Third party data

We are not alone – other groups are producing great data on form and function of cities, which may suit your needs. Here is a selection.

Please let us know at if you know about other datasets that could be listed here.

Urban mask layers

DatasetDescription/PropertiesReferenceData Access
Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL)Global multitemporal built-up layer from Landsat image collections (GLS1975, GLS1990, GLS2000, and ad-hoc Landsat 8 collection 2013/2014), spatial resolution of 30 m Pesaresi, M., Ehrlich, D., Ferri, S., Florczyk, A., Freire, S., Halkia, M., Julea, A., Kemper, T., Soille, P., Syrris, V. (2016). Operating procedure for the production of the Global Human Settlement Layer from Landsat data of the epochs 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2014. JRC Technical ReportsGHSL Download
Global Urban Footprint (GUF)Global buildup layer from 180 000 TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X scenes, spatial resolution of 0.4 arcsec (~12 m).Esch, T., Heldens, W., Hirner, A., Keil, M., Marconcini, M., Roth, A., et al. (2017). Breaking new ground in mapping human settlements from space–The Global Urban Footprint. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 134, 30–42.GUF Download
World Settlement footprintGlobal map of human settlement, derived from 700,000 Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar and Landsat-8 multispectral satellite images, spatial resolution of 10 m ESA (2019). Applications - Mapping our global human footprint.
ESA CCI Land CoverGlobal land cover map, derived from the full Envisat MERIS archives (2003-2012) and SPOT Vegetation time series (1998-2012), spatial resolution 300 mBontemps, S., Boettcher, M., Brockmann, C., Kirches, G., Lamarche, D., et al. (2015). Multi-year Gloabl Land Cover mapping at 300 m and characterization for climate modelling: achievements of the land cover component of the ESA Climate Change Initiative. The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, XL-7/W3, 323-328.CCI Land Cover Download
Global artificial impervious area (GAIA)Annual global artificial impervious area maps derived from the full archive of Landsat images (1985-2018) at 30 m resolutionGong P., et al., (2020). Annual maps of global artificial impervious area (GAIA) between 1985 and 2018, Remote Sensing of Environment. Download
Imperviousness Density (IMD) EuropeHigh resolution layer of imperviousness Density for Europe, derived automatically from calibrated NDVI (Sentinel-1 and 2 data) at 20 m and 100 m resolution for the years 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015European Environment Agency (EEA) (2018). Imperviousness Density (IMD) 2015.
Imperviousness Density Europe Download
Urban imperviousness product U.S.Urban percentage imperviousness product for the years 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 from the National Land Cover Database 2016, 30 m resolution, based on nighttime lights products, Landsat imagery and regression tree modelsYang, L. et al. (2018). A new generation of the United States National Land Cover Database: Requirements, research priorities,
design, and implementation strategies. ISPRS J. Photogramm. Remote. Sens. 146, 108–123, 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2018.09.006
Urban imperviousness U.S. Download
Global Urban Change DatasetHigh spatiotemporal resolution mapping of global urban change for the years 1985 to 2015 at 30 m resolution, derived from surface reflectance data from Landsat SatellitesLiu, X., Huang, Y., Xu, X. et al. (2020): High-spatiotemporal-resolution mapping of global urban change from 1985 to 2015. Nat Sustain. Urban Change Download
Facebook High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL)Human population distribution estimates for 2015 derived from census data and high-resolution (0.5m) satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe, computer vision techniques were used to classify blocks of optical satellite data as settled (containing buildings) or not, resolution 30 m Facebook Connectivity Lab and Center for International Earth Science Information Network - CIESIN - Columbia University (2016). High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL).Facebook HRSL Download

Building data

DatasetDescription/PropertiesReferenceData Access
Building Heigth 2012 Europe10 m high resolution layer with height information for 2012 based on IRS-P5 stereo images and derived datasets like the digital surface model, the digital terrain model and the normalized DSMEuropean Environment Agency (EEA) (2018). Urban Atlas—Building Height 2012. Building Height Europe Download
Rasterized building footprints for the U.S.National dataset of building footprints for 2018 based on vector building dataset by Bing Maps Team, transformed to raster dataset with a High Perfomance Computing developed algorithm, 30 m resolution
Code to produce the data available here
Heris, M.P., Foks, N., Bagstad, K., and Troy, A., (2020). A national dataset of rasterized building footprints for the U.S.: U.S. Geological Survey data release
Heris, M.P., Foks, N., Bagstad, K.,Troy, A., and Ancona, Z. (2020): A rasterized building footprint dataset for the United States. In: Scientific Data 7:207
Building Footprints U.S. Download
U.S. national categorical mapping of building heightsCategorical mapping of building heights in block groups derived from the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission in 2000, 30 m resolution, shapefile formatFalcone, J.A., (2016). U.S. national categorical mapping of building heights by block group from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data: U.S. Geological Survey data releaseBuilding Height U.S. Download
Austin Building Footprints 2013Building footprints shapefile for the city of Austin, Texas derived from 2012/2013 Orthoimagery and 212 Lidar, Public Domain LicenseCommunication and Technology Management Department (2013). Building Footprints Year 2013 [Dataset]. City of Austin, Texas Open Data PortalBuilding Footprints Austin Download
Des Moines Building FootprintsDataset provided by the city of Des Moines, Iowa
Data are in Iowa State Plane South, NAD83
City of Des Moines (2019). City of Des Moines GIS Data.Building Footprints Des Moines Download
L.A. County Building OutlinesBuilding outline dataset for the L.A. county including information on building height, building area and building footprint, generated from sterei imageryCounty of Los Angeles (2016). Countywide Building Outlines - 2014 Update - Public Domain Release.Building Outlines L.A. Download
NYC Building FootprintsBuilding footprint dataset for New York City including information on roof height above ground, derived from annually captured aerial imagery, data published in 2016, Public LicenseDepartment of Information Technology & Telecommunication (2016). Building Footprints. NYC OpenDataBuilding Footprints NYC Download
Historic settlement data HISDAC-USHistoric settlement data for the continental U.S. covering the time period 1810-2015, derived from Zillow’s ZTRAX database, temporal resolution of 5 years and spatial resolution of 250 m, Public Domain Dedication License Leyk, S., Uhl, J. (2018). HISDAC-US, historical settlement data compilation for the conterminous United States over 200 years. Sci Data 5, 180175. Built-up Intensity Download
First Built-up Year Download
SEMCOG Building FootprintsSoutheast Michigan Building footprint layer as of April 2015 with detailed information on buildings including building height, derived from 2010 and 2015 aerial images, download for each county available from ArcGIS HubSEMCOG (2016): SEMCOG Building Footprints. Building Footprints Access
Chicago Building FootprintsBuilding Footprint dataset of Chicago as of August 2015, including detailed information about the buildings, ie. number of storiesCity of Chicago (2015): Building Footprints (current)Building Footprints Chicago Download
Boulder Building FootprintsBuilding footprint dataset of the city of Boulder with information on building height and ground elevation, creative commons licenseCity of Boulder Open Data (2020): Buildings in the City of BoulderBuilding Footprints Boulder Download
Fort Collins Building FootprintsBuilding footprints dataset of the City of Fort Collins including information on building height, last updated 2017CFC Open Data (2017): Building Footprints for the City of Fort CollinsBuilding Footprints Fort Collins Download
Norman Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints dataset of the city of Norman including information on building heightCity of Norman Open Data (2019): Building Footprints.Building Footprints Norman
Abuquerque Building FootprintsDataset with 3D Building structure outline in Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque, dataset derived from 2010 MRCOG LiDAR point cloud data and 2012 MRCOG Stereo Image Auto-Correlation data.City of Albuquerque Open Data (2016): Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints Albuquerque Download
San Francisco Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints dataset for the city of San Francisco with detailed information on the buildings including building heights, derived from a 3D building model and building masses datasetCity and County of San Francisco, Department of Technology (2020): Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints San Francisco Download
Miami 3D Building Models3D Buildings models dataset for the Miami-Dade County, available as a FilegeodatabaseMiami-Dade County, Florida (2018): Miami-Dade County 3D buildings models dataBuilding Footprints Miami Download
Sarasota Building Footprints Building footprint dataset for Sarasota County including information on base elevation and roof elevationSarasota County GIS Cadastral Layers Group (2020): The Building Footprint layer for Sarasota County.Building Footprints Sarasota Download
Boston Building FootprintsBuilding footprints dataset for the city of Boston, derived from 2011 planimetric buildings, SAM (Street and Address Management) buildings, and BRA buildings datasetsCity of Boston (2014): City of Boston building footprintsBuilding Footprints Boston Download
Roanoke Building FootprintsBuilding footprints dataset for Roanoke county including building height information, derived from aerial digital imagesCounty of Roanoke (2020): Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints Roanoke Download
Santa Clara Building StructureDataset on building structure for the city of Santa Clara including building height, derived from 2015 Aerial ImageryCity of Santa Clara Open Data 2.0 Group (2015): City of Santa Clara Building Structure - 2015Building Structure Santa Clara Download
Sauk County Building FootprintsDataset of building footprints for Sauk County including building heightSauk County Open Data (2019): BuildingFootprints Building Footprints Sauk Download
Henderson Building FootprintsBuilding footprints dataset for the city of Henderson, including information on building heightCity of Henderson, Nevada GIS Data Portal (2020): Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints Henderson Download
Lincoln Building FootprintsBuilding footprint dataset for the city of Lincoln from 2016 with detailed information on the buildings including building heightLincoln Open Data (2018): Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints Lincoln Download
Sioux Falls Building FootprintsBuilding footprints dataset for the city of Sioux Falls including ground elevation and building top elevation informationCity of Sioux Falls Open Data - Property (2020): Building FootprintsBuilding Footprints Sioux Falls Download
Arlington Building StructureBuiling Structure Dataset for the city of Arlington inluding information on building height and building areaArlington Open Data (2018): ArlingtonMA StructureBuilding Structure Arlington Download
Washington DC 3D Buildings3D Buildings dataset fot the city of Washington, DC, updated 2005 3D dataset with 2010 aerial imagesDCGISopendata (2010): Buildings in 3D3D Buildings Washington DC Download
Cambridge Building FootprintsDataset of building footprints for the city of Cambridge, including information on elevation of roof and base, map developed using digital photogrammetric techniquesCity of Cambridge GIS (2018): BuildingsBuilding Footprints Cambridge Download
European Settlement Map 2015spatial raster dataset of human settlements in Europe based on Copernicus Very High Resolution optical coverage for reference year 2015, available at 2.5 m and 10 m resolutionSabo, F., Corbane, C., Politis, P., Kemper, T. (2019): The European Settlement Map 2019 release, EUR 29886 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, doi:10.2760/25824European Settlement Map Download
Microsoft Building FootprintsHigh-quality building footprint data derived from Bing imagery through Deep Neural Networks, ResNet34 with RefineNet and a polygonization algorithm, resolution for Canada and US is 1ft/pixel at a 256x256 pixel size, resolution for Tanzania and Uganda is 30cm/pixel, Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) Microsoft Bing Maps (2019): Microsoft Building Footprints. US Building Footprints Download
MS Canada Building Footprints Download
MS Uganda Tanzania Building Footprints Download
Open Government Building DataA global inventory on publicly available, governmental 2D building data. Lists of datasets on the national, regional and city-wide scaleBiljecki, F., Chew, L., Milojevic-Dupont, N., Creutzig, F. (2021): Open government geospatial data on buildings for planning sustainable and resilient cities. Government Building Data Overview

Tree datasets

DatasetDescription/PropertiesReferenceData Access
Tree dataset OpenTreesDataset of municipal street and park trees derived from city's open tree databasesBennett, S. (2020): OpenTrees Access
Street Tree Layer (STL) EuropeRows of trees or patches of trees covering 500 m² over artifical surfaces. It is included in the Urban Atlas for Functional Urban Areas (FUA)European Environmental Agency (EEA) (2020): Urban Atlas: Street Tree Layer (STL) 2018Street Tree Layer Download

Urban Population Data

DatasetDescription/PropertiesReferenceData Access
Human Planet Urban Centres Database4D global database of cities from the threshhold of 50000 inhabitants, derived from the Global Human Settlement data; database offers information about location, extent, several attributes like population and greenness and information over time for each cityEuropean Commission, Joint Research Centre, Atlas of the Human Planet 2018 –A World of Cities, EUR 29497 EN, European Commission, Luxembourg, 2018, doi:10.2760/124503, JRC114316.Urban Centres Database Download