How to Research a Feature


Research is the most important part of adding, editing, and deleting structure features. We depend on volunteers to find and enter the most accurate and up to date information about each structure feature. A big part of doing good research is knowing where to find quality information, and where not to find quality information.



The following resources are acceptable ways to locate information on a structure feature:


Official web site of the structure feature (such as a school web site or a city's web site that includes a list of law enforcement and fire stations).


Search bar to determine if a structure exists (or does not exist) in the map.

Phone call to confirm the name and address of the structure feature.


Local knowledge (for example, you already know the name of the elementary school or fire station in your neighborhood).


Visual confirmation (for example, in person, or using online maps with "on-the-ground" views of the street).



Official web sites, such as a city web site, can be useful for identifying new structure features and verifying existing structure features. They may have lists of services, amenities and other features in a city or state.


For example, the City of Rolla official web page has links for Police and Fire & Rescue:

Source: City of Rolla (



Other examples of official web sites are listed on the Website Resources page. Use official websites to verify the name and address of a feature.  Addresses from official web sites can be used to search for these features to see if the structure features already exist on the map, or if they need to be added to the map.





If an icon exists for the structure feature, you can check its location and name and update it, if needed.


If an icon does not exist on the map, add it as a new structure feature.












Using lists from official or authoritative web sites will help you determine how complete your editing is—in other words, how close you are to having all of the structure features on the map, which is a very important part of editing.



The search bar can be used to determine if a structure exists (or does not exist) in the map.


You can access the search bar by clicking on the icon in the upper left of the online map editor

Use it to search for structures, names, addresses, or coordinates.  The search results window lists possible matches.  


Click on a result and the map will zoom to that area where you can investigate whether the feature exists.







This search engine WILL NOT capture all current points on the map or find all addresses.  If a result is not returned, DO NOT assume that what you are searching for does not exist.


Please only use this tool to get a general idea of the structure feature's location.  Use an official website or other acceptable sources to determine the final location.