A Resource for the Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US)

How to Get PAD-US


PAD-US data is available in a number of formats – special editions (for particular regions, etc.) can also be requested by contacting the PAD-US team.


Data Downloads

Downloads include .gdb (Esri Geodatabase) and shapefile formats for the entire dataset (U.S. and territories), state by state, and Department of the Interior Regions. The database is also available in KMZ format for state downloads. Download GIS data here


Web Services

Web services allow USGS-served PAD-US data to be placed into interactive applications or desktop GIS sessions. Web services are provided for many variations of PAD-US, follow the link to explore all the options (note that layer files are also available for these same service themes, for use in desktop GIS projects).


PAD-US and Open Data

PAD-US data is in the public domain and is available for download in several formats, including Esri ArcGIS Geodatabase (.gdb), shapefile (.shp), and Keyhole Markup Language (.kmz) formats from the USGS PAD-US website. Various Web Mapping Services and PDF maps are also available.

Publishing PAD-US in many formats allow data to be viewed and analyzed in a variety of GIS platforms, both proprietary and open source. PAD-US data can be viewed and analyzed in Esri software products, QGIS, terriaJS, CartoDB, Tableau, various web viewer technologies, and many other software platforms. Data scales not immediately available for download may be obtained by contacting the PAD-US development team.

PAD-US data is also available to view without GIS software using online viewers on both the USGS PAD-US website and on ProtectedLands.net.



While any PAD-US data user can extract their own statistical measures from the database, there are two resources that can help users with this work:


  • A detailed PAD-US spreadsheet (.xlsx) that summarizes protection status, public access and land management for the nation or by state, ecoregion, LCC, state or county (these statistics are for PAD-US 1.4 – PAD-US 2.0 statistics are forthcoming).
  • To create some of those statistics, the PAD-US team created a “flat” vector shapefile of PAD-US that eliminates overlaps and prioritizes overlapping boundaries on ‘GAP Status Code’, ‘Public Access’, and feature ordering to summarize protected status and access. It can be used to replicate the statistics reporting, and also for other forms of analysis. This shapefile is available for download on the PAD-US statistics page as well.
  • The mapping and reporting tool at www.ProtectedLands.net/map can also generate standard and custom statistics for particular areas in downloadable PDF reports.