I'm plotting a map of the Los Angeles metro area, and I'm using TileMill. I've loaded different layers for the geographical data, and wanted to add buildings as well.
So I found this map for the LA county link which does exactly what I need.
But I noticed it's in fact missing the whole Orange County area, since it's a different county of course.
On the website of Orange County's open data I was not able to find a similar file, so I was wondering if there was any other source I was unaware of that might have the file I'm looking for.
Thanks in advance for any help!

3 Answers 3


As someone who actually has a fair bit of knowledge into the technological progress Orange County, California has made in the way of GIS, I can say that the data more than likely still does not exist for the whole county. Major cities such as Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, Newport Beach may have building footprint shapefiles (I know for a fact that Anaheim and Irvine do). But many of the smaller cities have not done the work from the last time I can recall having the most relevant information (2012).

Orange County has only recently taken up the cause of digitizing its infrastructure to data/GIS. They originally hired the utility companies to create the parcel shapefile layout for the county and that was as recent as 2009. The parcel shapefiles have been publicly available for Orange County, CA since 2012 and the most recent data which has sufficient attribute data is for 2014.


Consider filing a Freedom of Information request (FOIA) with Orange County's GIS unit. This doesn't need to be complicated. A simple letter should do (here's a sample document for California). Or, consider using a service like Muckrock or FOIA Machine.


You can download building shapefiles from the Open Street Map project - details.

In particular, see the download links

download shapefiles created by Geofabrik, updated daily (usually) with a global extract and some countries. Shapefiles with the following are provided: buildings, landuse, natural, places, point, railways, roads and waterways.

geofabrik link

osm-x-tractor.org offers global and continental extracts. Shapefiles are generated for buildings, roads, landuse, places, POI, natural, hydrography and vegetation. Updated every two weeks.

osm-x-tractor link

  • 1
    thanks, but unfortunately the openstreetmap is lacking most of the buildings (I've checked it previous to asking the question). the osm-x-tractor link tho is a nice link that I didn't know of!
    – tomtomtom
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 17:28

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