Mapping the Nation with Buz

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A dedicated and prolific citizen science volunteer with The National Map Corps endorses participation in TNMCorps project.

The National Map Corps uses crowdsourcing and provides volunteers an avenue to update building and other structure data on USGS map products. Citizen scientist participants earn “virtual badges” as they increase their number of submitted “points.”

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

The National Map Corps badges

The National Map Corps badges  (Public domain.)

When participants register with The National Map Corps they are encouraged to select a screen name or “handle.” A few of these intrepid map volunteers have reached the top level of virtual badges. Also, there are a select few volunteers who have exceeded the top award. Today, we recognize “Buz Hopper.” Buz quickly reached one of the higher award levels in the TNM Corps project. He received the “Theodolite Assemblage” badge for editing and submitting more than 2,000 structures or points.

Here is Buz Hopper’s story, reprinted by permission and in his own words:

I enjoy maps. So, doing volunteer work with the National Map Corps gives me a chance to do something I enjoy in my spare time. The people in the Corps that I have communicated with have been very helpful, friendly, and patient.

I am a retired Navy Intelligence Specialist and have had some training in imaging. So, this gives me a chance to continue to use some of those skills. It has also been a great way to see the countryside with Google Maps and Street View.

TNMCorps encourages you to see for yourself what all the excitement is about. The only requirements to be an editor are a willingness to learn and access to the internet. Check out the online map editor, where you’ll find links to the project overview, questions and answers (Q&A), user guides and much more. See you on the map!

The National Map Corps volunteer, Buz Hopper

The National Map Corps volunteer “Buz Hopper” (Public domain.)