25 August 2016

The National Map and Its New Mapping Editor for USGS Volunteer Map Editors

The National Map and Its New Mapping Editor for USGS Volunteer Map Editors

Maps are so important to our research – they help establish a context we often cannot get from any other resource.  I particularly love historical topographic maps, civil war maps and soil survey maps.  They have proven value when I’m doing research.

One source of invaluable maps is The National Map (USGS).

From our friends at the USGS in an email sent to those who have served as volunteer map editors, we learn …

Thanks for being part of our citizen science project. Your hard work and quality edits have led to TNMCorps having an excellent reputation both inside and out of the US Geological Survey.  

Also, thank you for your patience as we transition to the new web mapping editor. You’ll find much of the same functionality, some improvements, and you will notice a few things you’d like to see changed or improved. We look forward to your feedback and want to let you know that we also have a list of update requests that we hope will be addressed early in FY17, which begins October 1, 2016.

Perhaps the biggest change is the way the login/registration works. In order to provide a more secure process for logging in we have to moved to OAuth 2.0. In doing so, we are limited to the number of third party applications that you can log in with, although we hope to add more in the future.  

Basically it comes down to this….in order to edit  you’ll need to register again on the new site. In doing so, it will help a lot if you use your same username so we can tie information from  your old account to your new account. If your username changes for whatever reason, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected].  

You will need a Google (gmail) or Microsoft based email account. If you don’t know if your email will work or not, just try it using either the Google button or the Microsoft button on the login page of the editor. If your email won’t work using Google or Microsoft and you want to KEEP your email address the same, then open a free account on ArcGIS Online, then login with that information.  

For you more experienced editors, one of the biggest concerns you might have is that we have not (yet) included your total edits from the previous editor. However, we are still tracking your totals to use for recognition and awards. Also, your roles (Peer Reviewer and/or Advanced Editor) have not been automatically assigned. We are working to update your roles/points as soon as possible.  If you use the same username it will help us a lot in tying the old and new accounts together.

Many of you also use the history of a point to help you when editing. In combining databases which will ultimately streamline the time it takes for an edit to become available for integration into The National Map and US Topo Maps, we were unable to keep the history. As part of FY17 enhancements, we will be implementing the ability to see the history of any point. Currently you will only be able to see the history of your own points.  

We have started a list of FAQs relating to the new editor, and look forward to your feedback. If you need further help, we are an email or phone call away.  

Want to learn more about becoming a USGS Volunteer Map Editor?  Check out this article USGS Needs YOU! Help Our National Mapping Efforts ByAdding Your Community’s Landmarks and Buildings. Note: The links have not been verified as all still working.

What are your favorite resources for historic maps?

What single map made “a difference” to your family history research?

Editor’s Note.  Enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy these related posts National Atlas Being Combined With National Map (2014) & USGS -- The National Map: Historical Quadrangle Scanning Project (2011)

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