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September 21, 2023

We’ve knocked out New Mexico and are moving northwest to Utah for our next challenge! Just in time for fall, this challenge is focused on school points with no edit history. As always, it’s likely you’ll encounter some points that still might need to be peer reviewed or advanced edited, but don’t forget to also check for missing schools and delete any points representing schools which have closed!



Base Map  

This challenge focuses on ALL SCHOOLS, including General Schools, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges / Universities, and Technical / Trade Schools.   

As you can see from the map below, a decent amount of work has already been completed for Utah. 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: Schools in Utah (09/21/2023)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Schools in Utah (09/21/2023)

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: Schools with No Edit History in Utah (09/21/2023)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Schools with No Edit History in Utah (09/21/2023)

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:

Existing Schools  

  1. You can locate existing schools by using the dropdown filters on the edit tab to filter by feature type and edit status. Remember we are not collecting preschools, kindergartens, or childcare facilities. If you come across an existing point for a childcare, preschool, or kindergarten, please document your findings in the ‘Comment’ field and delete the point. No need to click “Save” first.   

  2. If you come across a school no longer in operation, document your findings in the ‘Comment’ field and delete the point.  

  3. If a school has moved from one building to another, do not delete the point and recreate it on the new building. Instead, click and drag to move the existing point to the new building. 

  4. If a school has permanently closed (i.e., it has not relocated) but a new school opened in the same building, do not delete the point.  Instead, update the name, symbol, and attribute information of the existing point to reflect the new school.  

  5. If a school lists multiple campuses on their website, make sure each campus has a point and include the campus name in the point’s ‘Name’ field.  

Missing Schools 

  1. To search for missing schools, you can search the TNMCorps editor for each school listed on a district website to see if it's represented on the map. Use the search tab to search for the school’s name or address. 

  2. If the school in question is not yet represented on the map, locate the correct building in aerial imagery and place a point for the school on the center of the building. Make sure to select the correct symbol to accurately represent the grade levels that school serves. 

  3. If a point does exist to represent the school in question, identify an authoritative source (e.g., an official school website) and review the point’s location, symbol, and attribute information. Make any necessary adjustments. Before creating new points however, be sure and check the surrounding area for existing points to avoid creating duplicates. 

School Symbols 

  1. Remember that if a postsecondary institution offers associates degrees, it’s considered a college/university. If the highest credentials offered are job-specific training certificates, then it’s a technical/trade school.  

  2. See the newsletter article titled Technical Community Colleges vs. Trade Schools (May 2017) for more on how to differentiate between the two.  

  3. A school’s staff directory or school supply lists are a good way to verify which grades a primary or secondary school serves since these are often broken out by grade levels.  

  4. Check out our Structures List, Structures Definitions, or this decision tree for guidance on choosing appropriate school symbols.  

  5. NCES is also a good source for confirming grade levels. 

Possible Sources 

  1. Remember to find an authoritative source (e.g., a school or district website) for each feature. Do not rely solely on information in aggregate lists. Exercise caution when using information from secondary or aggregate sources that are not created or directly maintained by the school or district in question. Information published by these sources is often outdated or inaccurate. If you must rely on secondary sources, cross-reference them with multiple sources before updating points. 

  2. State education department websites are also great resources for verifying schools, however since they aren’t maintained directly by the schools, it’s possible they might be out of date. When referencing state level resources, make sure to double check publication dates, and/or, if possible, cross-reference their information with the information published directly by a school. 


Here are just a few examples of authoritative school resources for Utah:

Naming Convention 

  1. When naming schools, use the name posted on the school's website, another authoritative source (e.g., district or state education website), or roadside signage. 

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

Proper Point Placement 

  1. Place a college / university point on the college’s administration building.  

  2. See this section of the User Guide for tips on editing college / university points. 

  3. If a technical / trade school is in a strip mall (which is often the case for smaller schools), try to find where in the building the school is located and position the point on this portion of the building. 

  4. We have some newsletter articles that walk you through the process of using aerial imagery to find the correct building on which to place a point.  

  5. Aerial Photo Interpretation Part 10: Colleges / Universities (May 2019

  6. Aerial Photo Interpretation Part 9: Schools (March 2019

  7. See the newsletter article titled Blast from the Past Part 2: Past Newsletter Articles (September 2020) for additional tips on positioning schools. 



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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