What Are These Elements?
Elements grouped under the structured data heading regurgitate particular types of info entered into the structured data system by parks and program offices. (Read more about the structured data system [NPS only], if you're unfamiliar with it).
These structured data elements offer the advantage of providing information needed by visitors in a consistent way across all NPS.gov websites. Also, web authors only have to update the information in the structured data system in order to upldate the information presented in any of these elements as well as in the NPS API.
Content in each structured data element is editable only within that system, not from within our content management system. So, if you see something incorrect (or just in need of better phrasing) in one of these elements, head over to the data system to edit that info.
There are myriad structured data elements, each with a particular reason for being. Instructions for most of the structured data elements are found in one spot on the internal Digital Community site, NPS only (exceptions are linked in the table below). Visual examples of each are lower on this page.
|Element name||Brief description|
|Campground details||Parks are not required to use this element, and it may not be suitable for everyone. For many parks, however, this offers a great way to present campground info in a thorough, standardized, and visitor-friendly way. It also offers the chance to use the COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) principle (NPS only).|
|Park / org contacts||This element shows your primary email and phone / fax contact info. You can configure it to just show or hide certain types of contact info (e.g., just email, or just phone, or phone and fax, etc).|
|Park / org directions||This element provides a simple, standard overview on getting to your park or organization.|
|Park entrance fees||This element briefly lists any entrance fee(s) charged at your park.|
|Park entrance passes||This element can do up to three things:
|Park / org mailing address||This element shows your general mailing address. This same data also displays in the footer of your website.|
|Park operating hours||This element pulls out the hours (and exceptions to those hours) for one or more entries in your structured data. It can call up your All Park data, your visitor center data, and/or your campground data. It can also contain a standardized link back to your Operating Hours & Seasons webpage (/xxxx/planyourvisit/hours.htm), though you won't want to use that link if you're putting this element on that page specifically. Like the rest of these structured data elements, it can go anywhere on your website.|
|Park / org physical address||An element to show your org or park's general physical address.|
|Park visitor centers||This element displays some specific information for one or more of your visitor center records, as entered in the data system.|
|Park weather||This element gives a brief overview of your weather to your visitors. Note: It is not a forecast widget, but you can link from it to your forecast (e.g., on noaa.gov, weather.gov, etc.). You can also choose whether or not to link from it to your main weather webpage.|
|Park basic info||The Basic Info page allows parks to share and link to the information that visitors frequently reference during trip planning. The Basic Info link in the utility navigation ensures that this information is never more than one click away, as circled in the screenshot below.|
|Parking Lot Data||An element that shows data about one or more parking lots. You'll input the parking lot data (e.g., number of spaces, dates of operation, etc) in the structured data system, and then use this element to display that data on any page(s) of your choosing. You can also show predicted occupancy data (e.g., hint at how busy a parking lot usually is at various times of day / days of the week!)|
Campground Details ElementThis element returns many details for a given campground, laid out in a concise way (which is also mobile friendly). Making use of this element helps standardize the way NPS presents certain kinds of information about our campgrounds, such as what types of sites are in them, what amenities are available, etc.
Parks are not required to use this element, but the digital team in the Office of Communications strongly recommends doing so.
Park Contacts ElementThis element shows your primary email and phone / fax contact info. You can configure it to just show or hide certain types of contact info (e.g., just email, or just phone, or phone and fax, etc).
Consider placing this on your Contact Us page. You may also have prominent locations within the Plan Your Visit section of your site (e.g., Current Conditions or a page that covers a some kind of activity or topic which commonly raises questions among your visitors).
Contact Yellowstone (Optional Header)
Park Directions ElementEvery park has a Directions webpage where you can expound in as much detail as needed on how visitors get to your park. This Park Directions structured data element is not meant to replace that page. It is best used on pages that are about visiting your park, where you want a quick, simplified intro to how one reaches you, and then rely on the in-element link to help visitors who need all the details that are on your Directions page.
The element offers an optional header and intro text field, which are modelled below. Then, it pulls in the directions information you entered in the structured data system. You can also choose whether or not to show a button that links to the park directions page. Don't show this button if you're putting this blurb on your directions page, but consider showing it when you're putting this element on other trip-planning pages.
Getting to Adams National Historical Park
Traveling on U.S. Interstate 93, take exit 7 - Route 3 South to Braintree and Cape Cod. Take the first exit off Route 3 south - exit 19 - and follow signs toward Quincy Center. Continue straight on Burgin Parkway through six traffic lights. At the seventh traffic light, turn right onto Dimmock Street. Follow Dimmock Street one block and turn right onto Hancock Street. The National Park Service Visitor Center, located at 1250 Hancock Street on your left. Validated parking is in the garage to the rear.
Park Entrance Fees ElementYour Fees & Passes page is the main place to use this (and in that case, you won't want to use the optional link to your Fees & Passes page, since the visitor will already be there!). You may have other uses for it as well, for example on your Directions page, any page where you describe activities in the park and want to remind people of any entrance fees they'll need to pay, or perhaps on your main Plan Your Visit page.
The element offers an optional header and intro text field, and you may choose whether or not to show a button that links to your park's Fees & Passes page. The example below uses Canyonlands data.
How Much Does it Cost to Visit Canyonlands?
Private Vehicle - $30.00
Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less) and all its occupants.
Motorcycle - $25.00
Admits a private, non-commercial motorcycle and its riders.
Per Person - $15.00
Admits one individual with no car. Typically used for bicyclists, hikers, and pedestrians. Youth 15 and under are admitted free.
Park Entrance Passes ElementAn element that'll show your local pass info (e.g., annual passes), and/or nationwide pass info.
There are many possible uses for this element! Here are just a few:
- Use just the national pass description
Place this on your main Fees & Passes page and at least tell it to show the nationwide pass information. This will save you time each year and ensure that you are always showing the latest and greatest information about the nationwide program—information that is useful to and wanted by our website visitors.
- Use wherever you talk about free events or programs
Often, parks advertise free programs or events but want to remind their visitors that the park still has an overarching entrance fee, even if a given event is free. Consider adding this and/or the Entrance Fee element to descriptions of free events as a standardized way of reminding your public that the park has this initial entry fee.
- Use on your Fees & Passes page
Along with the Fee element (described above), use this on your Fees & Passes page to display whatever types of passes you sell. Consider adding text in the intro, or in a separate text element on the page, describing where people can buy these passes and what they do for the visitor, if you haven't articulated that in your description of the passes in the data system (and don't forget that you can edit those entries in the data system any time!).
Annual and Lifetime Passes
You may place this element on any page you deem appropriate. One recommended location is your "Contact Us" page. It simply shows your mailing address, as you entered it into the structured data system. An optional header and intro text field are available, in case you have extra info you want to add before showing your mailing address.
Park Mailing Address Element
Saratoga Mailing Address
Saratoga National Historical Park
Stillwater, NY 12170
Park Operating Hours ElementThis element is really flexible because you can configure it to output your overall park hours, the hours of one or more visitor centers, and/or the hours of one or more campgrounds.
Like all of these structured data elements, you can optionally add a header and introductory text if you wish.
After that, you can then pick which park's data you wish to draw from. The default is the park whose website you're working on, but you can consider drawing in another park's data if you wish (e.g., GOGA might place several of these elements on a page, and use each element to show the visitor center record(s) for the constituent parks in the San Francisco area).
After selecting your park, you can decide which record(s) to show. This allows for a lot of possibilities. A few examples:
- Geographic or administrative divisions
GRCA might have a page about the North Rim; they could use this element to easily display all visitor center and campground info for just that district.
- Thematic divisions
You might have a camping page where you want to give an overview of all your campgrounds; in that case, you could leave the other choices unchecked, and just select your campgrounds
- Single records
You could put this element on every page specifically about a given record. For example, Denali has a page about Savage River Campground. By putting this element on that page, just showing the Campground - Savage River record, the hours are conveniently displayed on a relevant page.
Optional Header Example:
Park Physical Address ElementPlace this element on any page you deem appropriate. One recommended location is your "Contact Us" page. It shows a generic physical address for your park. Note that the element has optional header and intro text areas, where you can add extra details (e.g., make a note of whether this is for just one particular park entrance, or for park headquarters, or any other kind of information a trip planner might need beyond your physical address).
Optional Header Goes Here
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
Park Visitor Centers ElementThe element lets you show one or more records (assuming you entered more than one visitor center into the data system).
You might find it useful to show just a few records if, for example, the element is on a page that is about a specific district or geographic area of your park, and you just want to show info about visitor centers in that area.
You might show all records on your primary visitor centers page and use the element as a simple way to route curious online visitors to other pages where you describe the details of each facility (assuming you have a stand-alone page for each facility).
Visitor Centers of Golden Gate Recreation Area (Optional Header)
Optional intro text. This can be useful if you need to add any extra details or info a visitor should know before learning some basic details of one (or more) visitor centers in your park.
Park Weather ElementConsider adding this element anywhere the public might benefit from knowing a bit about your weather. For example, if you have pages that describe activities where visitors will be outside for a significant period of time, you might drop this element on each of those pages to inform your visitors a bit about what to expect (and presumably will help them pack / plan accordingly!).
Optional Header Goes Here
Located on Mount Desert Island in Maine, Acadia experiences all four seasons. Summer temperatures range from 45-90F (7-30C). Fall temperatures range from 30-70F (-1-21C). Typically the first frost is in mid-October and first snowfall begins in November and can continue through April with an average accumulation of 73 inches (185 cm). Winter temperatures range from 14-35F (-10 - 2C). Spring temperatures range from 30-70F (-1-21C).
Park Basic InfoEvery park has this on their Basic Info page (/xxxx/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm).
A Basic Info Element aims to provide your visitors with a wide range of information, and it intends to do so in a standardized way (i.e., so that all park sites offer similar categories of information, tailored to that park). It is composed of multiple panels, and each panel can have some intro text. You can show or hide any of these panels, so if a particular panel isn't applicable or causes you more headaches than you want (e.g., physical address for a remote park out west), you can hide that component.
There are several benefits to keeping the Basic Info element at the top of the page and allowing it to display structured data. Those benefits include:
- Providing the visitor quick, mobile-friendly access to trip-planning information in a consistent way and in a consistent order when the visitor goes from one park website to another.
- Presenting data such as addresses and operating hours in a format that is easily read by humans but also tagged with microdata that search engines understand. This can solve problems such as search engines and other websites displaying incorrect hours of operation for a park. If a park doesn't show that tagged structured data somewhere on their website, search engines won't get that good, structured, tagged information.
Parking Lot Element: I'm the Optional Header for This Element
I'm the optional description. You might use me to explain a bit more about where to find this parking lot, or any unusual things about it that aren't covered in the data entry (e.g., maybe it's gravel or maybe it has no trees so pet owners should avoid it, or whatever).
Last updated: March 25, 2019