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February 9, 2017

Participation in The National Map Corps made easier for citizen scientists.

Screen shot of the new TNMCorps map editor homepage
Screen shot of the new TNMCorps map editor homepage - it all starts here.(Public domain.)

To increase participation, functionality and enhanced user experience, the USGS’ The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) recently launched a new and improved web mapping application. The new editor features an improved user interface, search capabilities, and background transparencies. Most importantly, the new platform increases the speed in which the data becomes available to the public through The National Map and US Topo maps.

TNMCorps is a citizen science effort which provides structures data for The National Map and US Topo maps. Using a web-based mapping application and crowd sourcing techniques, volunteer map editors help the National Geospatial Program by confirming or updating structures based on authoritative sources or personal knowledge. Structures include hospitals, cemeteries, post offices, schools, law enforcement, fire stations, and others.

Volunteer recognition program restructured:

To show each citizen scientist appreciation for their hard work, TNMCorps has established a recognition program that awards “virtual" badges to volunteers. Each unique point edited or confirmed is worth one point towards the badge level. Additionally, volunteers are publically acknowledged (with permission) via Twitter and Facebook.

Also, a special challenge was recently completed celebrating International Map Year. The challenge began on GIS Day 2015 (November 18, 2015) and set forth the goal of contributing 2,016 or more points before December 31, 2016. Those amateur mappers who met or exceeded that lofty number of points received a limited edition embroidered cloth patch. In the end, 17 volunteers edited more than 2,016 points and earned the special edition patch. More information on the top volunteers and why they volunteer for TNMCorps.

TNM Corps 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 also find links to the project overview, questions and answers (Q&A), user guides, and much more.  See you on the map!

Special Map Challenge leaderboard
The top of the Patch Contest Leaderboard at the end of the contest on December 31, 2016.(Public domain.)
The National Map Corps Special Challenge Patch
The limited edition embroidered cloth patch offered to volunteers who collectedat least 2,016 points between GIS Day 2015 and December 31, 2016.​​​​​​​(Public domain.)


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