Creating Enterprise NPS Cultural Resource Spatial Data

National Register historic district

National Register historic district

Call to Action Item #17, Go Digital, along with several other Call to Action Items, focuses on updating, transforming and integrating digital experiences within the NPS to enhance public understanding as well as internal NPS resource management. In February 2010 the NPS approved cultural resource spatial data transfer standards to help document the lineage of our cultural resource spatial data, used in geographic information system (GIS) applications throughout the NPS and for the public. The standards also help integrate the numerous cultural resource databases maintained by the NPS for cultural resource management. Throughout 2013 and completing in June 2014, the Cultural Resource GIS Facility (CRGIS) has been working to implement these standards with the Cultural Landscapes Inventory and List of Classified Structures databases. Working with NPS regional GIS coordinators as well as regional cultural resource managers, the project automates legacy data contained within these databases, creating enhanced GIS data and forming a base for an authoritative NPS-wide cultural resource data set.

In a parallel process, CRGIS is implementing the cultural resource spatial data transfer standards for the cultural resource partnership programs, such as Historic Preservation Grants, Historic Preservation Tax Incentives, the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey. As part of this implementation strategy, CRGIS has created an authoritative GIS data set for the National Register of Historic Places, now available for public download through the National Register website in a GIS format, meeting the NPS standards, for the first time. This National Register of Historic Places data set will serve as the basis for automating other partnership program data and provide important links between the many NPS cultural resource data bases, in addition to providing critical base map information required to respond to any natural or man-made disasters.

In coordination with the National Register of Historic Places program, CRGIS will continue to provide guidance in collecting and creating GIS data, as well as producing paper maps for inclusions in National Register nominations. Further, CRGIS will continue to correct the public National Register spatial data, improving its accuracy and utility.

See a map of National Register historic districts created in this project. Grab the sliding red vertical line with your cursor and move it across the map from left to right. This will show the historic district boundaries before CRGIS edited them and then after some basic correction. CRGIS and eventually every NPS cultural resource program, as well as the public, will be able to use the GIS to enhance their reports with better paper maps, interactive maps, charts and spatial statistics.