Adding land parcels to existing project

The James River Park System project was established in 2015. Since then additional parcels have been added, and the original boundaries omitted several other sections of the park. Here is a link As you can see it is a patchwork of lands, so we need to manually add some sections somehow. How would we do this? Thanks! Paul Bedell

If the place was created by someone that person can edit it, if not then you need to create a new one with correct boundaries.

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Jame River Park doesn’t have a listed creator, but any curator can edit the boundaries. If you want to send me a kml file, I’d be happy to put it up for you.


Thanks for the offer of assistance! The James River Park System project does have a curator, Anne Wright. We are working on getting a GIS map of the park, as its a patchwork complex of a dozen or so scattered areas. Is there a boundary drawing tool that we would use to add the missing parcels?

The boundary editing tool is only available to those who have editing privileges on the place, which right now is only iNat curators since no one is listed as the creator of the place. At any rate, I would personally recommend using something external to iNat (like QGIS) to edit boundaries.

You might be able to get someone (e.g. Anne Wright) listed as the creator for the place so she has edit privileges, but that’s not something I can do for you, you’d have to ask staff if it’s possible.

Just for reference, the user who added the place (if there is one listed) is found at the lower left of the place page, right above “Add a New Place”. Other than iNat curators and staff, this is the only person who can edit the place.

Here’s a place with a listed creator for comparison:


I am just taking my time to ask these things for Anne, and I must admit I am clueless about your answers:{ E.g. I have no idea what “using something external to iNat (like QGIS) to edit boundaries” means or how we would do it. We just want to add some omitted lands from the project and don’t know quite how. Seems all too complicated.


Hm, I’m not sure how I can be most helpful here.
I looked at the master plan for the park and saw there are some nice maps already made that must be in digital format. Do you know who has these maps and whether they might be able to share the files with you? If you can get a shapefile or kml or kmz of this map, that seems like the easiest way to get the boundaries added to iNat.


Yes, that’s it! The project is missing important areas like Belle Isle, Texas Beach and others. We will work on this. If Anne can get a “shapefile or kml or kmz”, then what would be our next step?

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iNat only accepts kml files, so a shapefile or kmz would need to be converted to kml, which is quick and easy for someone familiar with the process. Once there is a kml, any curator can add it as the place boundaries. I’d be happy to help with any step along the way, and I’m sure others would be too.

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it looks like you can get shapefiles or feature layers from Richmond’s GIS open data portal (, either from their “GeoHub” or an FTP site. this looks like the most relevant feature layer: you could start with a copy of that, delete out the parks you don’t need (probably the ones that don’t start with “James River”), and then export that to KML (which can then be imported into iNaturalist).

here are various discussions that have instructions on how to go from shapefile or other non-KML source to iNaturalist place:

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It doesn’t look like all the pieces shown in the map I posted above are in the GIS open data portal, e.g. Williams Island.

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yeah i noticed that the map from the master plan did not match the city’s GIS map, but the official park map from the James River Park group (, which also is used one page in the master plan before the map that you noted in your earlier post, also doesn’t match that map that you noted in various spots. so i figured the city map was probably the best source for the official truth. but maybe not?

for Williams Island specifically, you could probably extract a polygon from:

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Hopefully we will have an accurate map from the park manager, Bryce Wilk, soon, and Anne has copied him on this thread. Thanks!!

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