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The USGS National Map Corps Reincarnated?

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Here is an email I just received from USGS National Map Corps. Something is stirring there again. I have no details. Just passing it along as received. If anyone is more knowledgeable, I would be interested to learn what you know.

 

Greetings from the USGS National Map Corps. We are contacting you because your email is on a list of former USGS volunteers. We thank you for your past work and would like to invite you to get involved in the newest release of The National Map Corps. The details below will explain the current path of The National Map Corps and show how you can get involved. Although this project is currently focused on Colorado, volunteers outside of this area can still contribute by using authoritative web sites. Unlike past efforts, we do not need to register you as a volunteer. If you would like to get involved, you can create a login in our online editor and start contributing.

 

In light of swiftly changing technical landscapes and increasing uses of social networking, the USGS is exploring a new approach to the volunteer program and is launching a project to test options for volunteer participation in providing data to The National Map.

 

The project involves mapping man-made structures and facilities, such as schools and fire stations, in the state of Colorado. Using an internet mapping application, volunteers can help the USGS update The National Map by correcting or adding information about structures.

 

"Even members of the public who can't tell a sandstone from a rhyolite but have internet access can now help the USGS keep its popular maps up to date through our new experiment in crowdsourcing," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "Correctly locating and identifying fire stations, police stations, schools, and hospitals not only makes USGS maps more useful, but can literally save a life."

 

Over the past two decades, the USGS National Geospatial Program sponsored various forms of volunteer map data collection projects. Volunteers helped the USGS improve its maps during this period by annotating paper maps, collecting data using GPS units, and submitting data using a web-based tool. However, in 2008, the volunteer mapping program was suspended as new methods for using volunteer data were being studied.

 

In recent years, new web- and mobile-based technologies have made it easier to create, combine, and share maps. Recent events have shown how well these technologies support the rapid and relevant production of geographic information.

 

If the Colorado pilot project is successful in attracting volunteers and capturing data for use in The National Map, the program may be expanded to other areas in the future.

 

This project offers volunteers an opportunity to participate in providing data to The National Map and US Topo map products. For more information, interested volunteers can visit the National Map Corps website.

 

The National Map Corps website.

 

On the web: https://my.usgs.gov/confluence/display/nationalmapcorps/Home

Contact: Greg Matthews Nationalmapcorps@usgs.gov

 

Greg Matthews, GISP

The National Map Corps

National Geospatial Technical Operations Center

Box 25046, MS 510

Denver, CO 80225-0046

Office: 303-202-4446

Cell: 303-345-8353

GDMatthews@usgs.gov

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Since the program has been discontinued, and there is valuable education material here, the education forum is perhaps the best fit after all.

 

Mark Case

Education Forum Moderator and other forum moderators.

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I've been having some success in editing Google maps to reflect reality. Often it takes a long time, but if you can point them to more current data from another source and enter it on their map editing page they are likely to update theirs. Generally Google maps are far more current than USGS maps, but I assume the USGS is moving to Lidar data which will be a vast improvement and possibly catch them up with other data sources.

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