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Public-images-osm logo.svg boundary = national_park
Natianal park.png
Used for boundaries of national parks Edit or translate this description.
Group: Places
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: in use

A [W] national park is a relatively large area of land declared by a government (just as boundary=administrative are declared/recognised by governments), to be set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, as well as the protection of the natural environment and/or cultural heritage of an area. This would normally also come with restrictions on human activity, particularly development, for the protection of wildlife and scenery. National parks are often named "X national park" (with translation).

Note that some countries may have particular nomenclature that should not be confused with this tag. For example, in the USA, the National Park Service runs "National Parks", but also things they call by other names like "National Heritage Areas" and "National Monuments" - since they all fall under the definition above, in OSM, many or most (all?) of them are tagged with boundary=national_park. Additionally in the USA, because the fifty state governments are as sovereign as the federal government, some states (notably New York) tag boundary=national_park on state land with "equivalent or better" resource protection. This can be inconsistent across all fifty states. In other words, some states may tag state parks (or, for example, state forest land "equivalent or better protection to national parks") with boundary=national_park, some states may not.


The minimum requirements are exemplary for the Snowdonia National Park

[... other useful tags for protected areas in general, see boundary=protected_area ...]

  1. As of 2018-05, area=yes is necessary to display a simple closed polyline that is not a type = boundary relation on the OSM standard map.

Similar tags

  • leisure=nature_reserve - Like a national park, a nature reserve is about protecting wildlife etc. The distinction is unclear and is under discussion, but some suggestions are: nature reserves are smaller areas than national parks, National parks are rather like administrative boundaries around large areas (and may in fact include cities) whereas nature reserves are more evident on-the-ground.
  • boundary=protected_area - A more recently introduced tag with a more verbose tagging scheme which can deal with all kind of protections and protection levels. It encompasses both nature reserves and national parks.
  • leisure=park - These are smaller than a national park, evident on-the-ground (rather than a government declared boundary), and often landscaped. Usually within a town or city, and perhaps less likely to have interesting protected wildlife.

See Also

wikipedia:IUCN protected area categories