Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Step 2: Check Location

This section will walk you through the process of verifying the location an existing structure point.

Points that already exist on the map aren’t always placed in the correct location in the imagery, so additional research is required to determine if a point is or is not on the correct building or cemetery grounds. If the point is centered on the correct building or cemetery grounds, it does not need to be moved. If it is not centered on the correct building or cemetery grounds, it needs to be moved. You can move points by clicking and dragging them. 

 

Using an aerial imagery map layer, examine the location of the point. Even if it appears to be correctly located in the imagery, additional research is still required.  

 

NOTE: Remember to ZOOM IN all the way when examining or placing points. Zooming in allows for the most accurate placement of structure points. You might need to switch between map layers if the imagery takes too long to load. 

A school point center-aligned over its footprint with the help of an aerial image
The Beach Court Elementary School point appears to be correctly located on a school building: colorful playground equipment, a large parking lot, and a sports field can be seen in the imagery. However, we still need to do additional research to ensure that this is indeed the correct school building.

 

If the feature has an address from an authoritative source, you can do a search using an online map search engine. This allows you to compare the imagery in the online editor to the imagery in the online map search engine. Street level views can also be helpful for determining the correct building. If the feature does not have a complete physical address, you can copy the point’s coordinates and search for them using an online map search engine.

Research an address with Google Maps™
Since we’ve already verified this school’s complete physical address with an authoritative source, we can copy and paste the address into a commercial online mapping service, in this case Google Maps™. Entering the address into Google Maps™ took us to the same building, but our research isn’t done.

 

After searching a commercial mapping service for either an address or set of coordinates, examine the search results, either by using a street level view (if available), using aerial imagery identification techniques (which might include identifying certain elements associated with a certain structure – e.g., playground equipment at a school), or comparing elements identified in aerial imagery to images of the structure published by an authoritative source.  

A Google Street View™ of a sign for Beach Court Elementary school
To make sure we’ve placed the point on the correct building, we can utilize a street level view to find a building sign or other clues. In this case, the sign outside the building confirms that this is the correct location of the Beach Court Elementary School. In this case, the point was correctly located so we did not need to move it. If a point is in the wrong location, click and drag it to the correct location before saving.

NOTE: We will be utilizing Google Maps™ in our examples, however we do not endorse the use of any particular third-party company or website providing map services. Never take information directly from a commercial mapping service without cross-referencing that information with an authoritative source. Commercial mapping services should ONLY be used to confirm information found on authoritative sources.