3.4.1. Rules for drawing buildings

Techniques for drawing and editing buildings are similar to those for drawing and editing all simple polygonal items on YME.

See sections:


You can use individual 3-D models for some buildings that have a complex configuration. Requirements for such models are given below in Section Requirements for 3-D building models.

The employees may simplify the shape and geometry of some buildings to display 3D models correctly.

When drawing buildings comprised of diverse (either in height or addresses) but adjacent structures, make sure to enable Snapping mode to draw polygons that are separate but adjacent. This mode allows the points of a polygon to snap to another polygon. Just click (Snapping mode).

The green arrows in the drawing point to the positions of the cursor and the vertex of the “polygon that snapped” to its neighbor polygon (which in turn gets highlighted when they snap together):

Follow these rules when you draw buildings:

When drawing a building, keep in mind that satellite images are typically taken at an angle to the ground. That is why roof polygons are not properly aligned with footprints (footprints are polygons of a building's foundation, and they are the things that actually get put on the map). The higher the building, the more pronounced this misalignment is (see picture: roof polygons are highlighted in red, footprints are highlighted in green, and the yellow arrows show the misalignment):

All structures, including buildings of the curved and round shape, must be drawn strictly on the Foundation (footprints), except for single-story apartment buildings and buildings in the private sector, drawn using the copying tool (see

If the shape of the building's roof doesn't match the foundation, draw the building based on the shape of the roof except where the roof gradually narrows relative to the foundation.


When drawing buildings, only include awnings and canopies in the building's polygon if the conditions described in paragraph are met.

If photos are not enough to determine the exact shape of a footprint or a building under construction, you can follow schematics instead:


Use the “Angle adjustment” or “Adjust angle” tools when drawing rectangular footprints (see Section Drawing simple polygonal items).

It's more reasonable to draw a polygon following the roof, and then drag the polygon to match the footprint. For information on how to drag a polygon, see Section Editing simple polygon items.

If you're drawing private area housing or a one-story block of flats, you can copy-and-paste a polygon from a similar building instead of drawing it from scratch.

However, the building in the private area you're copying shouldn't differ from the target building in length and height by more than a factor of two. The geometric center and the shape of the buildings should match.

Building rendered exactly on a picture, you should not replace the copied building with inaccurate geometry. This is considered an error.

You do not need to draw any protrusions and impressions in polygons of multi-story buildings if those curves are less than 5 meters long. However, simplifying already existing ones is considered an error.

For example, the photo on the left shows a ledge (see arrow on right):

If you should draw protrusions or impressions in polygons at all, either draw all of them or don't at all. You cannot pick and choose whichever ones you want to draw.

If a building has internal polygons (such as courtyards), you should draw them in:

You can draw awnings and canopies (non-insulated constructions that function as overhead coverings supported by posts attached to one or more walls) and framed greenhouses if all of the following conditions are met:

  • There are no road sections under this structure.

  • The structure isn't part of a building (examples are a rotunda, public transport stop, or canopy at a childcare center).

Do not draw greenhouses shown in the picture in Yandex Map Editor.

On the pictures below: the photo on the left shows an awning, the red arrow in the diagram on the right shows where the awning is located:


The exception to this rule is if you need to draw the awning in order for the three-dimensional model to display correctly.

Buildings that are made up of several structures or have multiple addresses can be divided into separate polygons.

If parts of one building differ in height (number of floors), each part should use its own polygon.


If a building is on top of a podium, enter the total of the podium and building height as the building height.

For the building in the photo below, the height of the podium is 9 m and the part of the building on top of it is 16 stories high (with a height of 16×3=48 m in accordance with the Rules, which states that each floor should be counted as three meters).

Meaning that the building's total height consists of the podium's height and the height of the main section on the podium: [16 x 3 + 9] = 57 meters.

For instance, the building in the photo has two areas with differing height (the higher one highlighted by the green arrow, and the lower one highlighted by the blue arrow):

These two areas must be drawn as separate structures for the building to display correctly:

This will ensure that the building displays properly on the map:

In some cases, such areas may even be attributed different item types. For example, a high residential building (green arrow) may be combined with a low-story annex occupied by a shop (blue arrow):

In this case, you should draw the sections that differ by number of stories as two different buildings on Yandex Map Editor:

Draw passageways between the buildings as separate polygons:

We recommend drawing truss structures that taper towards the top (such as cellular towers) using three or more building polygons of various heights (see the drawing on the left). That way they will actually better resemble the real thing on the map (right picture):

When drawing internal polygons, follow 2.7.2. Rules for using internal polygons.

When drawing buildings, follow these rules: 2.7.1. General rules for drawing polygonal items.

Don't draw underground buildings. However, you can draw parts that are visible aboveground.

Culture and leisure type items can also be used for mapping grounded vehicles (decommissioned ships or aircraft) without a pedestal that are monuments or museum exhibits.

You can draw temporary (such as “food trucks”) or seasonal structures as “Building” type items if they operate on the same place for at least two months and drawing them doesn't violate other rules of Yandex Map Editor. Requirements for 3-D building models

You can make a 3D model of a building and put in on Yandex Maps.

The rules and requirements for posting such models are listed below.

If you're not sure if your 3D model fulfills the requirements, send a photo of the original item and its location to ymaps-legal@yandex.ru.

To have your 3D model posted on Yandex Maps, send it in an email to ymaps-legal@yandex.ru.


Due to technical reasons, applications for publishing 3D models are temporarily not being accepted. General requirements for making 3D models
  1. 3D models are only employed for items which can be considered landmarks, and also cannot be properly conveyed by existing Yandex Map Editor tools.

    Such items include buildings, notable attractions, monuments, and parts of large historical and artistic sites.

  2. 3D models are not employed for the following items:

    1. — Standard and private housing and industrial park structures (unless they belong to the list in section 1)

    2. — Small items not discernable on the map (with at least one of linear dimensions being 7 meters or more)

    3. — Demolished and ruined buildings, as well as buildings under construction Special 3D models may still be employed for monuments and famous attractions even in their ruined state.

    4. — Buildings hidden behind high, solid fences or dense vegetation, which makes them unusable as landmarks. General requirements for models
  1. Use one model per building.

  2. 3D models must not contain:

    1. — Sections of terrain

    2. — Street furniture

    3. — Elements that aren't used to identify the item (such as booths, fences, trees, and so on).

    4. — Industrial lean-to buildings, railway platform passages, etc.

    5. — Elements that change frequently (advertising signs, banners, temporary structures and infrastructure, etc.)

  3. Only include signage on models if they are an essential part of the item's construction.

    Use a font that is similar to the original lettering. Technical requirements for models
  1. Your model must be saved as a KMZ archive, containing a KML geolocation file and the item model in the COLLADA format.

  2. 3D models must not contain:

    1. — Textures

    2. — Guides (Edit → Delete Guides in SketchUp)

    3. — Human templates (if you work in SketchUp)

    4. — Hidden geometry (View → Hidden Geometry in SketchUp)

  3. The level of detail you include in the model should be adequate, but not excessive.

    Your model shouldn't generally contain more than 5000 faces for rectangular buildings with roofs, and more than 25,000 faces for complex structures (e.g. churches).

  4. Your model shouldn't use any gouraud or phong shading, and must be designed with flat shading in mind.

  5. Ideally, your model shouldn't contain any small elements with edges less than 0.5 m in length (such models may not display the way they are supposed to on mobile devices).

  6. When using converters to transform your model to KMZ format, the model should maintain an acceptable level of technical quality. The model shouldn't contain any accidental changes brought on by the conversion process.


A special offer regulates the legal aspects governing the use of 3-D models.

Since 3D model parameters differ from map item parameters added directly in Yandex Map Editor, using such models is not stipulated in the Yandex Map Editor User Agreement.