Import/Catalogue/Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database (CAPAD)

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As of June 2016, the most recent datasets available for import into OpenStreetMap are:

CAPAD 2014 is available under a CC-BY licence and is available for importing into OpenStreetMap (this has been checked, and no further special permission is required from the Federal Department of Environment). Previous revisions should also be allowable.

Dataset information

The Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database (CAPAD) contains geospatial information about government, Indigenous and privately protected areas. The data is compiled from the relevant Australian federal, state and territory departments responsible for managing protected areas. It is updated on a bi-yearly schedule.

The two applicable datasets are CAPAD Terrestrial and CAPAD Marine. Unlike what the names might imply; CAPAD Terrestrial does contain some protected areas that are predominantly marine and vice-versa.

Data relevance to OpenStreetMap

Some areas are more important for including into OpenStreetMap and this might be considered when importing. For example: National Parks, protected areas with high conservation values (e.g. IUCN Ia, Ib, II, III), Indigenous Protected Areas, protected areas with a large area, locally well-known areas.

Pre-existing data

Many protected areas have been imported into OpenStreetMap directly from data owner (e.g. state government). If updating a protected area, always confirm the most recent data source before overwriting existing data.

Suggested/proposed tagging

When importing, consider the following non-authoritative guidelines for tagging. Always provide appropriate attribution.

KEY name protection_title protect_class* start_date operator*
boundary leisure operator_type source wikipedia website



nature_reserve government* CAPAD year - Terrestrial if applicable if applicable

*Typically class Indigenous Protected Areas as protect_class=24 (not their IUCN value), and operator_type=community

Protected areas with multiple relations

Some protected areas under the same name have multiple relations and can overlap, typically this is because of different protection classifications within the protected area. The most extravagant example for this is the Great Barrier Reef with over 2000 separate relations.

For a number of reasons with the most obvious being ease of import and maintenance, a highly fragmented protected area of the same name may be combined into a single relation.

Consider multiple key values to reduce omitted data (e.g. multiple values for protect_class). Consider preserving ways which outline areas of high conservation value (e.g. IUCN Ia, Ib, II).

CAPAD data in OpenStreetMap


As of mid 2016, all (if not most) protected areas within Tasmania which are classified as:

  • National Parks
  • Conservation Areas
  • State Reserves
  • Nature Recreation Areas
  • Nature Reserves
  • Regional Reserves
  • State Reserves
  • Marine Reserves

Have been added or updated in OpenStreetMap with 2014 CAPAD data.

Commonwealth Marine Reserves

As of August 2016, it my understanding is that all Commonwealth Marine Reserves are subject to review except for the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network (Tasmania/Victoria).

"Under the transitional arrangements, there are NO CHANGES ON THE WATER"

Because of this, only the South East Reserves have been included with OpenStreetMap.