United States/Resources

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United States openstreetmap.us Projects Tags TIGER fixup
OpenStreetMap US Users Data Imports Resources Category

Useful resources

OSM Mapper — One year of work in the US, 20 July 2009.

Please respect the copyright of these sites.

Data sets

National Resources Copied and Pasted from Potential Datasources


More detail on the TIGER page

The Tiger road data is imported.

The U.S. Census Bureau's TIGER geographic database covers the United States (including Puerto Rico). The data is available from the Census Bureau as TIGER/Line files in ASCII text format - http://www.census.gov/geo/www/tiger/. ESRI shapefiles of the TIGER data is available at http://www.esri.com/data/download/census2000_tigerline/index.html .

The TIGER data are in the public domain - http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/geo/tigerfaq?Q11 .

US Fish and Wildlife Service

USFWS is a bureau of the federal government operated by the US Department of the Interior. USFWS makes cadastral data (ownership) available at the USFWS Geospatial Services site. Refuges are accessible to the public for activities such as boating, hiking, hunting and fishing, so they are very relevant to OSM.

US Forest Service

Many national forests have GIS data available for download. A statement from region 6 (Pacific NW) http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/data-library/gis/disclaimers.shtml says that the data are public domain. Unfortunately each forest seems have their own quality of data contributions to the national extent datasets- some are very good; others have much more inventory and data quality issues. There are some files very relevant to OSM (trails; recreation points listing campsites, docks etc) and some not so useful to the normal OSM reader (owl and fish habitats).

US National Park Service

The National Park Service has a data clearinghouse often with trails (some historic paths) rivers, roads and often with very high resolution orthophotos. Most NPS data is available through an ESRI open data hub: https://public-nps.opendata.arcgis.com/

US Geological Survey

The USGS has a centralized database known as The National Map that contains many data sets, several that would be of use to OSM, including very detailed surface water data sets (rivers, streams, lakes, tiny ponds), dams, federal lands. The data are in the public domain. However, they do request attribution of data to USGS, so it may require a followup to use in OSM.

National Hydrography Dataset

Part of the USGS Data, the National Hydrography Dataset contains detailed information on nearly all waterways and bodies in the United States

The GAP Analysis Program

Also a project of the USGS, the The GAP Analysis Project was conducted state by state initially and most recently on a regional basis. Relevant data includes landuse/landcover and stewardship/conservation lands, which includes military and DOD lands, and state/federal/local lands preserved for conservation purposes. The resulting dataset, known as the Protected Areas Database of the United States is itself a contributor to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).

Department of Transportation links

DOT homepage links for all 50 states. Check each for the GIS department, and statewide downloadable data.

U.S. Energy Information Administration

Contains lots of data on US infrastructure. All data is public domain. (Shapefiles)

FAA Digital Obstacle File (DOF)

The FAA Digital Obstacle File contains coordinates and elevations, as well as some meta data for aviation obstacles in the united states. It is distributed from the DAICD. I believe that the data is public domain but the CD is sold as a subscription; someone like myself who has the CD could theoretically import the data into OSM without violating copyright. (TODO: double-check IP status.) Update: As of April 2015, the file is available online at [1].

The DOF would be a useful way to populate the map with aviation-chart-related items, particularly ones that can also serve as landmarks: smoke stacks, antennas, etc.

FAA National Flight Data Center (NFDC)

Much aviation data is maintained at nfdc.faa.gov.

CLUI - Centre for landuse interpretation

http://www.clui.org/clui_4_1/index.html Information identifying weird landuses spotted in aerial imagery throughout the U.S. Non-profit organisation. No copyright information on their website. Didn't contact them (yet). Maps (approx landuse pinpointing) on the site uses google maps. May be use-able for vague identification purposes.

National Agricultural Imaging Project


Decent aerial imagery. List of WMS servers


Adding the list of mines and quarries in the USA from here:

Note, I have started the process to import this data, but I accidently overwrote the names with josm. Now I am working on modifying the names. https://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/changeset/3345627

Keywords: EPA, Brownfields, Assessment Grant, Hazardous Substance, Property Redevelopment, public health, environment, federal data download, regulated sites, hazardous, contaminated, polluted, federal datasets, Land Revitalization, land redevelopment, land reuse, real property, hazardous substance, kmz, xml, Shapefile

Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) Locations

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/nexradinv/ Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) Locations http://www.data.gov/details/4

This geospatial rendering of weather radar sites gives access to an historical archive of Terminal Doppler Weather Radar data and is used primarily for research purposes. The archived data includes base data and derived products of the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Surveillance Radar 88 Doppler (WSR-88D) next generation (NEXRAD) weather radar. Weather radar detects the three meteorological base data quantities: reflectivity, mean radial velocity, and spectrum width. From these quantities, computer processing generates numerous meteorological analysis products for forecasts, archiving and dissemination. There are 159 operational NEXRAD radar systems deployed throughout the United States and at selected overseas locations. At the Radar Operations Center (ROC) in Norman OK, personnel from the NWS, Air Force, Navy, and FAA use this distributed weather radar system to collect the data needed to warn of impending severe weather and possible flash floods; support air traffic safety and assist in the management of air traffic flow control; facilitate resource protection at military bases; and optimize the management of water, agriculture, forest, and snow removal. This data set is jointly owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, and Department of Defense

Processing :

Unzip. Replace wsr with Placemark. gps babel.

Added these tags:

man_made = beacon


EPA Geospatial Data Download: Facility and Site Information

Contains information about facilities or sites subject to environmental regulation, including key facility information along with associated environmental interests for use in mapping and reporting applications.

Keywords : FRS, EPA, CERCLIS, NEPT, NPDES, PCS, RCRA, RCRAInfo, Superfund, NPL, TRI, regulated sites, toxic release, major discharges, brownfields, federal data download, national priorities list, public health, environment, federal datasets, kmz, xml, shapefile, sites, facilities


See here for the full record : EPAGeospatial

National Atlas Raw Data Download Site

This site contains a huge amount of data possibly useful to OSM. Place names, political boundaries, hydrology, etc. Most data is USGS collected and is public domain, however the site "Web Policies" page states that copyright must be inspected for each data set.


Note: Many of the shapefiles on nationalatlas.gov, particularly fedlanp020.shp and its derivatives, are horribly inaccurate (the resolution is low). Please avoid importing any more of it onto OSM! Users have found boundaries as much as a mile off from their true location. See this diary post.


Wilderness.net gathers US Designated Wilderness area definitions from the US Forest Service, Fish and Game, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management into a single data set available for free download as Shapefile or KML.


Wilderness.net webmaster Lisa Eidson has been contacted and confirmed that all Wilderness data available on Wilderness.net is public domain.

National Transportation Atlas Database

The NTAD maintains various datasets associated with transportation in the US.



The FHWA provides the ARNOLD (All Roads Network Of Linear referenced Data) data under the HPMS (Highway Performance Monitoring System); see here.


NOAA ENC wreck and AWOIS database

The NOAA Office of Coast Survey maintains a database of wrecks and underwater obstructions. [2] The data itself is useful for a nautical chart like in the OpenSeaMap project. After confirming with NOAA via email, the data is indeed in the public domain and therefore can be imported into OSM.

Microsoft Building Footprints with Heights

Microsoft has footprint data for 9.8 million buildings in 44 states, concentrating on metropolitan areas. The data is released with an ODbL license https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/. The Microsoft Building Imports page has more details. Microsoft Building Footprint Data

North Country Trail


US Postal Service

The USPS provides a database of post boxes (or "collection boxes" in their lexicon). The data includes coordinates. There is an online database and the data is also available in GitHub. The data is also available as an Excel spreadsheet from the USPS on request and this other github site has one such data set.

The number and location of collection boxes is changing over time and so this might be a good target for a periodic import.

US Department of Energy Alternative Fueling Stations

Offers seemingly high-quality data about electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative fuels such as hydrogen or natural gas vehicle filling stations.

According to the USDOE the data is verified at least biennially, by survey if necessary.