NEW TNMCorps Mapping Challenge for Fire Stations in Alabama!

Release Date:

TNMCorps mapping challenges continue in the southern states with another challenge for fire stations in Alabama!

Some work has already been done on these features; however, there are still many that have yet to be edited (red) or reviewed (green or blue).   

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Fire Stations in AL

(Public domain.)

 

Not sure what a point’s colors mean?  

Each color represents a different stage of our tiered editing process

TNMCorps Point Border Colors

(Public domain.)

 

Tips and Tricks for this challenge:    

A fire station is a building that houses fire response equipment and to which fire personnel report before being dispatched into the community.  Note that this does not include structures used solely for administrative, training, and/or storage purposes.  If you encounter a point representing any of these features that we are not collecting, please document your findings in the ‘Comment’ field and delete the point. 

See our Structures List and Definitions page for more on fire stations.

 

Possible Sources 

  1. Remember to find an authoritative source (e.g., the fire department’s website) for each feature before updating it. 
  2. Fire departments operated by government agencies are often listed on the agency’s website under ‘Departments.’  
  3. Smaller and/or volunteer departments may also use Facebook or other social media platforms to create their own website.  See Page 6 of our July 2017 Newsletter for an infographic on Facebook as an authoritative source.  
  4. Exercise caution when using information from secondary, aggregate sources that the fire station did not create (e.g., firedepartment.net).  Information on these sources is often outdated or inaccurate.  
    • If you must rely on secondary sources, cross-reference it with multiple sources before updating points.  
  5. EXAMPLE:
    • The Alabama Forestry Commission provides a list of fire departments throughout the state. 
    • This directory lists the community of “Rosinton” has having a volunteer fire station in “Baldwin County.” 
    • A web search for “Rosinton Alabama fire department” returned Rosinton VFD’s official Facebook page. Information from this official Facebook page can be used to update the point for this station.   
    • In this example, the web search for the fire station's official site is an essential step.   

 

Naming Convention 

  1. When naming fire stations, use the name that the station identifies with. This can be found on the station’s website or roadside signage. 
    • If a station references multiple variations of a name on their website and/or signage, use the variant most frequently referenced. 
    • Another best practice is to use the name as it is presented with their address on the station’s “Contact Us” page.   
  2. Some fire departments use station numbers while others do not. 
    • Only include a station number if the station identifies with it (i.e., it is listed on their website or roadside signage). 
    • Do not add station numbers that are listed only on secondary or aggregate websites.   
  3. A common naming convention is <Fire Department Name> followed by a <Station Name> or a <Station Number>.   
    • The <Fire Department Name> is almost always present while the <Station Name> or <Station Number> are only sometimes present.  
  4. EXAMPLES:  
  5. See our Name and Address Formatting Guide for additional tips on naming.  

 

Proper Point Placement 

  1. Our January 2018 newsletter includes an article on aerial interpretation for fire stations. This article walks you through the process of using aerial imagery to find the correct building on which to place a point. 

 

If you have any questions during the mapping process, reach out to us at nationalmapcorps@usgs.gov and someone will be happy to assist!  Thank you for all that you do, and happy mapping!