Making Your Mark on a Map

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The USGS citizen science project, The National Map Corps, has reached another major milestone. Just over a year after reaching 100,000 “points”, volunteers have more than doubled the number of points collected to support The National Map.

The USGS citizen science project, The National Map Corps, has reached another major milestone. Just over a year after reaching 100,000 “points”, volunteers have more than doubled the number of points collected to support The National Map.

Status graphic of the US showing volunteer citizen scientist contributions from March 2012 to March 2015, numbering more than 100,000 points.
Status graphic of the US showing volunteer citizen scientist contributions from March 2012 to March 2016, doubling the submitted
Status graphic of the US showing volunteer citizen scientist contributions from March 2012 to March 2016, doubling the submitted and accepted number of points from 100,000 to more than 200,000 points in one year.

Each point represents a structure or manmade feature on a map such as a school, cemetery, hospital, post office, police station and other important public buildings. Using an online web mapping application, volunteers research and update data that ultimately become part of The National Map structures dataset, which is available for download free of charge.

Each volunteer chooses their own screen name for their contributions to the project.  “PercMastaFTW” recently said “The greatest part of this project is being able to volunteer right from my room. It feels great knowing that I'm able to use my wind-down time to help a great cause. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I've found an enjoyment in a niche reviewing my peer's map points, confirming data, and finally formatting the information.  Thank you to the staff of The National Map Corps for always being so helpful and giving me the opportunity to partake in this great project!”  

You too can join the hundreds of citizen scientists who are making significant additions to the USGS’s ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public through The National Map and US Topo maps.  

Nearly a dozen virtual badges or levels are available to volunteers. Each patch represents a legacy instrument used in the histo
Nearly a dozen virtual badges or levels are available to volunteers. Each patch represents a legacy instrument used in the history of mapping.
Image of the special, limited edition cloth patch that will be awarded to participants who submit at least 2, 016 points. The pr
Image of the special, limited edition cloth patch that will be awarded to participants who submit at least2,016 points. The promotion began on GIS Day 2015 (November 18, 2015) and will end on GIS Day 2016 (November 16, 2016).

To show appreciation of the volunteers’ efforts, The National Map Corps has instituted a recognition program that awards “virtual" badges to volunteers. Each edit that is submitted is worth one point towards the badge level.

Additionally, volunteers are publically acknowledged (with permission) via Twitter and  Facebook.

A special challenge is currently underway celebrating International Map Year.  All volunteers contributing 2,016 or more edits before November 16, 2016 will receive a limited edition embroidered cloth patch. Click to find out more about our Volunteer Recognition Program.

Becoming a volunteer for TNMCorps is easy; go to The National Map Corps web site to learn more.  If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time to editing map data, we hope you will consider participating.

 

 An avid volunteer citizen scientist edits points in The National Map Corps editor page from his home computer.
 An avid volunteer citizen scientist edits points on The National Map Corps editor page from his home computer.