Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A young citizen science volunteer and avid trail enthusiast enjoys “giving back” by helping to map the Nation.

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

Picture of Gatsby, dog of "claraapt246"
Gatsby loves to be with “claraapt246”, whether she is outside gathering data or inside editing on the computer.  (Public domain.)

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.

When participants register with TNM Corps they are encouraged to select a screen name or “handle.” By updating many structures and earning points, a few of these intrepid map volunteers have reached the top level of virtual badges. Today, we recognize “claraapt246.” This young trail enthusiast has quickly reached one of the higher award levels in the TNM Corps project. She has received the “Theodolite Assemblage” badge for editing and submitting more than 2,000 structures or points.

Why volunteer with the TNM Corps?  Here’s why “claraapt256” joined:

Volunteering with The National Map Corps means that I can contribute to our geographical knowledge of the United States. I have a deep appreciation for our park system and love to walk local trails, but helping the TNMCorps community allows me to give back on a national level! I hope to continue to provide relevant and accurate data to the system.

I also have other interests! I am a rising senior so a lot of my time has been spent researching colleges and the like. I also birdwatch, read, and am currently learning German online. I love nature. Thank you for this opportunity! I hope to volunteer with you all even more!

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!

Graphic of badges from The National Map Corps
Graphic of the vitrual badges available to earn from the submission of structure points to The National Map Corps. (Public domain.)

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.