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December 23, 2021

Our mission to revisit the earlier states that participated in city halls challenges continues with a new challenge for city / town halls in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania! Perfect timing, too, because what better time to visit Times Square than for New Year’s celebrations!



Base Map

Much work has already been done; however, there are still several points that need to be reviewed. There are also several municipalities that don’t yet have a point within their boundaries. See our spatial analysis for tips on remaining communities. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in NJ, NY & PA 12/14/21
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in NJ, NY & PA as of 12/14/21

What Does Each Point Color Mean?   

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

Remaining Communities  

If you’ve been following us since we first launched city halls as a feature type, you may recall that New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were some of the earlier states to have their own designated challenge. You may also recall that, as city halls have progressed, we started providing volunteers with tips on remaining communities towards the end of each challenge. However, since we didn’t start providing this information until later in the game, we’re revisiting these states to capture any city / town halls that may have been omitted during the original challenges.  

To identify these communities, we compared US Census’s Incorporated Places dataset and all the city / town hall features collected to date. The results help us identify communities that do not yet have a city / town hall point within their corporate boundaries. We’ve limited the results to communities with a population greater than 1,000 since larger communities are more likely to have their own designated city hall. The map below highlights communities that may still need to have a city / town hall point collected. 

NOTE that this does not mean every one of these communities is missing a point.  It is possible that some of these communities do not have a building that fits our definition of a city / town hall while others may have already been collected but their city / town hall falls outside their corporate boundary.   

Please help us research these communities and determine if a city / town hall exists!  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in NJ, NY & PA 12/14/21 (IncPl)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: The labeled communities on this map represent incorporated places in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania that have a population greater than 1,000 but do not yet have a city/town hall within their corporate boundaries.
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in NJ, NY & PA NYC 12/14/21 (IncPl)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: The labeled communities on this map represent incorporated places in the New York City metropolitan area that have a population greater than 1,000 but do not yet have a city/town hall within their corporate boundaries.

Tips and Tricks for this Challenge:  

Local Government: Incorporated vs. Unincorporated 

  1. Local governments in New York include cities, towns, villages, and boroughs. The only boroughs in New York are the 5 boroughs of New York City.  

  2. New Jersey’s local governments include cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and townships.  

  3. Local governments in Pennsylvania include cities, boroughs, and townships

  4. See the Cities vs. Towns vs. Villages article in our September 2019 newsletter for the different types of governing bodies and how to determine if a point should be collected. 

Possible Sources 

Remember to confirm items in a list with an authoritative source (e.g., the city or village’s website) before updating the map. See the How to Spot an Authoritative (Re)Source article in our November 2017 newsletter for why this is important.   

  1. The United States Census Bureau has downloadable lists of all the incorporated places in each state by population. Here are the lists for New YorkNew Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  
  2. Wikipedia also has lists of municipalities for New York (citiestowns, and villages), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  
  3. New York’s state website has a directory of all the cities, towns, villages, and boroughs along with municipal websites.  
  4. New Jersey’s website has a search function where users can search for municipalities by county. The state also maintains a separate list of all the local government websites.  
  5. Pennsylvania also lists municipalities by county on their website.  

Smaller communities may not always have their own website and instead may use Facebook or other social media platforms for their virtual communications. See the newsletter article titled Social Media as an Authoritative Source (July 2020) for tips on using social media to update points.  

Proper Point Placement 

Our November 2018 newsletter includes an article on aerial interpretation for city/town hall structures. This article walks you through how to identify which building to place a point on when examining aerial imagery. 


Interested in Collecting City/Town Halls Elsewhere? 

Our volunteers are AWESOME and have helped us to compile a dataset of these features throughout the entire U.S., so most of the city/town halls have already been collected. However, as noted above, we plan to revisit some of the earlier states (i.e., Georgia, South Carolina, etc.) to make sure all eligible features have been collected.  Note that only city/town halls in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will count towards this challenge.   



If you have any questions during the mapping process, reach out to us at and we’ll be happy to assist!  Thank you for all that you do, and happy mapping!