Import footprints (and maybe addresses) from York Region’s Open Data

York Region has an open data website with footprints and address points we could import.

I’m particularly interested in getting Richmond Hill and Markham imported (maybe Vaughan too) as these areas have many square kilometres of suburban sprawl and data quality seems higher in these two cities.

Data for import

Under the York Region Open Data License (link at bottom of above website).

  • Building Footprints. The quality of these footprints resembles those from the Ontario buildings import. Detailed and accurate, but may have unnecessary collinear points and not perfectly orthogonal.

  • Address Points (maybe). These points are not directly associated to building footprints, and I’m not sure there’s software to associate buildings with addresses. Also, most streets do have Canvec address interpolation so importing address points would create duplicate addresses which would have to be taken care of.

It looks like the data is available as CSV, KML, Shapefile, and GeoJSON.

To improve import quality, York Region has their own high quality aerial imagery from 2022 (also on the Open Data website).

We’d have to be selective about which areas to import data since some streets have been mapped out already. Since there’s many square kilometres of unmapped buildings it doesn’t seem worth it to map them all out by hand. Perhaps putting the footprints in an editor like Rapid and letting mappers add them in one click would be a better option. I’ve never done an import, so somebody with experience should probably lead this import.

wolfy1339 on Discord has brought up that licensing in Canadian municipalities is weird and confusing. For now, we have hit a roadblock. The license needs to be reviewed before York Region’s Open Data can be imported.

Looks like the license is compatible? Typically the hold-up for municipalities has been the attribution requirement: we have to reach out and ask if a credit on the wiki suffices. But this one says:

[You are free to:] Provide credit to York Region when using Information under this licence but are not required to. If You choose to provide credit please acknowledge the source of the Information by including the following credit statement in a suitable location: “Contains public sector information made available under The Regional Municipality of York’s Open Data Licence”

Which seems fine.

This [You are free to:] section actually seems compatible.

However, I am more concerned about the next section that seems more restrictive about data usage than the “Open Government License – Canada” or the Ottawa “Open Government License version 2.0” for which the OSMF gave their agreement…

You Must, Where You do any of the Above:
 Upon the request of York Region, remove any York Region credit statement should York Region, in its sole discretion, decide that such credit is not in the public interest
 Ensure that You do not Use the Information in a way that suggests any official status or that York Region endorses You or Your Use of the Information
 Ensure that You do not misrepresent the Information or its source
 Ensure that Your Use of the Information complies with all applicable laws and is not harmful to others.

I am not sure about the meaning of all this.

I think that just means that the attribution statement on the wiki needs to be clear that that data is from them, but that they did not upload it to OSM and that they are unaffiliated with the project. And if they request that the attribution statement be removed, we must remove it.

If the section stated that we had to remove data at their request, I would be worried.

As I wrote earlier, I’m not a lawyer :wink: so, I can’t judge if it’s compatible or not. I suggest you instead submit your question about license compatibility to these people…


I sent an email to and to request to have the York Region Open Data License reviewed by the LWG.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens, maybe next month? According to the OMSF wiki they meet every month and this month they approved two Canadian open data licenses.

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The York Region Open Data License has been deemed compatible with OSM in this month’s LWG meeting. Unsure of what to do next, I sent Rapid maintainers a Data Request to add York Region Address Point, Building Footprint, and possibly Imagery · Issue #1371 · facebook/Rapid · GitHub