Buscando limites de parques nacionales que faltan de OSM

Este es Andrew de Apple. Estaba mirando listas de parques nacionales y encontré algunas que faltan de OSM. ¿Alguien sabe datos nacionales o locales de parques nacionales, idealmente con polígonos? ¿O sabe los limites ellos mismos?

Las parques faltantes están:

Camino de Cruces
Altos de Campana
General de División Omar Torrijos Herrera
Santa Fe

¡Muchas gracias!

En Telegram, Carlos Eduardo Rodríguez compartir los leyes de cada parque, que tiene los limites en texto.

Camino de Cruces

Santa Fé

Altos de Campana

General de División Omar Torrijos Herrera

¿Alguien tiene un contacto en el gobierno? Tal vez ellos tiene un shape file o mapas.

Hi Andrew, thank you for writing here in this public forum.

public institutions here use ArcGIS to manage their geographic information. every time I’ve had contact with public institutions, that is when I did manage to get an answer, the answer showed a complete lack of interest in understanding the question (could you share your public data under a odbl compatible license?). in general they pointed me to the “open” availability of their data on the esri platforms, platforms that clearly state All Rights Reserved.

during a meeting I had with Esri Panamá a couple of years ago https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Panam%C3%A1/Reuni%C3%B3n_2019-03-21, Manuel Quintero (IIUC, he is not any more in charge) ventilated their availability to play as entry point for the OSM mapping community to the Panamanian public information databases. unfortunately after that meeting I never managed to hear from him again.

the YouthMappers UP Chapter is in close contact with Esri Panamá, so they may play a role in placing the question at the right person. IMO the person you need to contact for this is their mentor https://hdyc.neis-one.org/?maradames.

in the https://t.me/Comunidad_OSM_Panama Telegram group we have had https://hdyc.neis-one.org/?mir123 sharing a shapefile he said he received from the MiAmbiente, but I cannot tell you under which license. try to reach him in that group, or better to invite him to enlighten us here. I have translated the shapefile to osm format and you can find it back here https://t.me/Comunidad_OSM_Panama/12567, and I’ve examined their polygons.

you see … interpreting the decrees that institute Panamanian parks is a difficult task. texts may refer to spots by coordinates (mostly NAD27), but also by name and even by ownership. when given by UTM coordinates, I have a procedure https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/ES:Panama/Protected_Areas to import the information. otherwise: sometimes it’s possible to decipher them (coastline/major rivers), sometimes it’s really impossible (the most exemplary one is in one of the Veraguas parks: “the point where the border meets the river” — for a river that is itself the border). the one case I checked a MiAmbiente’s polygon against one I am sure enough I mapped the area quite properly, they don’t seem to have even attempted to read the decree, they just drew a circle around a point. my conclusion is that quality of official data is to say the least questionable.

bottom line: if you think that bad data is better than no data at all, try the YouthMappers card. they may have interest in expanding their list of achievements.

please do keep us informed, thank you.

best regards, MF.

p.s.: please let me remind you again: the https://t.me/osmpanama forum is a spin off of the https://t.me/Comunidad_OSM_Panama. participants to the second are not allowed to join the first. up to now, most participants decided to stay with the original one.

update 2021-07-24: the spin-off group was recently made private and moved away. if it even still exists, it is now only available to group members.

Andrew escribe en https://t.me/osmpanama/614:

»¡Buena suerte! Encontró estos datos de los parques que faltan del Museo de Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute en Panama, y ellos dijeron que los datos se pueden usar para OSM! https://stridata-si.opendata.arcgis.com/apps/SI::panamas-protected-national-parks-app/about«

“ellos dijeron” es un poco genérico y no creo que le sirva a cualquier mapero OSM: “Andrew Wiseman wrote in a Telegram group that someone from the Museum of the STRI told him we could use this information”. I guess it should be a bit more informative, to be verifiable.

I’ll have a look.

if Andrew could double check, it would be nice.


Copyright of that information is by the STRI, and apparently the license for all maps is CC:BY-SA. it’s obviously impossible to comply with the two clauses once the data is imported in the OSM database.

update 2

Checking with Milton Solano del STRI, they have the polygons from the MiAmbiente, which sounds to me we are looking at the same information as what has been shared by mir123 in the Comunidad_OSM_Panama Telegram group.

Thank you Mario, I will contact Mi Ambiente as we discussed on the OSM Panama Telegram. As you said on the OSM Panama Telegram, the data in that particular shape file also might not be accurate, which is good to know. I will ask them about that and let the community know what they say.

Hi everyone,

this is Milton Solano, GIS Analyst at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute or STRI. I was invited by Mario to this forum to clarify some concepts regarding the Protected Areas polygos. I see some posts are in spanish while others in english. I’ll post in english, but can switch to spanish as well.

Just to clarify to Andrew: STRI is not a museum; we’re a research center, focused on tropical biodiversity. Our main institution, the Smithsonian has many museums around Washington DC, but it has other research centers in the USA. In fact, STRI is the only research center from the Smithsonian outside the US.

Regarding the Protected Areas polygons or simply AP, Mi Ambiente is the original source of this layer. They are the main institution tasked with the responsibility to create, maintain or modify the AP in the Republic of Panama. Over the years, this layer has suffered a lot of variations like moving from the old NAD 27 datum to updates with more accurate imagery. That’s why you see a lot of variations of this layer.

Mario has called the attention of the “Área Natural Recreativa El Salto de Las Palmas” shape, using the kind word “disparate” (blunder) to describe this polygon. Out of 73 more polygons on the AP layer, he dismissed the layer because it is not conform to what he think is the “real” shape of this AP.

I told Mario, Mi Ambiente is the only official source for this layer. Obviously there are going to be errors on the shapes, but that not erase the other good data they produce. At institutions level, we need to “speak” the same language and use the same data. If there are errors, we try to fix them using the data published on the Gaceta Oficial, which anybody can read.

So going forward on this, Mario, could you share with us the Gaceta Oficial where the “Área Natural Recreativa El Salto de Las Palmas” is defined, double check the area you created and then let’s try to speak to someone at Mi Ambiente. I know some people there who would like to listen to the OSM community.

I’m open to improve the AP data, because it serve our interests as well,



good day to all and thanks for your contribution Milton.

I generally write down all information I don’t want to keep in my mind, as in this case: in the changeset https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/74322090 I wrote as source the number of the gaceta oficial I used (28302).

in the page https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/ES:Panam%C3%A1/Proyectos/Parques_y_zonas_protegidas there’s a table listing all protected areas known to the people caring for updating the page (that’s Andrew Wiseman, SeraliaM and myself), and references to sites where to search for the documents.

you will find the pdf of the gaceta in question by following the instructions given in the above overview, or using this direct link: https://www.gacetaoficial.gob.pa/pdfTemp/28302/61790.pdf

I used the procedure described in the other page https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/ES:Panama/Protected_Areas, procedure based on tesseract, but you can also read and validate manually. since it was an automatic procedure I followed, doing it again will produce the same result as two years ago.

all nodes are numbered, and there might be discrepancies with their real position because I might have used the wrong projection. but the resulting shape nicely and tightly follows the waterway we have in OSM, what can’t be said of the polygon distributed by MiAmbiente.

I also checked the polygon for Parque Sarigua, and found less striking differences, still enough to make me weary of trusting the information.

yesterday I processed the document describing Parque Omar Torrijos, but I haven’t yet updated the wiki page*****. I had to copy the coordinates manually because the pdf was like gray50 on gray70 instead of black on white. here my interpretation of the decree leaves a very large chunk missing at the north-west of the park as compared to what’s distributed by MiAmbiente, but I can’t make anything else of what I read there. I’m sure that my polygon is wrong, because it encircles an area that does not reach the amount of hectares as detailed in the decree.

I could not check more objects because most decrees refer to objects that simply aren’t available as reference within OSM.

moreover, these polygons are distributed under a license that is incompatible with their inclusion into OSM. so my conclusion was why make the effort.

if I understand Milton’s point of view correctly, you suggest we could help MiAmbiente with validating the info they distribute, right? then it would be of huge help if you also managed to convince MiAmbiente to pressure the IGNTG into releasing their data so that we OSM mappers can lawfully import it into OSM, this would enable us to validate many more AP polygons.

best regards to all,

Mario Frasca

***** just updated the wiki page (2021-07-22 14:00-0500).


Thank you for sharing the Gaceta Oficial. I just reviewed the document and found out, at the end, the “official” map with a very different shape, closely resembling the shape you already draw. I wonder if at the beginning (back in 1999), some lazy guy at ANAM just made a rough polygon for the area and then shared with us that layer. Obviously, we never double checked the geometry against the published Gaceta.

I’ll draw myself the area using the coordinates on the document and will update our Protected Areas layer already published. Once the geometry is fixed, then let’s contact Mi Ambiente to check with them the geometry they have for the El Salto de las Palmas. Knowing them, I’m pretty sure they will come up with something like “oh, we already have it right… you got it wrong all the time”. In cartography, there’s a practice of including errors on purpose to discover illegal copies of data. I guess this is one of them.

The document says the coordinates are in WGS 84, Zone 17 North, so no problems there. Mario, once I draw the new area and update my map, would you like a copy for your records? what format? My GIS platform is ArcGIS. What other areas have you found with geometry errors compared to the Gaceta definition?

Regarding the matter with IGNTG data, although out of scope in this thread, how do you think it will benefit the OSM map? You mean, the streets details? the boundaries definition?



good day to you Milton,

I use QGIS. for my own record, I do not need it. I contributed my work to OSM and that’s about it. if you think that the polygon I uploaded to OSM should be corrected in any detail, I hope that your institution will allow you to include your correction to the OSM database. or if you don’t have the time, but you give authorization to include your polygon in OSM, I’ll share it with other mappers and invite them to review and process it.

didn’t I mention … the two points in the sea for the Parque Sarigua look weird to me. but also:

and it’s as if there’s a big missing chunk.

it’s almost two years ago that I had worked at trying to trigger some interest among local mappers, so (1) I don’t remember which objects I did contribute and (2) others might have improved upon my work. are you familiar with the overpass api? this query https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/19G3 will return all protected areas in Panamá for which we declared the protect_class. if you find any discrepancy, let’s talk about it.

in my opinion having access to the IGNTG data is not out of scope: most Protected Areas are defined in terms of peaks, rivers, and other named natural accidents. if the STRI has interest in letting OSM amateur mappers review the polygons received from MiAmbiente, as of now, without legal access to the IGNTG geographic data, we can’t help you.

so to your last two questions, I only mean all natural features. I don’t know if other mappers have a different opinion, and I hope they will intervene.

best regards,

Mario Frasca

(after some extra reviewing time)

now looking at the “Humedal de Importancia Internacional Bahía de Panamá”, comparing it to the object in the ‘objects.osm.gz’ file we have at https://t.me/Comunidad_OSM_Panama/12567: it’s curious how the one in the MiAmbiente file has a displacement ~205m<5° for all all points up to #67, then the displacement becomes 230m<260° at node 68 and from there it slowly evolves. I’m sure it’s a mistake on my side, and it would be good if someone else could review and correct me. the gaceta I used is https://www.gacetaoficial.gob.pa/pdfTemp/26221/16320.pdf and the procedure is always the same.

in Chiriquí OSM has quite a few objects created by OSM mapper https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/ArielRod/. he was highly active in the area until like 7 years ago. a more recently highly active mapper in the same area is https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Alvarado2510.

now for example I would not know what is the matter with “Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Playa Barqueta”, represented by polygon https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/241377844: I do not know what was Ariel’s source when he added it in changeset https://overpass-api.de/achavi/?changeset=18273241, when it did not quite match the MiAmbiente polygon. I also have no clue why Luis Antonio (Alvarado2510) changed it to something else in changeset https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/5876708, further increasing the difference. do you possibly have access to the text that defines that area? we could have a look. otherwise we are comparing opinions, each of which as legitimate as any other.

the following two situations are large overlaps in the MiAmbiente polygons. I’m sure this is because I’m using out-of-date polygons.

  • the Bosque Protector Palo Seco and the Parque Internacional La Amistad: the MiAmbiente polygons I’m referring to have a very large overlap.

  • in OSM the Bosque Protector is split in sectors, I would not know if that’s reasonable or not.

  • also the MiAmbiente polygons for Volcán Barú and the Parque Amistad grossly overlap.

Milton, can you share here a direct URL where we can find a more up-to-date version of the MiAmbiente Protected Areas? obviously we are all aware that the license is still CC:BY-SA, not allowing us to import it into OSM, but we can refer to it for questioning the quality of OSM data.

back to my own contributions to OSM: the MiAmbiente polygon for the Sitio Ramsar Damani-Guariviara looks smaller than what I mapped, in particular it misses a broad chunk at the West, where I’m following reference points 1-15 detailed in the decreto institutivo. the parts where I’m following the coast, past point 95 and back to point 1, that’s a matter of interpretation, and whatever the MiAmbiente says, their statement is definitive. yet, considering the position of point #95 relative to the coast, I think that the people who wrote the law intended to protect a broader area than what’s included in MiAmbiente Polygon.

it’s nice to see how our two sources closely agree for the Area Protegida Matusagaratí.

best regards to all, Mario Frasca

update / I added a couple more polygons to OSM (https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/108545486, https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/108547351) and in particularly for the second one I see minor but relevant differences with what’s distributed by MiAmbiente.

good day Milton, any news?

I realize I left a statement in place, which calls for a comment from my side.

as you have seen in my above replies, “of 73 more polygons”, I was able to help you review only a few, because without reference points from the IGNTG I can only review those where the limits of the AP is given by coordinates.

of the small amount I could review, most do not match, some by minor shifts, some by larger chunks. again, as I informed you in my above replies.

among them, the shape for the “Área Natural Recreativa El Salto de Las Palmas” is more than a blunder, it’s utter nonsense, and I tried to use as much as possible a friendly term for it. I’m sure you simply blindly trusted the MiAmbiente, because I can’t imagine an institution like the STRI seeing such a polygon and not recognize it as a joke.

besides this, have you any news? best regards, MF

here I have missed a node (or MiAmbiente has added one), and MiAmbiente did not include the Cerro Pilón area. for the rest, we agree quite nicely.

in an above message, I was mentioning the internal inconsistencies in MiAmbiente data and how it does not match what we have in OSM. this is what I mean:

Hola Mario,

Sorry for the delayed answer to this topic; I really have a hard time trying to keep up to date with assignments and training these days. Thanks for the head-ups email.

I made a webapp a couple of months ago to help some of our staff. This map contains the latest 1:25,000 topographic sheets mosaicked into a single layer. I think this may help anyone looking for peaks, rivers and other natural features. EDIT: I forgot the link:
https://arcg.is/19GLmX - 2D version
https://arcg.is/0byvCW - 3D version

Thanks for sharing the differences between Mi Ambiente polygons and the ones available at OSM. Excellent work you have done, and has helped me to open my eyes regarding the data quality Mi Ambiente shared with us. I never had the time to go through each Gaceta Ofical PDF document to check the geometry definition and the real polygon. That’s why I asked you about the PDF for the “Área Natural Recreativa El Salto de Las Palmas”.

The protected areas for Panama is one of the many layers we use at STRI and we provide this layer as a convenience for our users, but we never establish that the data inside is correct, but rather those provided by Mi Ambiente.

I’m glad we have this forum and I’ll fix some geometries based on the PDF documents shared here. Not because I’m an official data provider but because the legal documents are available and are relatively easy to review and fix.

I’ll try to contact the GIS managers at Mi Ambiente to really call their attention to the issue here. When I have more info on this, I will write about it.

Saludos desde La Chorrera,


Buenos días hoy me llego este mensaje en un grupo de botánicos y afines sobre el lanzamiento del mapa de cobertura boscosa y uso de suelo.

En la modalidad virtual a través de la app de youtube en el siguientes enlaces:
Transmisión del Evento - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGn7gOVnVbdeDQJuzzw4pwg
El Ministerio de Ambiente de Panamá - LOS INVITA AL

the video is relative to a streamed event, held three days ago, the 22nd of April, 2 hours video, 200 megabyte at 640×360, or 500Mbyte at 1280×720.

maybe someone who is in state to reach people from the ministery in person might help to understand, in practice, what happened, if anything?