Summary & Purpose

This is a polygon data set representing the extent of urban development within areas of special interest in Boise, Idaho and the surrounding region. The data was derived from land parcel records available from the Ada and Canyon county assessors' offices and from the historic images and orthophotos available at the Boise State Library.

Date of Publication or Submission



Funding Citation

This publication was made possible by the NSF Idaho EPSCoR Program and by the National Science Foundation under award number IIA-1301792.

Data Source Credits

Derived from parcel maps publicly available from Assessors Offices of Ada and Canyon Counties Idaho.

Single Dataset or Series?


Data Format

*.shp, *.zip

Data Attributes

This dataset contains cadastral parcels in the form of a GIS layer populated with multiple attributes including land use type, property value, sales description, built date, legal description and ownership. We reclassified the parcels into six general land use categories: single-family residential (SFR), multi-family residential (MFR), commercial, industrial, institutional and open space. The SFR category in this study includes detached single family dwellings of all residential densities regardless of whether they are exurban (rural), suburban or urban residential. MFR, on the other hand, includes all attached dwellings including apartments, condos and townhouses. Since the major focus of the study was to explore general patterns of urban patches, we further reclassified the parcels into developed (urban) and undeveloped (non-urban) classes. We defined a parcel as developed if it has already been assigned a property tax value, has a built structure, and cannot be further developed. Sections of road and open space immediately adjacent to the developed parcels were captured so as to create urban patches by dissolving all the polygons touching to each other. Thus, we created urban extent maps for eight different years separated by an interval of about a decade: 1938, 1951, 1962, 1972, 1982, 1994, 2004 and 2014. The slight variation in the length of the interval owes to the availability of aerial images covering the whole study area. To delineate the urban extent for each of the eight study years, we used parcel attributes including construction date, property tax date, and subdivision permit date. In addition, we manually tallied the developed parcels with high resolution aerial images before finalizing the urban extent maps. Projected Coordinate System: NAD 1983 Transverse Mercator. Attributes: Class = Urban or Non-urban (for each patch, and here all patches are urban); Dist = Distance to nearby patch.

Map Area

44.047952N, 42.975526S

Map Area

-115.855445E, -117.093888W

Map Area Coordinate System

GCS_North_American_1983, Projected to NAD_1983_Transverse_Mercator

Time Period

1938, 1951, 1962, 1972, 1982, 1994, 2004, 2014

Privacy and Confidentiality Statement

We are explicitly compliant with federal and state laws surrounding data privacy including the protection of personal financial information through the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, personal medical information through HIPAA, HITECH and other regulations. All human subject data (e.g., surveys) has been collected and managed only by personnel with adequate human subject protection certification.

Use Restrictions

Data will be provided to all who agree to appropriately acknowledge the National Science Foundation (NSF), Idaho EPSCoR and the individual investigators responsible for the data set. By downloading these data and using them to produce further analysis and/or products, users agree to appropriately acknowledge the National Science Foundation (NSF), Idaho EPSCoR and the individual investigators responsible for the data set. Use constraints: Acceptable uses of data provided by Idaho EPSCoR include any academic, research, educational, governmental, recreational, or other not-for-profit activities. Any use of data provided by the Idaho EPSCoR must acknowledge Idaho EPSCoR and the funding source(s) that contributed to the collection of the data. Users are expected to inform the Idaho EPSCoR Office and the PI(s) responsible for the data of any work or publications based on data provided.


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