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USGS: No Foolin’—You Can Contribute to National Mapping

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Tuesday, April 1st 2014
U.S. Geological Survey | Reston, VA


USGS: No Foolin’—You Can Contribute to National Mapping

This April marks the one year anniversary of the USGS's The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) transition from a small regional pilot project in the heart of Denver, Colo., into a very successful nation-wide project.  During the past year, civilian volunteers in every state have increasingly provided accurate mapping data to the National Geospatial Program's publically available application called The National Map

Using crowd-sourcing techniques, TNMCorps' Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project engages citizen scientists to collect manmade structures data including: schools, hospitals, post offices, police stations and other important public buildings. 

By The Numbers:

Over the past year TNMCorps has achieved the following significant milestones:

  • 1,422 – volunteers
  • 42,009 - contributions (counts each person’s edit per single point)
  • 33,698 - unique points edited (individual structures)
  • 50,696 - total number of edits (the sum of all edits made by volunteers)
  • 50  - number of states involved
  • 18 - number of volunteers who have earned more than 500 points
  • 4,691 -  state with largest number of edited points; Colorado 

"This project has proven that we can count on volunteers to provide quality information to be included in authoritative government databases", said Kari Craun, Director of the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center. "The people that have contributed their time are performing a community service by ensuring key structures data are available publically." 

Becoming a volunteer for TNMCorps is easy; go to The National Map Corps project site to learn more and to sign up as a volunteer. If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time editing map data, please consider participating. Participants can earn badges and public recognition by submitting a series of points. 

While some familiarity with the area that a volunteer chooses is helpful, you do not have to live near a particular place to contribute. The tools on TNMCorps website, along with ancillary information available on the Internet, are generally sufficient to edit a distant area. 

See for yourself how much fun participating can be. Go to The National Map Corps home page and give it a try. 

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