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March 10, 2022

Texas and Oklahoma are scheduled for US Topo production soon, so here’s a fire stations challenge for these states! Like our previous challenge, this one has something for each user role with several points that have never been edited along with others that are waiting to be reviewed. There are also several points with no edit history.

Contents 

 

Base Map 

As you can see from the map, a decent amount of work has already been completed for these states. But if we overlay the points with no edit history (see below), there’s still a good amount of work yet to be done. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Fire Stations in TX OK 02/24/22
A map of all fire stations in Texas and Oklahoma as of 2/24/22. Red points have never been edited before. Green points have been edited and are awaiting review from a Peer Reviewer or Advanced Editor. Yellow points have been reviewed and are finished.  

Points with No Edit History  

This challenge includes points with no edit history. These are points that were edited prior to the launch of our current application. 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 righthand corner. See the newsletter article titled Yellow Points with no Edit History?? (July 2021) for more on this scenario. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Fire Stations in TX OK 02/24/22 NoEditHistory
A map of all fire stations in Texas and Oklahoma as of 2/24/22. Gray points represent fire stations with no edit history. These points may have a green, blue, or purple border in the editor, but they do not have an edit history. These no-edit-history points are clustered around larger cities throughout central- and northern-Texas (e.g., Amarillo, Lubbock, Dallas, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio) as well as southern Oklahoma. 

Not sure what each point color means?   

Each point in the editor has a colored border. These colors are part of our tiered editing process and signal to other editors that a point has passed through the upper tiers and does not need to be edited again. Our November 2018 newsletter has an article titled Editor Roles and Point Colors that describes this process further.

TNMCorps Point Border Colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

Possible Sources 

  1. Fire departments operated by government agencies are often listed on the agency’s website under ‘Departments.’  
  2. Fire departments may also use Facebook or other social media platforms to create their own website. See the newsletter articles titled Social Media as an Authoritative Source (July 2020) for more on when these sites may be used to update points.  
  3. 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.   
  4. If you must rely on secondary sources, cross-reference it with multiple sources before updating points.  
  5. See the newsletter article titled FireDepartment.net as a Source for Fire Stations (January 2022) for more on when these sites may be used to update points. 

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 uses multiple variants of a name, use the one 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 one 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.  
    • The <Fire Department Name> is often separated from the <Station Name> or <Station Number> with a hyphen. Hyphens are technically considered special characters; however, hyphens are acceptable as long as there is a space on each side of it. 

EXAMPLES:  

  1. Saint Bernard Fire Department

  1. South Metro Fire Rescue Authority – Station 11

  1. Los Angeles Fire Department – Station 2

  1. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue – Station 1 McLean

  1. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue – Station 3 Tropical Park 

See our Name and Address Formatting Guide for additional tips on naming.  

Proper Point Placement 

  1. If a point is in the wrong location, do not delete and recreate the point. Instead, click and drag it to the correct building.  
  2. 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. 

 

Questions? 

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!