Does anyone know where I can find a complete vectorial database of the 3D building footprints (x, y, z, or building height) of the USA? At a cost or free.


Two things spring to mind. Unfortunately these are building footprint datasets, so they mostly won't include building heights. There are ways around this at smaller scales, you could do zonal statistics on a digital surface model for example. But I'm unsure how to proceed for an area as large as you're seeking.

First off is Digital Globe's building footprint product; https://www.digitalglobe.com/products/building-footprints

This is definitely a paid for product though and likely to get expensive quickly when you want the whole US.

Secondly, Microsoft/Bing's US Building Footprint dataset here; https://github.com/Microsoft/USBuildingFootprints

This is completely free for the whole US. Unfortunately the building features don't have any attributes, so again there isn't any height information.

I feel it is important to point out that just because these datasets don't have height information it shouldn't detract from the massive achievement that is automated building extraction across continents.

  • 1
    Thank you for your reply. Indeed, I need the building height information to compute urban skyline profiles. As you mentioned, DigitalGlobe-Ecopia's product BuildingFootprint is a massive and very hgih quality database for building footprints, however, no height information. However, I have found the answer from having reached out to the company BuildingFootprintUSA which has such a product with building height (chargeable of course), with very frequent annual updates in coverage, at any scale wanted. I thought this might interest other companies such as mine who require this kind of data diffi
    – Marianne
    Feb 15 '19 at 8:07

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