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January 12, 2023

We're moving back up north to Washington and Oregon for another fire stations challenge! This challenge primarily focuses on points with no edit history (of which there are many), but you will also encounter some points that will need to be peer reviewed or advanced edited. Don’t forget to also check for missing stations and delete any points representing stations which no longer exist! 

Contents 

 

Base Map  

As you can see from the map below, a decent amount of work has already been completed for these states. However, that was quite a long time ago, and 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 Washington and Oregon (01/12/2023)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Fire Stations in Washington and Oregon (01/12/2023)

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 in August 2016. 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 Yellow Points with no Edit History?? article in our July 2021 newsletter and the Edited Points without an Edit History article in our March 2018 newsletter for more information on these types of points.  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Fire Stations with No Edit History in Washington and Oregon (01/12/2023)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Fire Stations with No Edit History in Washington and Oregon (01/12/2023)

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
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. For more information on fire stations, please reference the Structures List and our Fire Station / EMS Station Collection Criteria page.  

 Possible Sources 

  1. Remember to find an authoritative source (e.g., the fire department’s website or official Facebook page) for each feature before updating it. 

  2. Fire departments operated by government agencies (e.g., counties or municipalities) are often listed on the agency’s website under ‘Departments.’  

  3. In lieu of being represented on city, county, or state government websites, smaller and/or volunteer departments may maintain their own Facebook or other social media pages. See page 6 of our July 2017 newsletter for an infographic on when to use Facebook as an authoritative source, and this January 2022 newsletter article on when to use FireDepartment.net as an authoritative source

  4. Exercise caution when using information from secondary or aggregate sources that are not created or directly maintained by the fire department or station in question. Information published by these sources is often outdated or inaccurate.   

  5. If you must rely on secondary sources, cross-reference them with multiple sources before updating points.  

Example Resources 

Here are just a few examples of authoritative fire station resources for each state from Facebook, a county website, and a municipal website.  

Washington 

Oregon 

Websites maintained directly by a station or department are also authoritative: e.g., Yakima Fire Department, as are lists maintained by state governments, as long as they are current: e.g., Oregon Fire Agency List by Name

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 references multiple variations of a name on their website and/or signage, use the variant 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 the station identifies with it (i.e., it is listed on their website or roadside signage). 

  • Do not add station numbers that are listed only on secondary or aggregate websites.   

  • 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. Whichever convention you decide to use, just make sure to maintain consistency among all station names from the same department! 

Examples:  

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

Proper Point Placement 

1. Our January 2018 newsletter includes an article on aerial interpretation for fire stations, which walks you through the process of using aerial imagery to find the correct building on which to place a point. When placing points, make sure you’ve zoomed in all the way and are centering them on the building footprint.  

 

Questions?

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