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

How to Get PAD-US


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

Data Downloads

Downloads include the entire dataset (U.S. and territories), state by state, and Department of the Interior Regions. The National dataset is available in Geodatabase or GeoPackage formats. State/Territory and Department of the Interior Region datasets are available in Geodatabase, Shapefile, Geopackage, GeoJSON, or KMZ formats. Download GIS data here

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 PAD-US Data Download. Various Web Mapping Services and PDF maps are also available on ProtectedLands.net (State maps) and USGS (National maps).

Publishing PAD-US in many formats allows 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 Data Explorer and on ProtectedLands.net.

Printable Poster Maps

National poster maps of PAD-US data are available through USGS

State and custom poster maps of PAD-US data are available for download as .PDF files through ProtectedLands.net, custom designed by GreenInfo Network.  


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:

  • Downloadable spatial analysis files (raster and vector formats) and summary statistics reports can be downloaded on the USGS PAD-US Website
  • 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. 
  • The PAD-US Data Explorer also allows users to explore PAD-US in a variety of views with summarization tools for several different areas of interest.
  • The PAD-US Statistics Dashboard is a tabular dashboard that leverages data attributes from the latest PAD-US release to allow users to create an assortment of charts. Users can also export detailed statistics in .xls and .csv formats.