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Flag of United States Part of United States mapping project.
Not to be confused with West Virginia.
Virginia, United States, North America

latitude: 37.63, longitude: -76.71
Browse map of Virginia 37°37′48.00″ N, 76°42′36.00″ W
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Virginia is a state in United States, North America at latitude 37°37′48.00″ North, longitude 76°42′36.00″ West.


Welcome to the OpenStreetMap (OSM) wiki page for the Commonwealth of Virginia! This page is used to help organize efforts to map Virginia. If you're new to OSM please read the beginners' guide. If you have further questions, feel free to email the OSM US mailing list, or join the Facebook group for OSM Virginia.

User groups

There are two active user groups in Virginia, MappingDC (for northern Virginia) and Blacksburg. There is also a Facebook group for OSM Virginia, so please consider joining that group. It is undecided whether or not to create a separate mailing list for entire Commonwealth.


Here are some possible projects to undertake in Virginia, but please indicate on the talk page if you're starting work on any of these, and consider creating a project to help with organization and coordination:

Useful Resources


Virginia Geographic Information Network

Virginia's GIS Clearinghouse is hosted by the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN). The GIS Clearinghouse is mandated by the Code of Virginia as a catalog and guide to geospatial data produced and used by state agencies in Virginia, localities in Virginia, Federal Government partners, non-profits, and colleges and universities across Virginia. More details can be found at:

Virginia Department of Transportation

Data from VDOT can be added/merged to OSM, per this statement. So far Interstate exit numbers have been obtained, but have not been merged (as of 2011-05-09). The GIS hub for VDOT can be found here.


There are quite a number of data layers provided via ArcGIS REST API. Explore them here and add any useful layers you find back here.

Virginia Economic Development Partnership

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership has a number of Shapefiles, containing correctional facilities, fire and rescue stations, hospitals, power generation facilities, schools, and much more. Data can be downloaded here. Update: per 2011/06/13 email conversation, and metadata, all data have no usage constraints, and are essentially in the public domain).

mutantmonkey imported the correctional facilities on 2012-01-09. [1]

Other sources to investigate

William & Mary has some Virginia data at their Geospatial Archive Resource and Data Exchange Network.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Virginia has a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) like the Federal government and many other states have. The full text can be read here. Geographic information systems (GIS) are specifically mentioned:

The public body may also make a reasonable charge for the cost incurred in supplying records produced from a geographic information system at the request of anyone other than the owner of the land that is the subject of the request. However, such charges shall not exceed the actual cost to the public body in supplying such records, except that the public body may charge, on a pro rata per acre basis, for the cost of creating topographical maps developed by the public body, for such maps or portions thereof, which encompass a contiguous area greater than 50 acres.[1]

Senate Bill 182 (Blevins, 2004) was introduced to prevent GIS data being subject to FOIA requests. It was referred to the Virginia FOIA Advisory Council for review, which established a GIS Subcommittee [2]. Further meetings [3] [4] [5] yielded discussion yet no decisions.

However, the bills funding the Virginia Base Mapping Program from at least 2006 state:

All digital orthophotography, Digital Terrain Models and ancillary data produced by the VBMP, but not including digital road centerline files, shall be the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by VGIN. The VGIN, or its counterpart, will be responsible for protecting the data through appropriate license agreements and establishing appropriate terms, conditions, charges and any limitations on use of the data. VGIN will license the data at no charge (other than media / transfer costs) to Virginia governmental entities or their agents. Such data shall not be subject to release by such entities under the Freedom of Information Act or similar laws.[6] (emphasis added)

There are a few conclusions that can be drawn from these sources. If a municipality purchases products through VBMP, then that data is probably protected from FOIA requests. However, if a municipality produces its own data from VBMP products (such as orthoimagery), then that data would not be protected from FOIA requests. For example, Fairfax County sells planimetric data such as building outlines. If this data was purchased through VBMP, it is protected because of the special provision in the bill funding VBMP. If this is not the case, then presumably it is not protected and can be obtained via a FOIA request. This theory has yet to be tested however.

GIS Imports




External Links