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Crowd-Sourcing the Nation: 25,000 Manmade Map Features Edited



Crowd-Sourcing the Nation: 25,000 Manmade Map Features Edited

Since the beginning of The National Map Corps crowd-sourcing project, more than 25,000 structure or manmade feature updates have been submitted to improve our nation’s maps.

Civilian volunteers are making significant additions to the U.S. Geological Survey’s ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public. Using crowd-sourcing techniques, the USGS’ Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project known as The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) encourages citizen volunteers to collect manmade structures data in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for the National Geospatial Program’s web-based The National Map

Structures being updated include schools, hospitals, post offices, police stations and other important public buildings.

Starting as a series of pilot projects in 2011, nearly 400 volunteers edited structures in the state of Colorado and contributed more than 6,800 edits.  With approval to expand the project, the USGS began releasing the rest of the United States for editing in a phased approach in April 2013.  By August of this year, volunteers were editing in every state in the country.  To date, the numbers of volunteers has more than tripled, and the number of submitted edits has exceeded 25,000.

The Order of the Surveyor’s Chain, awarded to TNMCorps volunteers who collect more than 25 points. 
The first available virtual badge, The Order of the Surveyor’s Chain, awarded to TNMCorps volunteers who collect more than 25 points. (High resolution image)

“The number of points contributed and edited by volunteers is incredible,” said Kari Craun, the director of the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center. “Our challenge going forward will be to keep volunteers motivated and to make sure we have coverage in all areas of the United States.  We think at least part of that motivation will come from letting volunteers — and potential volunteers — know how valuable the information they contribute is to the USGS and to the users of the data.  So to all of those who have contributed, thank you for your time and energy!

To show appreciation of the volunteers’ efforts, The National Map Corps has instituted a recognition program that awards “virtual” badges to volunteers. Each edit that is submitted is worth one point towards the badge level. The badges consist of a series of antique surveying instruments ranging from the Order of the Surveyor’s Chain (25 – 50 points) to the Theodolite Assemblage (2000+ points). Additionally, volunteers are publically acknowledged (with permission) via TwitterFacebook and Google+.

Tools on TNMCorps web site explain how a volunteer can edit any area, regardless of their familiarity with the selected structures, and becoming a volunteer for TNMCorps is easy; go to The National Map Corps web site to learn more and to sign up as a volunteer. If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time to editing map data, we hope you will consider participating.

 

 

 

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Status map of the U.S. showing volunteer contributions after the first set of states were authorized, April 1 – June 18, 2013.

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Status map of the U.S. showing the progression of volunteer contributions through all 50 states, April 1 – December 15, 2013.

 (Larger image)

USGS Newsroom



More information

Parameter Value Description
Magnitude mb The magnitude for the event.
Longitude ° East Decimal degrees longitude. Negative values for western longitudes.
Latitude ° North Decimal degrees latitude. Negative values for southern latitudes.
Depth km Depth of the event in kilometers.
Place Textual description of named geographic region near to the event. This may be a city name, or a Flinn-Engdahl Region name.
Time 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Time when the event occurred. UTC/GMT
Updated 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Time when the event was most recently updated. UTC/GMT
Timezone offset Timezone offset from UTC in minutes at the event epicenter.
Felt The total number of felt reports
CDI The maximum reported intensity for the event.
MMI The maximum estimated instrumental intensity for the event.
Alert Level The alert level from the PAGER earthquake impact scale. Green, Yellow, Orange or Red.
Review Status Indicates whether the event has been reviewed by a human.
Tsunami This flag is set to "1" for large events in oceanic regions and "0" otherwise. The existence or value of this flag does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist.
SIG A number describing how significant the event is. Larger numbers indicate a more significant event.
Network The ID of a data contributor. Identifies the network considered to be the preferred source of information for this event.
Sources A comma-separated list of network contributors.
Number of Stations Used The total number of Number of seismic stations which reported P- and S-arrival times for this earthquake.
Horizontal Distance Horizontal distance from the epicenter to the nearest station (in degrees).
Root Mean Square sec The root-mean-square (RMS) travel time residual, in sec, using all weights.
Azimuthal Gap The largest azimuthal gap between azimuthally adjacent stations (in degrees).
Magnitude Type The method or algorithm used to calculate the preferred magnitude for the event.
Event Type Type of seismic event.
Event ID Id of event.
Event Code An identifying code assigned by, and unique from, the corresponding source for the event.
Event IDS A comma-separated list of event ids that are associated to an event.

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