I'm looking for a data layer that can be used to display "green" spaces, which would ideally include parks (city, county, state, national), as well as golf courses and cemeteries.

Is there a single data repository that would contain all of these features?

I only need it for the state of California. I have found several government sites, but have not had too much luck so far. I'd rather not patch together dozens of layers from different sources if possible.

  • 3
    If you're looking for open data, the Open Data is probably your best resource.
    – Vince
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


Openstreetmap (OSM) is an excellent source of all kinds of vector data on human infrastructure, particularly in urban areas of the USA and Europe.

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You'll need to figure out which OSM tags for polygons refer to the types of green spaces you are interested in.

There are many ways to access OSM data - wholesale country downloads, regions, by tag, etc. Have a look at the OSM wiki on data downloading.

The OSMDownloader plugin in QGIS will let you download rectangular areas and helpfully adds a set of symbols, including a 'natural' category:

Caution! Certainly where I live in Africa we have to be very careful about national park and reserve boundaries in OSM data - they often do not reflect the official boundaries, often with huge errors in both area, position or topology with neighbouring areas.

  • 2
    OSM has the same issue in the US - park boundaries are not always the same as official ones.
    – csk
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 3:23

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