Site Context and cove.tool
How does cove.tool generate site context?
Zahra Zolfaghari avatar
Written by Zahra Zolfaghari
Updated over a week ago

cove.tool allows users to automatically import their building directly into their correct environment using the Site Context feature.

The site context data are retrieved from OpenStreetMap, which is an open-source, community-driven repository of map data. This data source includes rich information regarding building locations, shapes, and heights, among others. For this feature, site context data are retrieved according to the latitude and longitude of the site.

Once the building data surrounding the project site have been retrieved, buildings that satisfy the following formula are included in the sDA and ASE calculations:

In this equation, h is the building height and d is the distance between the building and the project site. This criterion ensures that only buildings that have a direct impact on the daylight are included in the calculations.

The resulting site context and model of the project are then rendered on an interactive map ( The map provides further information about the project site, such as locations of public transit stops, stop lights, and traffic directions. When viewing the map with a low zoom level, building footprints are automatically extruded to their reported heights (retrieved by Mapbox from OpenStreetMap) to provide a visual of the overall site context (such as the skyline).

Find a video tutorial and full written guide on navigating the Daylight and Site Context page here.


1. How can I edit the global map, beyond deleting and resizing the buildings?

Users can change the global map by going to OpenStreetMap. Login, or if this is your first time, create an account. Once in the app, watch tutorial series to see how new buildings can be created, or edit existing models. Once you complete the changes, it will take 24 hours to be added to the global OpenStreetMap's database. After which covetool reviews the changes proposed using the following sources to validate the request.

1. OpenStreet Maps


3. mapbox

4. Property Data

2. How do I see all the buildings available in cove.tool without uploading a model?

To just see which locations have context modeled, visit Enter your building location and see what context is readily available.

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