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NEW TNMCorps Mapping Challenge for Fire Stations in CA, NV & AZ!

January 28, 2021

TNMCorps Mapping Challenges continue along the Pacific Coast with a challenge for fire stations in California, Nevada, and Arizona!

Some work has already been done on these features; however, there are still many that need to be reviewed (red or green). Volunteers should also check for missing stations. 

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: FireStations in CA NV AZ
(Public domain.)

Not sure what each point color means?   

These colors are part of our tiered editing process and signal to other editors that a point has passed through a specific tier. 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:  

A fire station is a building that houses fire response equipment and to which fire personnel report before being dispatched into the community.  Note that this does not include structures used solely for administrative, training, and/or storage purposes.  If you encounter a point representing any of these features that we are not collecting, please document your findings in the ‘Comment’ field and delete the point. 


Missing Stations

  1. To search for missing stations, volunteers should search the web editor for each station listed on a department's website to see if they have a point.    
    • Use the web editor’s search tab to search for the station by name or address. 
  2. If the station does not yet have a point, locate the correct building in aerial imagery and place a point for the station on the center of the building. 
  3. If a point does already exist, review the point’s geographic location, symbol, and attribute information against the department's website and make any adjustments necessary.  
  4. Be sure to check nearby points for duplicates as well.

Possible Sources 

  1. Remember to find an authoritative source (e.g., the fire department’s website) for each feature before updating it. 
  2. Fire departments operated by government agencies are often listed on the agency’s website under ‘Departments.’  
  3. Smaller and/or volunteer departments may also use Facebook or other social media platforms to create their own website.   
  4. Exercise caution when using information from secondary, aggregate sources that the fire station did not create (e.g.,  Information on these sources is often outdated or inaccurate.   
    • If you must rely on secondary sources, cross-reference it with multiple sources before updating points.  
  5. The California Professional Firefighters association has a directory of fire departments and fire stations that users can search by county. Results include station names, addresses, and websites.  
  6. CAL FIRE also lists all their units on their Contacts page.  
  7. The Nevada State Fire Marshal has a list of fire departments throughout the state. 
    • Be sure to verify each entry on this list with an authoritative source because it dates back to 2010.  
  8. Arizona does not have an authoritative list of stations throughout the state.  


Naming Convention 

  1. When naming fire stations, use the name that the station identifies with. This can be found on the station’s website or roadside signage. 
    • If a station uses multiple variants of a name on their website and/or signage, use the one most frequently referenced. 
    • Another best practice is to use the name as it is presented with their address on the station’s “Contact Us” page.   
  2. Some fire departments use station numbers while others do not. 
    • Only include a station number if the station identifies with it (i.e., it is listed on their website or roadside signage). 
    • Do not add station numbers that are listed only on secondary or aggregate websites.   
  3. A common naming convention is <Fire Department Name> followed by a <Station Name> or a <Station Number>.   The <Fire Department Name> is almost always present while the <Station Name> or <Station Number> are only sometimes present.  
    • Hyphens are acceptable when separating the <Fire Department Name> from the <Station Name> and/or <Station Number>.
    • Just be sure to add a space before and after the hyphen and to be consistent when naming all the stations operated by a single department. 
  4. EXAMPLES:  
  5. See our Name and Address Formatting Guide for additional tips on naming.  


Proper Point Placement 

  1. If a point is in the wrong location, do not delete and recreate the point. Instead, click and drag it to the correct building.  
  2. Our January 2018 newsletter includes an article on aerial interpretation for fire stations. This article walks you through the process of using aerial imagery to find the correct building on which to place a point. 


If you have any questions during the mapping process, reach out to us at and someone will be happy to assist!  Thank you for all that you do, and happy mapping!