Planimetric elements in geography are those features that are independent of elevation, such as roads, building footprints, and rivers and lakes. These features are represented on two-dimensional maps as they are seen from the air.   These features are often digitized from orthophotography into data layers that can be used in analysis and cartographic outputs (Wikipedia).

2D Planimetrics

 NCTCOG has been facilitating the collection of “heads-up” or stereo compiled planimetric data for local entities since 2005.  The data is manually digitized using the most recent Orthophotography available.  Project participants are able to select what layer combinations they need digitized and whether the data will be newly created or added onto an existing planimetric layer. 
Possible Layer List

Features Feature Type Specifications
Paved Road Edges Polygon Paved Road edges. Medians are included in road edges.  Attribution should be included as to whether the medians are natural or man-made.
Paved Road Centerlines Line All paved road centerlines.  Linework should be in a format that is compatible with NG911.
Unpaved Road Edges Polygon Public maintained road edges.  Medians are included in road edges. Unpaved road edges are defined where the visible gravel edge ends.
Paved Parking lots Polygon Paved parking for 5 cars or more. All visible islands/meridians within paved parking lots are to be identified.
Buildings Polygon All buildings above 100 square feet in size.  Capture will be of building footprint, not building roofline (unless specifically requested)
Bridges Polygon All visible bridges
Sidewalk CL Line Public, maintained paved sidewalk centerline
Sidewalk Edges Polygon Public, maintained paved sidewalk edge
Driveways Polygon Paved driveways
Fences Line Fences enclosing or dividing land or properties. Decorative fences within properties are not to be captured.
Tree Canopy Polygon Single or group of trees with canopy 100 feet in diameter or greater
Pavement Pad Polygon Paved or concrete pads such as concrete patios, RV pads, basketball courts, etc. 10' x 10' or 100'sq. ft. minimum size, does not include landscape block patios/pads or permeable surfaces.
Stream Centerline Line Centerline of visible streams at least 10 feet or greater in length
Stream Edges Polygon All visible stream edges at least 10 feet or greater in width
Lakes Polygon All visible lakes/ponds with any diameter 30 feet or greater or perimeter of 120 feet or greater.
Pools Polygon Below ground permanent swimming pools

Sample 2007 2D Planimetric Bundle File

3D Planimetrics

Detailed planimetrics can also be created with an automated process using the latest digital orthophotography and 0.5m LiDAR.  This allows for the elevation of features to be derived from LiDAR data.  The following layers are included the 3D planimetric dataset.  Because of the automated nature of the data extraction, individual layers and updates cannot be created.   

  • Buildings
  • Lakes / Ponds / Streams
  • Groups of Vegetation
  • Unpaved Roads
  • Driveways
  • Pavement Pads
  • Parking Lots
  • Paved Roads
  • Sidewalks
  • Swimming Pools

The scope of any planimetric project is dependent upon the needs of its participating entities.  Planimetric data is delivered in GIS or CAD format.   Some of the 2D Planimetric data (primarily building footprints, road edges & parking lots) can be viewed, printed, and purchased after a project completes at
For more information about planimetrics, send us an email.