National Park Service

Inventory & Monitoring (I&M)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain more information on Landscape Dynamics, including links to download GIS data and methods?

For general information, visit the Landscape Dynamics project website at

For Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that document the methods we used to generate landscape metrics, visit our methods page at

For links to download GIS metric data, visit our GIS data download page at

How do I report a bug with the map viewer?

Please report bugs or send questions or comments to the Landscape Dynamics project email at NRSS NPScape

How do I control visible layers in the map?

All layers except the Landscape Dynamics park boundaries are off by default. The left sidebar provides control for visibility of Landscape Dynamics GIS data layers. There are two levels of layer visibility that can be changed to suit the user needs.

Basemap layers can be changed by clicking the 'four square' symbol located at the top of the left sidebar.

GIS data layers can be toggled on and off by clicking the second symbol on the left sidebar - the three stacked squares.

How do I display the legend?

Identification keys for layers visible in the map will display in the Legend, which can be opened by clicking on the third icon in the left sidebar - the three lines symbol.

How do I search for a location (e.g., Yellowstone National Park)?

At the top of the map is a text box that reads Search. Type into this box and hit the return key. The map will either zoom to the layer, or allow you to click on a location name in the resulting list to zoom the map. Searching is limited to the United States, but does not include US territories and outlying islands.

How do I change the background base map?

Basemap layers can be changed by clicking the 'four square' symbol located at the top of the left sidebar.

How do I pan around the map?

Simply click the mouse while the cursor is in the map window, and move the mouse.

How do I zoom out to the full extent?

Click on the house icon located beneath the zoom keys (+/-).

How do I zoom in and out?

  1. Click on the map and use the mouse scroll wheel, or
  2. use the "+" and "-" symbols located to the left of the Search box, or
  3. hold down the shift key, and click and drag the mouse to draw a desired extent.

How do I make a layer transparent?

From the Layer List, various items related to data layer visibility can be further controlled. To the right of each data layer is a three dot symbol. By clicking that, users can control the level of Transparency desired for each layer.

Note the transparency setting will be used if the map is printed.

How do I display NPS park boundaries?

Landscape Dynamics park boundaries are displayed by default when the map is initialized, and are always drawn on top of all other data layers. Boundaries are also the first layer in the Layer List, and can be turned on/off by toggling the checkmark.

How do I save a map?

Maps can be 'saved' by using the Print function. Click the print button located beneath the Search box. The default setting is Letter ANSI A Landscape page size, and PDF format. These settings can be changed to fit the need. The Advanced menu will allow for additional customization of the map image; pay particular attention to the DPI setting. Higher numbers produce higher quality documents (PDF) and images (PNG); higher numbers also increase file size. A good standard DPI setting is 300. Change some of the other settings to produce the desired map image or document for your needs.

Why does the extent of my saved map look different from what I see in the viewer?

In the Advanced menu under the Print settings, be sure you've selected to preserve "Map Extent".

How can I obtain maps of other metrics?

NPScape has produced geo-enabled PDF and Google Earth maps of all of its landscape metrics, both by park (with 30 km buffer) and also by Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) region. These maps are available for download through IRMA (

How do I find details about the Landscape Dynamics layers?

From the Layer List, click the three dot symbol and go to "Description".

Are all Landscape Dynamics layers available in the viewer?

Not at this time. To maximize performance and simplicity, subsets of the multi-year and multi-scale metrics (housing density, population total and density, landcover, forest density) are offered.

Why do legends of saved maps for Level of Protection and Ownership exceed the map layout? Can this be fixed?

Unfortunately, this issue cannot be fixed by us because the map services originate from GAP and thus contain certain details and specifications that cannot be altered on our end. However, more cartographically correct maps for these two metrics may be saved or exported from the PAD-US map viewer at The data in the PAD-US viewer (version 1.3) are the same data used by NPScape to estimate metrics related to conservation status.

The metric data are inaccurate when I zoom to my area. Why is this?

Please read our Disclaimer and refer to limitations documented in NPScape Methods, including especially the Source Data references.

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Last Updated: September 20, 2017 Contact Webmaster