I am currently searching for high resolution data on residential or commercial land use in the USA. I'd like to use this data to determine for a given location wether this location is in a house with people living in it or not. The data doesn't have to be perfect, as I only intend to do a case study on that. Therefore, it would be sufficient to find such data for a bigger city (e.g. Boston).

Does such data exist?

As I am not planning to use the data commercially, I can't afford paying very much for it. With this restriction, I can't use business directories like InfoUSA or Dunn & Bradstreet, which are mention in Seeking US State or National business (or employer) database lists.

I considered using OSM, as it contains a node attribute landuse that can be used to mark a node as used for residential use. Unfortunately, the data in OSM currently doesn't seem to be very accurate in that respect.

2 Answers 2


Not sure exactly what you mean by high resolution, but I think your best bet is to trawl the sites of city districts and see if they provide this level of data - it will probably vary by authority.

For instance Massachusetts has data (http://www.mass.gov/mgis/lus2005.htm) with a mimimum mapping unit of 0.25 acres - or approx 11,000 square foot. Probably way to large to pick out a house from a garden, but probably good enough to pick out a residential area from a non-residential one. You may want to explore


If you are just looking for data samples for Metropolitan areas and want to try some data out West, you can take a look at data provided (mostly) free by:

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