Falls Church to Arlington, VA, along Lee Highway

Posted by sejohnson on 3 March 2013 in English (English)

I’ve been digitizing a lot of building footprints and parking lots in the last week or so, in preparation for an upcoming mapping party in Falls Church, VA. User [OpenBrian] ( has advocated this technique as a means for making the editing/tagging phase of the mapping party more productive. The theory (I think) is that it simplifies the process of transfering field notes onto some pre-existing geometric shape. I’m beginning to see that it maximizes the effectiveness of arm-chair mapping as well, since even the most familiar of landscapes have easily-overlooked details that require a site visit.

So, to test this out I’ve added a considerable amount of detail to commercial and institutional buildings along Lee Highway starting in Falls Church and proceeding east into Arlington. I typically add the building footprint, adjacent parking lots and parking aisles. Later I’ll add business/institutional names, addresses, and other useful information as time permits, typically one or two at a time.

Location: East Falls Church, Arlington County, Virginia, 2204, USA

Comment from OpenBrian on 6 March 2013 at 17:37

That’s the idea. I find that so much time is wasted at mapping parties dealing with geometry. And that’s a steep learning curve for newcomers. The fun part of mapping is capturing names, numbers, and types of buildings. Also point features like statues are easy to capture.

I formed this opinion after trying to split one building in Hyattsville into n stores. It’s hard to do that an preserve the geometry. It’s hard!

Also I feel users are more invited to update a map of unidentified areas than an empty map of roads.

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