Every Building In America

This article and others like it are part of the Longmont Observers mission as a non-profit, reader-supported newsroom to help educate and inform the residents of our city.

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The Longmont Public Library now provides free unlimited access to the New York Times, as well as many other digital books, audio books, newspapers, and magazines.

On Friday, the New York Times published a map of every building in America.


Microsoft released a massive database that holds the images of these maps earlier this year. You can access the datasets provided by Microsoft by clicking here.

It was an exercise in a kind of computation that used neural networks (similar to how our own brains work) to analyze the images collected by satellites and then trace the shape of buildings in our communities.

According to the New York Times, this is the first comprehensive database of information like this covering the entire United States.

According to forecasts, it’s going to be cold today and, for the data geeks among us, or if you just like maps, buildings and how communities are laid out, this might be worth sitting down with and exploring while lounging around a warm living room with a laptop or tablet and a hot cup of coffee or tea.

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