Has anyone ever attempted a full scale import of NPS Lands

While looking for boundary oddities in Northern Virginia, I noticed a national park through Fort Hunt was not on the map.

I looked at the National Park Service’s open data site and noticed most of this land was not on the map. Has anyone ever tried to import all the federal lands data in a single import? I did Maryland many years ago and take it for granted that this data hasn’t made it to the map.

Would anyone want to work on such a task?

I’ve looked at this in the past. Work has been organized/done before. see:



well one issue is the open data download conflates all the fee simple land with that which is encumbered by an easement (less than fee simple). This is a misrepresentation… tsk tsk NPS. I am currently running @iandees Esridump scraper to get the real data out.

I am very familiar and played a minor role in the coauthoring with @stevea and @ZeLonewolf. I would definitely use this tagging.

I just assumed the very highest level classifications of public land, (national parks, etc.) were already mapped, but I’m aware there are gigantic swaths of PADUS land that is simply not recorded in OSM. reading the wiki page, plus the example here suggests that still isn’t the case.

It’s one of those backburner tasks I figured would be interesting to try if I got bored of other projects.

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Big bada boom, big back burner. The mountain is tall, yet climbable.

There is lots of history here, please be at largely full speed and offer meaningful input.

I’m not saying people aren’t at full speed, I’m saying “whew,” this is “continuing work.”

There is something to be said for “a state-by-state approach,” too. One bite at a time, but we have a skeleton of structure that is between five and ten states, last I looked.

VAST amount of data, we’re talking about.

The tracts data came out to about 280 megabyte geojson.

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I actually did Acadia National Park a while back, deconvolving the “fee simple” and “easement” lands… it was a substantial amount of manual work.

It’s worth noting that only some of the national parks have “good” data… looking at comments about the specific park in IRMA is worthwhile.

Plus, what’s becoming my standard disclaimer, lol… this How to transform data from NAD83 to WGS84 - OpenStreetMap Wiki probably applies. Federal data is "supposed’ to be on NAD83(2011), for over a decade now (which removes the biases in the original NAD83) but good luck with that.


Just doing some quick analysis…

You see, the Esri basemap here has taken that NPS boundary and colored everything as if it is a national park. But that is just a scenic easement over private homes, that allows NPS to restrict development. We should not map that easement as part of the national park boundary. You could argue that it can be its own nature_reserve.

In this graphic I’ve conflated (dissolved) all the in fee federal lands as the green area. The outer boundary, as is available from the open data sit is red-hashed. You can see where Esri uses it.

Yes, its very much worth noting that the “proclamation” boundary of the national park (what is defined in the law passed by Congress) often has little to do with what land is actually owned in fee by the NPS. The same is true (to a much greater degree) for national forests. Private inholdings and easements should not be mapped as federal land open to the public.

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