NEW TNMCorps Mapping Challenge for Schools with No Edit History in CO!

Release Date:

With back-to-school season upon us, TNMCorps Mapping Challenges shift to the High Plains and Rocky Mountains as we launch a new challenge for schools with no edit history in Colorado.   

This challenge is different from our previous schools challenges in multiple ways:  

  1. This challenge covers all of our school structure types, including postsecondary schools. Features participating include General Schools, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges / Universities, and Technical / Trade Schools.  
  2. This challenge specifically targets schools with no edit history. You can identify points with no edit history by highlighting the point and then clicking on the “View History” button in the edit panel. A message saying “This feature has not been edited” will appear in the lower right hand corner. See the article titled Yellow Points with no Edit History?? (July 2021) for more on this scenario.

As you can see from the map, this means almost all the schools in Colorado are eligible to participate in this challenge. This is no surprise since Colorado was one of the first states that volunteers worked on during TNMCorps' early days.  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Schools in CO NoHistory

(Public domain.)

Point Border Color 

This also means that all the points participating in this challenge have already been edited and will have either a purple or yellow border. We normally tell our volunteers to focus primarily on points that are red or green, depending on their user role. However, this challenge will start off by focusing not so much on border colors but instead on the point’s edit history. As these points rebuild their histories, then they’ll start to recycle through the editing tiers as well.  

For those who may be new to mapping challenges and aren’t yet familiar with what the editing tiers or border colors mean, check out this graphic below and the newsletter article titled Editor Roles and Point Colors (November 2018) for more information. 

TNMCorps Point Border Colors

(Public domain.)

Tips and tricks for this challenge:  

Tips and tricks for this challenge are similar to our other challenges. Don’t forget to check for missing schools, too, since a lot has changed in Colorado over the last 5 years.   

 

Existing Schools  

  1. Volunteers can locate existing schools by using the dropdown filters on the web editor’s edit tab to filter by feature type and edit status.   
  2. Remember we are not collecting preschools, kindergartens, or childcare facilities.  
    • If you come across an existing point for a childcare, preschool, or kindergarten, please document your findings in the ‘Comment’ field and delete the point. No need to click “Save” first.   
  3. If you come across a school no longer in operation, document your findings in the ‘Comment’ field and delete the point.  
    • If a school has moved from one building to another, do not delete the point and recreate it on the new building.  Instead, click and drag to move the existing point to the new building. 
    • If a school has permanently closed (i.e., it has not relocated) but a new school opened in the same building, do not delete the point.  Instead, update the name, symbol, and attribute information of the existing point to match the new school.  
  4. If a postsecondary entity lists multiple campuses on their website, make sure each campus has a point and include the campus name in the point’s ‘Name’ field.  
    • The same applies for primary and secondary schools.   

Missing Schools 

  1. To search for missing schools, volunteers can search the web editor for each school listed on a district website to see if they have a point.    
    • Use the web editor’s search tab to search for the school’s name or address. 
  2. If the school does not yet have a point, locate the correct building in aerial imagery and place a point for the school on the center of the building. 
  3. If a point does already exist, review the point’s geographic location, symbol, and attribute information against the school’s website and make any adjustments necessary.  
  4. Be sure and check nearby points for duplicates as well. 

School Symbols 

  1. Remember that if a postsecondary institution offers associates degrees, it’s considered a college / university. If the highest credentials offered are job-specific training certificates, then it’s a technical / trade school.  
  2. The school’s staff directory or school supply lists are a good way to verify which grades a primary or secondary school serves since these are often broken out by grade levels.  

Possible Sources 

  1. Remember to find an authoritative source (e.g., a school or district website) for each feature.  Do not rely solely on information in aggregate lists.  
  2. The Colorado Department of Education provides lists of all the schools and districts in Colorado on its Schoolview platform.  

Proper Point Placement 

  1. Place a college / university point on the college’s administration building.  
  2. If a technical / trade school is in a strip mall (which is often the case for smaller schools), try to find where in the building the school is located and position the point on this portion of the building. 
  3. We have some newsletter articles that walk you through the process of using aerial imagery to find the correct building on which to place a point.  
  4. See the Blast from the Past Part 2: Past Newsletter Articles (September 2020) for additional tips on positioning schools.  

 

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!