Places is an internal data collection system for the National Park Service’s “core” geospatial data. It’s designed to work within the paradigm of a de-centralized, federated organization - like the National Park Service - that has relatively few GIS professionals but 20,000+ passionate employees. We built Places so that all National Park Service employees, no matter how technical, can contribute their knowledge to the map.
Data from Places is fed directly into both Park Tiles and the larger National Park Service structured data initiative, which is used to drive NPS.gov.
Anyone who is connected to the National Park Service network can edit Places’ datasets using the web-based Places Editor (NPS-only). These datasets have grown since being initially seeded from existing park, region, and program-level GIS datasets.
The Places system is built on top of many of the same projects OpenStreetMap utilizes internally, and the Places database uses OpenStreetMap tagging schemes, as well. This should make it easy to publish Places data into OpenStreetMap, but we do not plan on working on this before 2017. There are many institutional, technical, legal, and logistical hurdles to overcome first.
Learn more about adding, editing, and using Places data.