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Finding Points to Edit in the New TNMCorps Editor

Over the lifetime of The National Map Corps (TNMCorps), several quality studies have shown that having multiple volunteers check a point increases the data quality across all metrics. Which is why we’re continuing with our tiered editing system where volunteers review the edits of other volunteers. 

All volunteers start out as Standard Editors. Once a volunteer has edited 25 points and their edits have passed a quality control check, they have the option of becoming a Peer Reviewer and reviewing other Standard Editors’ edits. Lastly, we have an Advanced Editor role. This is for highly experienced volunteers with at least 200 or more edits who have also passed a quality control check of their edits. Because Advanced Editors are more experienced and vetted, their edits are not subject to peer review. 


Standard Editors

Peer Reviewers

Advanced Editors

Who are they?

New volunteers Have edited at least 25 points and passed a QC Have edited at least 200 points and passed a QC

What do they do?

Edit Red Points 


Easy Challenges 


Moderate Challenges 

  X X

Difficult Challenges 

  X X

Reviewer Challenge 

  X X

Special Editing Tasks 



In our previous editor, points on the map were color-coded to indicate which level of editing they had been through (unedited, standard, peer reviewed, advanced, USGS reviewed). We’ve simplified this aspect of editing, so you’ll no longer have to worry about who has previously edited a point. But if you aren’t scanning the map for different colored points, how do you know which data to edit?  


There are two main ways to find points to edits in the new editor 

1) Points with a red border on the map 

2) Mapping challenges 


Points with a Red Border 

In the new editor, you’ll see points without a border (black), points with a red border, and points that are gray with a black border. 


Points with a Red Border

Points with a red border either a) have not yet been edited, or b) have not been edited in at least 3 years. As our volunteers know, many of the structure types we have available to edit (e.g. ambulances) change frequently. Marking this data allows us to easily ensure that it is getting reviewed on a regular basis. All editor roles (Standard, Peer Review, and Advanced) can edit red points on the map. Volunteers should focus on editing these points, or points found in the mapping challenges, rather than just scanning the imagery for points to edit.  


Black Points

Black points with no border have been previously edited. These can still be reviewed and edited as needed, but we encourage you to focus on points with a red border or find points to edit via the mapping challenges. 


Gray Points with a Black Border

Points that are gray with a black border have been marked for deletion by a volunteer and are pending USGS review. In the new editor, a point marked for deletion can be “undeleted” by a volunteer. If you find a point that has been marked for deletion and you think this is an error (after doing thorough research), you can select the point to edit it, and click on the “delete” slider bar to undelete it. Don’t forget to check for duplicate points nearby before doing this. 

An unedited black point with a red border, an edited black point, and a deleted gray point with a black border.


Mapping Challenges 


The other recommended way to find points to edit is through the built-in mapping challenges. There are two main types of challenges: those to fix specific error types, and those based on your editing role. Occasionally we will also introduce mapping challenges based on structure type and / or a specific area of interest. 


Points get funneled into challenges based on possible errors or missing requirements. 


Points edited by a Standard Editor also go into a Reviewer challenge for Peer Reviewers and Advanced Editors to verify.  


Challenges are designated as: easy, moderate, or difficult. Volunteers can participate in any challenge, but Standard Editors are encouraged to focus on those listed as “easy,” while Peer Reviewers and Advanced Editors are asked to focus on those listed as “moderate” or “difficult.”  


While challenges ask you to focus on, and fix a specific issue, we do ask that you research each point as you normally would to ensure that it is valid, and that the location and attribute information is correct. 

The Challenges window showing list of challenges