see PA Public Lands.

Useful Resources

Aerial Imagery

Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA) site has high-resolution images of the entire state from the ​Pennsylvania's Aerial Imagery Program. Images from the old PAMAP program should not be used anymore. Starting from 2021, PEMA Orthoimagery can be used as a very useful source in addition to NAIP, ESRI or Mapbox.

Since Pennsylvania has a lot of wild areas, it is highly recommended to check multiple aerial sources to figure out the GPS offset as well imagery date BEFORE drawing nodes, segments or areas. Generally, please:

  1. Always check if your local municipality has a high resolution, more up-to-date orthoimagery included in OSM, use them for accurate mapping first. Please be advised that many Pennsylvania counties do host high-res imagery on their official website and can even be publicly accessible, but they cannot be used in OSM due to incompatible license! (Eagleview Pictometry)
  2. Use PEMA Orthoimagery when there is no high resolution imagery available.
  3. ESRI can be used when PEMA is dated. Check ESRI imagery date to confirm the capture date.
  4. NAIP can be used as backup. Due to its agricultural purpose the imagery won't be able to provide too many details, but it may help you find new properties so you won't accidentally delete roads which do not appear in other imageries!
  5. Avoid using Bing Aerial Images in rural Pennsylvania.
    A distinguishable area with unusable imagery provided by Bing.
  6. Use ESRI (Clarity) with caution because it has offset. It is always dated behind.
  7. Use Maxar with caution because it does not update very often (and some images are shared to ESRI as well so you can just stick to ESRI).
  8. Use Mapbox with caution. Even if it provides high resolution imagery in densely populated area, the offset is still discernible.

Do not forget to check Historical Aerial Photographs of Pennsylvania. However, it must not be used for current features.

GIS/Road Data

Nation-wide Data

Official State-Wide Data

Most of useful map resources can be found at PASDA website. Please update the list above if there is anything new in the future.

City/County/Regional Data

Here is the list of all public GIS and Zoning data available in PA. It does not include non-free resources. Please be aware of GIS data license, just because the data is publicly listed on the official government website does not neccessarily mean they can be freely used for OSM.

Click to expand the list of county GIS data
  • Erie County: Data is not released on county website. Instead it can be found at PASDA as well as PennDOT. Please search with keyword "erie" to view parcels, local roads or zoning.

Commercial Data

Before using any commercial data for armchair mapping, ensure the license is compatible with OSM to avoid copyright infringement. It might be OK to use any non-free sources for memory reactivation, but it is prohibited to copy and paste data directly from them. Any unauthorized copy and paste of non-free data will be reverted and the account will be placed on hold.

3rd Party data includes but not limited to:

  • Google Maps (including satellite and street view) and possibly Waze.
  • TomTom (include street view)
  • Apple Maps (including satellite and street view)
  • Pictometry (EagleView)


Other Data


The PASDA site has lots of data from the state government available for use, including State Parks, State Game Lands, and State Forests.

It is encouraged to map the public land boundaries orthogonal to the actual land use. This means that national or state park, forest and game land boundaries should have their own set of appropriate tags and not include natural=wood or landuse=forest. The actual land use should be surveyed or may even be determined from hi-res aerial imagery in the case of a forest. See the image to the right for an example: the green area (forest) extends beyond the state forest boundary, marked by the solid green line.

Private Property

A purple mark on the tree near a private property in Colonel Denning State Park

Landowners has the option of using purple paint, rather than signs, to post their properties and alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted (House Bill 1772).

When mapping state lands, please ensure to exclude these properties from the boundaries.

Importing PASDA data

The data is in shapefile format. Here is the process Alexrudd used to manipulate one.

  • Download and install QGIS. It is available on both Windows and Linux.
  • Download and unzip the dataset from PASDA. Some data is in raster form, which cannot be used. Make sure it is in vector form.
  • Try opening the shapefile with QGIS. Layer > Add Vector Layer (V)
  • Theoretically, it will read the associated .prj file and determine the projection automatically. However, this often did not work and QGIS asked me to specify the projection manually. Determine the projection by looking at the metadata. (Either in a .xml file or on the PASDA download page.)
    • The WGS84 and NAD83 projections are built-in, under Geographic Coordinate Systems.
    • One dataset (streams 2004) required a custom projection, based on the Albers Equal Area. Create a custom coordinate system (Settings > Custom CRS) Here is the proj4 line defining it.
      • +proj=aea +lat_1=40 +lat_2=42 +lat_0=39 +lon_0=-78 +x_0=0 +y_0=0 +ellps=GRS80 +datum=NAD83 +units=m
    • Some datasets are Lambert Conformational Conic, which can be found in Projected Coordinate Systems > Lambert Conformational Conic > NAD83 Pennsylvania xxxx. XXXX is either North, North(ftUS), South, or South(ftUS). Pick either North or South, and meters or feet.
  • Examine the data, and select your area of interest with the Select tool (on the main toolbar, next to Identify Feature.)
  • Right click on the data layer in the Legend on the left, and select Save selection as shapefile
  • When prompted, pick WSG84(EPSG:4326) as the new projection for the saved shapefile.
  • Use to convert the shapefile to a .osm file and open in JOSM.

Hiking Trails

Cycle Routes