Web mapping tools for the NPS
The NPMap suite of web map tools enables NPS employees and partners to tell the story of the nation's most cherished places using innovative mapping techniques and technologies. Maps built using NPMap Builder, Park Tiles, NPMap.js, and the NPMap Symbol Library make these places come alive for visitors to our national parks.
Park Tiles is a suite of online basemaps designed to fit the National Park Service’s graphic identity. Built with simplicity and flexibility in mind, Park Tiles basemaps can be used as stand-alone reference maps, or customized web maps with additional data overlays. Park Tiles uses data from NPS national enterprise datasets to depict features within park boundaries. Outside of park boundaries, Park Tiles relies on OpenStreetMap data to provide additional context. While Park Tiles is only available to National Park Service employees for use in the agency's digital products, it provides an important way to share information with visitors.
Park Tiles is a suite of basemaps built by the National Park Service for use by the National Park Service. It is intended to fit into the agency's rich graphic tradition. Because of this, only National Park Service entities and official National Park Service partners may use it in their mapping projects.
Symbols for points of interest are not "baked in" to map tiles. Based on feedback from Park Tiles stakeholders, we've determined that the best practice is to support points of interest as an interactive overlay, managed at the application level. This approach provides several advantages:
One frequently-used application of Park Tiles is nps.gov. In this application, points of interest housed in the NPS point of interest national dataset can be toggled on/off and popups display when points of interest are selected. POITYPE values stored in the national points of interest dataset associated with each point of interest determine their map symbols, and are grouped to control what zoom level they initially display at as well as drawing priority. Symbol display groups are listed below, ordered by drawing priority. Points of interest in Alaska are handled separately due to Web Mercator map projection properties.
Please see our Disclaimer section regarding NPS Lands depicted in Park Tiles. This section currently under construction; more updates coming soon!
Third-Party APIs and Services
The National Park Service (NPS) utilizes basemap, geocoding, and routing services from a number of different providers in its digital maps. This usage of, and any reference to, non-U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) products does not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.
Here are disclaimers for the services and libraries the NPS uses to build its web maps:
You can find more information on the general NPS disclaimer page.
The National Park Service unit extents shown in NPMap products (Places and Park Tiles) do not all pull from the official NPS source, the Land Resources Division (Lands), and should not be considered authoritative.
The NPS unit extents originating with the Land Resources Division shown in NPMap products represent the legislated boundary of each park. The NPS does not necessarily own or hold any interest (easement, right of way, etc.) in all areas contained within these boundaries. Equivalently, the NPS may own an interest in lands outside the legislated boundary.
You can download the official Lands dataset, and view the full metadata, on the NPS Data Store (click through the “NPS Park Boundaries” link on that page). NPS ownership data can also be downloaded for each unit by clicking on the park level “Details” links provided. Boundary and property ownership data are a cartographic interpretation of legislation, deeds, plats, surveys, and other source data. These datasets are not engineering quality drawings and should be used for administrative purposes only.
The National Park Service shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and/or contained herein. These data and related graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such.
The information contained in these data is dynamic and may change over time. The data are not better than the original sources from which they were derived. It is the responsibility of the data user to use the data appropriately and consistent within the limitations of geospatial data in general and these data in particular. The related graphics are intended to aid the data user in acquiring relevant data; it is not appropriate to use the related graphics as data.
The National Park Service gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of these data. It is strongly recommended that these data are directly acquired from an NPS server and not indirectly through other sources which may have changed the data in some way. Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the National Park Service, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the utility of the data on another system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. This disclaimer applies both to individual use of the data and aggregate use with other data.
NPMap Symbol LibraryThe NPMap Symbol Library is the National Park Service’s web map icon set. The Symbol Library has a clear and distinctive graphic identity that is based on the map symbols developed by the Harpers Ferry Center for its print brochure maps. Each of the pictographic symbols has been carefully adapted to address legibility and accessibility needs specific to the web. This attention to detail helps us provide a clear window into the large number of amenities, services, and attractions offered by our national parks.
NPMap BuilderNPMap Builder (also known as “Builder”) walks users through the process of building beautiful, accessible, and usable maps step-by-step and deploying them to either NPS.gov or a standalone website. Builder uses the other NPMap tools listed below, wrapping them in a simple, targeted interface designed to be used by National Park Service employees who have no experience writing code or building maps. Maps built using this tool adhere to NPS graphic identity standards and make extensive use of the the powerful Leaflet web mapping library. NPS employees can access the internal version of Builder at http://insidemaps.nps.gov/builder/ (NPS-only) while connected to the agency’s network.
Maps developed with Builder can be found all across NPS.gov, including the map of VA clinics shown below.
Last updated: December 5, 2023