Thanks for getting back to me. Here's my take on the two specific
items you identified:
- Answer how I should proceed about checking public domain status of
the pages that I want to copy?
The reason I linked you to the firstgov.gov site earlier is because it
allows searches to be restricted to only federal government sites:
On this search form, you can not only enter search terms (like [
hiking trails ] for instance), but you can also specify where to
search, using the "Search In" pull-down menu. By selecting "Federal
Only", your results should all come from US government sites, and
hence be in the public domain.
One caution, though...I've noticed in the past that an occasional
state-government site will pop up, even in the Federal-Only searches,
so be on the alert (it's usually pretty obvious, just from the name of
the site itself).
On the other hand, I've never come across a case of a state
complaining about copyright-violation of its text from a website --
most states seem to treat their published materials as de facto public
domain, even if state law doesn't actually make it so.
Here are a few links to search results from firstgov.gov that are
federal-only (i.e. public domain), and provide both a tight focus on
sites devoted to hiking trails (with highly relevant results), as well
as a looser focus, which should turn up some additional sites of
These should get you off to a good start.
As for the geographic database, you can find it here:
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
This is a very comprehensive database in terms of a broad variety of
geographic features and names. I think you'll find it is a fairly
good listing of trails, but not anywhere near 100% complete. It seems
to focus on larger trails, for the most part.
There are some tricks to using this database:
--leave almost everything blank
--Use the "Feature Class" pull-down menu to select 'Trails' as the
feature of interest.
--You also have to use the pull down to select a State, and search one
state at a time (leaving it blank will search the whole country at
once, but in searching for trails, it seems to freeze up the
system...the only option that worked for me was one state at a time).
You asked about searching for two terms: "Townsend" and "Dungeness"
When you enter a term in the search box, it IS possible to search the
entire US (just leave the State box blank). However, neither of these
terms returned any results.
However, a search on all types of features returned quite a number of
hits, such as these for Dungeness:
Dungeness Bay Bay WA
Dungeness Spit Cape WA
Dungeness Wharf Locale GA
Dungeness Forks Campground Locale WA
Dungeness Recreation Area Locale WA
New Dungeness Lighthouse Locale WA
Dungeness Lighthouse Locale WA
Dungeness Natl Wildlife Ref. Park WA
New Dungeness Lighthouse Park WA
Dungeness Recreation Area Park WA
Dungeness Place GA
Dungeness Place WA
Gray Wolf River Stream WA
Home Creek Stream WA
Dungeness River Stream WA
KCDV-AM (Dungeness) Tower WA
Dungeness Valley Valley WA
A search (just for trails) for a more common word like [ bear ] turned
up over 100 trails, such as:
Bear Draft Trail
Bear Rock Trail
Beards Gap Trail
Beards Mountain Trail
Gillam Run Trail
Mountain Top Trail
Gilliam Run Trail
Shoestring Creek Bear Wallow Creek Trail
Bear Peak Trail
Bear Den Trail
Big Bear Gulch Ski Trail
Bear Paw Ski Trail
Bear Brook Trail
Bear Mountain Ski Trail
Bear Mountain Trail
and so on.
Between the firstgov.gov information, and the GNIS database, I believe
you have two rich resources that should serve as good tools for your
However, if there's anything else you need, just let me know by
posting a Request for Clarification, and I'm at your service.
All the best,
search strategy -- Used bookmarked sites for government and geographic information