I am working on building out park data for my web site. My site is about hiking, so I want to get a list of parks and cities in the world.

Where can I get/download/see such unified information?

2 Answers 2


Geonames provides populated places and park information, and includes both an API and data downloads. This is based on a historical set of global data curated by the US government, but since supplemented by volunteered geographic information.

SimpleGeo Places includes a large number of POIs and is free to use via its API through a nice interface supported in many languages. SimpleGeo has been shut down, as mentioned in @RyanDalton's comment.

Natural Earth provides populated places and national parks within the US in shapefile format.

  • should I assume that Geonames doesn't have the park data given that they don't list that option here geonames.org/export/ws-overview.html
    – Genadinik
    Commented May 15, 2011 at 19:06
  • It does, most of the data in Geonames is available through the cities and features service, check these export codes under the 'L' group: geonames.org/export/codes.html as used by the search service geonames.org/export/geonames-search.html
    – scw
    Commented May 15, 2011 at 19:31
  • Hi, I have been playing around with that, and I can't seem to get my query right. I am doing something like api.geonames.org/search?maxRows=10&username=demo&q=LAND but that seems wrong. The LAND argument is for arctic land, but it showed me a place in the carribean :) I am after places where people can hike. Is there a best set of arguments I can specify? Thanks!
    – Genadinik
    Commented May 16, 2011 at 14:14
  • 1
    January 12th, 2012: After SimpleGeo was acquired by Urban Airship in Oct 2011, Urban Aiship said “wind down the availability of the current versions of [SimpleGeo's] Places, Context, and Storage over the next few months.”...The target date for pulling the plug officially will be March 31, 2012. Link Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 18:41
  • @RyanDalton thanks for the heads-up, I've updated the post to reflect the change.
    – scw
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 23:20

Open Street Map

Recreational (Local) Parks http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:leisure%3Dpark

National Parks http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:boundary%3Dnational_park

US National Parks http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/US_National_Park_Service_Data

source is http://www.nps.gov/gis/data_info/

OpenStreetMap (OSM) advantages are it is a free wiki map (including commercial entities can use it for free). Limitation is that data coverage in rural areas can be very limited.

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