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Naturbase is a database from the Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet) containing information about protection areas (national park, nature reserves and others), habitats and recreation areas.

Permission to use data

Permission to use the data is clear from the license, as well as verified in e-mail with case number 09/9980–1. The e-mail is in Norwegian and archived in the Norwegian mailing list here.

The Naturbase dataset Naturvernområder is released under Norsk lisens for offentlige data (NLOD) v1.0: [1]; [2]

Miljødirektoratet requests the attribution "Kilde: Miljødirektoratet", which has been added to the OSM Contributors wiki page (the former Direktoratet for Naturforvaltning was merged into Miljødirektoratet in 2013).

Downloading data

Prepared OSM files

A tagged OSM file with the full dataset retrieved may be downloaded here: Jottacloud folder (69 MB)

No simplification has been done. Please use the standard simplification factor of 0.2 if needed along coastlines (only), so that adjacent areas will fit.

The reserve2osm tool

The reserve2osm Python tool will produce a tagged OSM file with nested relations. Please see instructions at the Github page.

Downloading from the map catalogue

Data are also available for download from the map catalogue:



Changsets should be tagged with source=Naturbase, Miljødirektoratet.

Naturbase properties

Naturbase properties should have a naturbase: prefix.

Naturbase internal IDs are tagged as ref:naturvern=*.

Protected areas

See naturvern and kulturminner for tagging scheme. The table below describes how Naturbase attributes have been transformed into OSM tags in the prepared OSM files.

Naturbase attribute OSM tagging Comment
  • strictNatureReserve
  • wildernessArea
  • nationalPark
  • naturalMonument
  • habitatSpeciesManagementArea,
  • protectedLandscapeOrSeascape
  • managedResourceProtectedArea
  • protect_class=1a + boundary=protected_area + leisure=nature_reserve
  • protect_class=1b + boundary=protected_area + leisure=nature_reserve
  • protect_class=2 + boundary=protected_area + leisure=nature_reserve
  • protect_class=3 + boundary=national_park
  • protect_class=4 + boundary=protected_area
  • protect_class=5 + boundary=protected_area + leisure_nature_reserve
  • protect_class=6 + boundary=protected_area
Type of protection area, e.g. national park, nature reserve etc.
offisieltNavn name Official name given på the law, e.g. "Jotunheimen nasjonalpark". If no official name is given, then the name is constructed based on the attributes navn and verneplan.
navn short_name Geographical name of the area, e.g. "Jotunheimen"
official_name Official name if name is a simplification of the sometimes very long official names, e.g. name="Setesdal Vesthei Ryfylkeheiane landskapsvernområde" and official_name="Setesdal Vesthei Ryfylkeheiane landskapsvernområde med dyrelivsfredning"
vernedato start_date Date of protection established.
forvaltningsmyndighet operator The agency or organization with delegated authority to manage the protected area, e.g. "Nasjonalparkstyret for Jotunheimen og Utladalen"
identifikasjon_lokalid ref:naturvern Identification of the protected area, related to the passed law, e.g. "VV00001869".

Multiple areas may have the same iid if they belong to one group of protected areas which were given the protection by the same law passed.

verneform naturbase:verneform Naturbase category denoting type of protection, e.g. "landskapsvernområdeDyrelivsfredning" for landscape protection area with animal protection. Useful for verifying protect_class, for deciding naming convention and for making changes if OSM tagging is altered in the future.
verneplan naturbase:verneplan Objective of protection plan, e.g. "Sjøfugl"
faktaark naturbase:url Link to fact sheet for each naturbase:iid, e.g.
verneforskrift related_law Link to Lovdata for specific law for each protected area, e.g.

Protected areas with one ref:naturvern may be a collection of multiple individual areas. They are put in a relation with type=boundary and appropriate outer and inner tags. The tags in the above table are held by the relation, with boundary=protected_area as the only tag on the member areas. An area may be both the enclave and exclave of different relations.

If the individual areas which constitute one ref:naturvern have different protection classes, then they need to be mapped as separate areas with separate tagging instead of belonging to one common relation. The name of the area may need to be altered to reflect the different protection classes, e.g. one area named "NN naturreservat" and the other area "NN dyrelivsfredning" instead of "NN naturreservat med dyrelivsfredning" on both areas. If in doubt, the related law defines each area including name.

Access restrictions are defined in the law or by the protection document. Many nature reserves have restrictions for biking, so bicycle=dismount may be appropriate. Bird sanctuaries typically have access restrictions between 15 April and 15 July, which may be tagged as access:conditional=no @ (Apr 15 - Jul 15).

Some large protected areas have buffer or grading zones, e.g. "Steinsbuskaret trekksone" or "Hisdal kalvingssone". These zones are not available from Naturbase. Please do not remove the boundaries of a protected area if it has been superseded by a new and larger area, as the old boundaries tend to be transformed into zones within the new larger area with more granular regulation.

Other datasets from Miljødirektoratet

Miljødirektoratet has released several other datasets from other sources than Naturbase. They are available for download from the Miljødirektoratet map catalogue.

See also

More information at: