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NEW TNMCorps Mapping Challenge for City / Town Halls in AK!

June 23, 2021

Here’s a new challenge for City / Town Halls in Alaska! It’s always fun to visit Alaska this time of year, especially when there is still daylight at midnight from the summer solstice.

The United States Census Bureau lists almost 150 incorporated places in Alaska. Many of these are smaller communities and may not have a designated city/town hall building, but as you can see from the map, there may still be several communities that have yet to be collected.  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: City/Town Halls in AK
(Public domain.)

What does each point color mean?   

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
(Public domain.)

 

Tips and tricks for this challenge:  

Alaska Imagery  

  1. Don't forget about the Alaska Community Photos layer! Alaska is so vast that it can take longer for aerial imagery to be updated. If you’re editing in a community and find that the standard aerial imagery layers aren’t cutting it, try turning on the Alaska Community Photos layer. 
Alaska Community Photos
Alaska Community Photos (Public domain.)

Local Government: Incorporated vs. Unincorporated 

  1. Incorporated places in Alaska consist primarily of cities.   
  2. See the Cities vs. Towns vs. Villages article in our September 2019 newsletter for more on the different types of governing bodies and how to determine if a point should be collected. 

 

Possible Sources 

  1. Remember to confirm each entry in a list with an authoritative source (e.g., the city or village’s website) before using it to update the map.   
  2. The United States Census Bureau has downloadable lists of all the incorporated places in each state by population. 
    1. Here is the list for Alaska.  
  3. The Alaska Municipal League maintains a directory of cities along with websites. 
  4. The State of Alaska also maintains a list of communities and websites. 
  5. Here is Wikipedia’s list of cities in Alaska. 
  6. Smaller communities may use Facebook or other social media platforms for their virtual communications. See the newsletter article titled Social Media as an Authoritative Source (July 2020) for tips on when it is acceptable to use social media to update points.  

 

Proper Point Placement 

Our November 2018 newsletter includes an article on aerial interpretation for city/town hall structures. This article walks you through how to identify which building to place a point on when examining aerial imagery. 

 

Interested in collecting city/town halls elsewhere? 

We’re collecting city/town halls nationally, so feel free to research these features throughout the U.S.  Other states that still need to have city halls collected include Iowa, Minnesota, and Texas.  Note that only city/town halls in Alaska will count towards this challenge.   

 

If you have any questions during the mapping process, reach out to us at nationalmapcorps@usgs.gov and we’ll be happy to assist!  Thank you for all that you do, and happy mapping!