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OSM Buildings

A JavaScript library for visualizing 3D OSM building data on interactive maps


The whole library consists of client JavaScript files, a server side PHP script and a MySQL or PostGis database. Everything should be seen as alpha state, all components are likely to change extensively.

Bottleneck at the moment is data availability. I can't process and host a whole OSM planet file. Actually I'm looking for a partner to provide a data service to you.


  1. You will need MySQL as data storage. Version 5.0.16 or better has the required Spatial Extensions enabled. Everything can be done in different Geo enabled databases too. For now we just go MySQL. For those who have trouble importing the data into MySQL or running a different server, Diego Guidi did a great job creating a Shapefile.

  • See Data conversion below *

  1. You will need to create your database table using the dump file /server/data/mysql-CREATE_TABLE.sql . Then import building data, i.e. from /server/data/ . Either upload this directly in PhpMyAdmin or unpack and import as you like.

  2. Make sure PHP is running and create a /server/config.php file for your setting s and database credentials. Or just adapt and rename /server/config.sample.php for your needs.


I assume, Leaflet is already integrated in your html page. If not, head over to its documentation. Important: version 0.4 of Leaflet.js is required.

Then in header section, add:

  <script src="dist/buildings.js"></script>

after Leaflet initialization add:

var map = new L.Map('map');
// You may stay with any maptiles you are already using. these are just my favourites.
// Remember to obtain an API key from MapBox.
// And keep the attribution part for proper copyright notice.
var mapboxTiles = new L.TileLayer(
        attribution: 'Map tiles &copy; <a href="">MapBox</a>',
        maxZoom: 17

// to point to the sample location Berlin, lets start there:
map.setView(new L.LatLng(52.52111, 13.40988), 17).addLayer(mapboxTiles);

// now create the buildings layer and attach it to the map:
new OSMBuildings(map);

// if you like to load the server based Berlin or Frankfurt samples, start loading use loadData()
// as soon as you do, it starts loading data from your PHP/MySQL combo
// you will need to have this on the same server, otherwise there are cross origin issues
new OSMBuildings(map).loadData('server/?w={w}&n={n}&e={e}&s={s}&z={z}');

// or you like to put cutom objects on the map, use <a href="">GeoJSON</a>
// the second parameter indicateds, whether your coordinates are ordered as lat/lon (default) or lon/lat
// - you need to pass geocordinats in the respective coordinates properties.
// - you need to pass a properties.height attribute
// - only type Polygon is supported
// example:

var myGeoJSON = {
    "type": "FeatureCollection",
    "features": [
            "type": "Feature",
            "geometry": {
                "type": "Polygon",
                "coordinates": [
                    [[13.38913,52.51670], [13.38919,52.51626], [13.39047,52.51634],
                     [13.39045,52.51644], [13.39031,52.51643], [13.39028,52.51664],
                     [13.39041,52.51664], [13.39040,52.51678], [13.38913,52.51670],
            "properties": {
                "height": 50

new OSMBuildings(map).setData(myGeoJSON[, islonLat=true]); 


Data Conversion

As PostGIS seems to be much more popular for handling geometry and MySQL being much more popular for commercial web hosting, there is now a data conversion script in using Node.js. Requirements are: a working Node.js installation (I tested successfully 0.6 on Windows) and the node-postgres module. Install the module with npm install pg. Then have a look into /server/data/convert.js and change database, table, output settings. Run the conversion with node convert.js.

What it does:

  • reads height and footprint polygons from PostGIS
  • turns height into a number if needed
  • swaps lat/lon of polygons if needed
  • creates a mysql dump file

For any further information visit, follow @osmbuildings on Twitter or report issues here on Github.

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