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November 23, 2022

If you live in a cold part of the country (like us here in Denver!) and you're in the mood for a little virtual vacation, or even if Puerto Rico is your very own backyard and you’d like to edit somewhere familiar, we’d love your help getting ambulance services in Puerto Rico on the map! 

Base Map

As you can see from the map below, we don’t have any ambulance stations collected in Puerto Rico! We’re not sure why or how these features previously managed to evade collection, but they did, so now we’re tasking our trusty volunteers with amending this oversight.  

Similar to the courthouse and city / town hall challenges we’ve had in the past, you’ll be collecting all of the Puerto Rican ambulance data from scratch. Read on for tips and tricks to help you through this challenge!  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Ambulances in Puerto Rico (11/23/22)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: A map showing the edit status of ambulance services in Puerto Rico as of 11/23/22.
Not Sure What Each Point Color Means?

Since all of the ambulance / EMS points in Puerto Rico have yet to be collected, this section will only be relevant later on in the challenge, but is still useful information to be familiar with: Each point in the editor has a colored border. These colors are part of our tiered editing process and signal to editors that a point hasn’t been edited yet, that it needs to be peer reviewed, or that it has been advanced edited or approved (in which case it 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
TNMCorps Point Border Colors
Tips and Tricks for Editing Ambulances in Puerto Rico 

Before diving into this challenge, we highly recommend reviewing the following resources:  

  1. Structures List 

  1. Name and Address Formatting Guide 

  1. Authoritative Sources List 

  1. Ambulance Services Collection Criteria 

  1. Tips and Tricks for Editing in Puerto Rico (July 2017 Newsletter page 3

  1. Social Media as an Authoritative Source (July 2020 Newsletter page 5

  1. Q&A: Hospital Based Paramedic 

  1. Q&A: EMS Station 

  1. Q&A: Factory Based EMS 

When adding new ambulance points to the map, or editing those that might already exist, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Does the point you’re adding or editing represent an ambulance station that is currently open and active? 

  • Does the ambulance station have the correct name? 

  • Does the ambulance station’s address match information published by an authoritative source? 

  • Is the point in the correct location? 


Confirm Names and Addresses with Authoritative Sources 

Remember to find an authoritative source for each feature before entering names and addresses. Do not enter addresses posted on commercial mapping services (e.g. Google™) unless they have also been confirmed via an authoritative source. If you cannot confirm a complete physical address for a feature, it is also acceptable to enter cross streets (e.g., “Smith Boulevard and Cherry Lane”) or even just the name of the nearest road (e.g., “Main Street”). Refer to the Name and Address Formatting Guide for more on how to correctly format ambulance service addresses. If you’re unsure of how to format Puerto Rican addresses specifically, you can reference other features edited by USGS staff (yellow points) or Advanced Editors (purple points) or refer to the USPS 'Publication 28: Postal Addressing Standards' guide to ensure you capture all address elements completely and understand the common formats you may come across.

When updating attributes for features in Puerto Rico, we encourage you to enter accents (see Tips and Tricks for Editing in Puerto Rico article linked above), and to use local spellings and nomenclature. You do not need to translate or anglicize names or addresses, unless that is what is used by an authoritative source. 

Here are some examples of various authoritative sources for EMS and ambulance services in Puerto Rico:   

  1. Website directly run by entity: Puerto Rico Ambulance Service (PRAS) 
  2. Official Facebook page: Ambulancias Medlife
  3. Government website: Cuerpo de Emergencias Médicas de Puerto Rico (CEMPR)


Proper Point Placement 

When editing ambulance services, be sure to zoom in all the way and, if necessary, click-and-drag the point to center it on the correct building.   

  • Refer to this newsletter article titled Aerial Photo Interpretation Part 6: Ambulance Services (July 2018 Newsletter page 8) for guidance on identifying these features using aerial imagery. 




If you have any questions about the editing process, reach out to us at Thanks for helping us out, and happy mapping! 

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