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PLACE DETAILS - management and reporting


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#1 Vyger

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 07:14 PM

Ever since the release of RM4 the wishes to iron out the deficiencies in managing Place Details are raised on a fairly regular basis. Although I welcome Place Details and believe they are a great addition to RM, the full functionality of managing and reporting never was completed.

I do hope RM are listening and Renee gets approval to pin this topic and merge the other recent Place Details discussions on the message board. As one user who builds Place Details in regard of Geocoding, Media and Notes I am posting my own opinions and frustrations below :-
  • An in house way of splitting pre RM4 Places to Place and Place Details is very much needed.
  • An ability to merge Place Details is very much desired once spelling mistakes are corrected.
  • An easy way of identifying the existence or lack of Geocoding, Media and Notes on screen would be very beneficial, perhaps a Place List within a Place List but certainly much more control within the Place Details window.
  • A method of detaching a Place Detail from one Place and attaching to another should a mistake be realised.
  • For me the ability to FIND - Any Fact - Place Details Geocode - Is Blank would help filling the blanks from within RM rather than external means that only a few users would have expertise with.
  • PRINT all events which occurred at these Place Details is a button I also wish for.
Rootsmagic 5 is a strong program and the deficiencies are much less than before but Place Details remains one of those areas. I am sure that many users get very confused and cause themselves endless difficulties trying to overcome this lack of functionality.

An intuitive solution is what RM deserves and easily attainable so hopefully this discussion thread will bring us closer to it.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#2 Vyger

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 07:39 PM

I just pinged a number of previous discussions on Places and Place Details in an effort to bring those contributors into this collective thread.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#3 MVS

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:47 AM

Vyger is spot on in identifying this area as an absolute must for improvement. When RM4 set out I had high ambition to get all my data geocoded and sorted out but I soon found out that the system is so clunky (I don't think I have even had to click my mouse button so many times!)that it was impossible to do. The fact that RM5 has no serious improvements (and the County coding is a complete waste of time for a UK user)is a further big dissappointment.

When RM4 came out I wrote a program that took an exported GED file and split all my address details into Place and Place Details - so I know it is not difficult to do and it would require relatively little effort to code something that did this from within RM.

The reporting improvements are essential as is the ability to merge up and correct misnamed places.

Development work in this area has my full support.

MVS.

#4 Jack

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:21 AM

Ever since the release of RM4 the wishes to iron out the deficiencies in managing Place Details are raised on a fairly regular basis. Although I welcome Place Details and believe they are a great addition to RM, the full functionality of managing and reporting never was completed.

I do hope RM are listening and Renee gets approval to pin this topic and merge the other recent Place Details discussions on the message board. As one user who builds Place Details in regard of Geocoding, Media and Notes I am posting my own opinions and frustrations below :-


One would think that as much as this was discussed in RM4 - as I remember it anyway - this improvement would have been a no brainer in RM5.





Jack

a posteriori

#5 Vyger

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 07:22 PM

Just wondering what the probabilities are that eventually we'll be able to merge place details?

I'll bet that many of us have entered into "Place Details" something like "Oak Wood" and "Oakwood" for the same "Place," only to learn much later that they were really the same place and known as "Oakwood." So, changing all the "Oak Wood" place details to "Oakwood" left us with two entries for the latter.

Or, am I overlooking an easier way to do this?

Rootsmagic have pinned this topic which must be good news for those working with Place Details so I would now hope for a constructive discussion on how to overcome the difficulties that are frequently reported.

My thoughts are below but I must admit I do sometimes wonder if building on the existing GUI is the answer although the benefit of doing so would be to maintain the familiarity that many users already have.

#1. I personally would like more information available at first glance so in other words in the existing Place List. Some time ago I made this mock up and essentially it would still satisfy that need. If such a screen were ever to be introduced it would be intuitive to click or double click an item in the Place Details pane and have the Edit Place Details open, better still directly open the Note, Media or Geocode information.

#2. Place Details list within a Place List, well it's already there as the Edit Place Details screen but it lacks the functionality of Print, Merge, Online Map, Geocode, and Unused Places. The Online Map button does exist one level further down but I think that could be easily moved and to better effect.

#3. The Edit Place UI does need to encompass some facility to disect an old style Place which incorporates Place Details into it's new Place and Place Detail components. I thought of something like this but there may be better ways to achieve this. Perhaps as a safety net fields 1 and 4 should be greyed out until a checkbox is selected to prevent user mistakes?

#4. Bearing in mind the perceived need for splitting Place and Place Details a search facility within the Place List to find old style places which might contain Cemetery, Hospital, Church, Methodist, Street, Avenue etc. would be a great help in aiding users work through and bring there databases into step.

#5. I hope it goes without saying that a new Print button on the Edit Place Details screen would Print all events that occured in that selected Place Detail.

#6. I believe a new Geocode button on the Edit Place Details screen should open a user defined mapping program which the user prefers to obtain co-ordinates.

#7. Lastly I use the Google Maps "What's Here?" facility to lift geocoding information and it would be a very easy enhancement for RM to allow for direct pasting of this format into Rootsmagic.

I look forward to the views and discussion with other Place Detail addicts.. :)

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#6 MVS

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:08 AM

It is a long time since I have got involved in details in the Place and Place Details debate but as the topic is now pinned I have gone through the functionality (using RM5) and here are my views/comments. They may repeat previous entries in the Forums from myself and others – but I am putting them all down afresh so that they are in the one place.

#1 When in the Edit Person dialog and I am updating an Event with Place and Place Details information there is against the Place field a Globe icon and this takes me to the Place List dialog. If I select an entry from the left hand pane, eg London, it is placed in the Place field in the Edit Persons dialog. If I select the actual Place Details for the London address it ignores it. So the opportunity to easily fill in Place and Place Details quickly and efficiently in one fell swoop is lost. So I would like to see the existing functionality of being able to double click the Town in the left hand pane to be extended to allow the User to double-click the Place Details entry in the right hand pane, for the Place dialog to close and be returned to the Edit Person dialog with both fields automatically field in.

#2 The Geocode button in the Place dialog seems to only ask the question ”Do you want to go through and Geocode all places in your database that are not geocoded”. My view is that this type of database wide function really belongs in one of the main menu lists – probably under Tools. When I see it in the Place dialog I imaging it is going to let me Geocode the single Place or Place Details I have selected. But in actual fact I have to go to the Edit button first. This is confusing and adds extra clicks to the task. So – move this function to the Tools menu and when the Geocode button is pressed bring up the panel for the selected Place or Place details so I can immediately put in the details for this entry.

#3 I am a UK user and therefore 99% of my data entries are for the UK. Therefore I do not code them with the country name. If the Place is a large town or City I may not even code the County. This is normal practice in the UK – no one puts a County against London or Manchester because they either don’t have a county or historically they span many counties. Americans rarely understand this! I only code the country if it is outside of the UK. Unfortunately this means that when I select a Place, eg Brighton and click the Online Map button I am usually taken to some far away place, eg Brighton New Jersey. Not much use. So the system needs to have some sort of override – to go to a default country if one is not coded. Or to go to a default mapping web site that will correctly interpret the address details unless a specific country address is coded - his would also satisfy the need of those of us who do not want to use Bing.

#4 The Place Details dialog should be abolished. All the functionality that is required can be easily included in a single Place dialog for display and updating along the lines of the suggestions of Vyger; if you select the Place and click the Edit button it goes to the update and display fields for that entry and if you select a Place Details and then click the Edit button it goes to the update and diaply fields for that entry. All from within the same master Place dialog.

#5 The print dialog may be OK if you want to go through the long winded selection processes to analyse the whole Place database but a lot of the time I think Users just want to know where the specific Place or Place Details entry they are looking at is used. I would propose therefore that on the new Place Dialog there is a new button that says “Where Used”. If you have selected a Place it will list all the information on where this Place has been used and if you have selected a Place Details it would list just the entries where the selected Place/Place Details was already used. I would like to see this go to a display window rather than a report (and all the extra clicks that this involves) – it just needs to be quick and easy; just to allow us to see if the item we are selecting makes sense and just to allow us to see who else might be using the address and aid our research. If we find the answers are really interesting then we can always go to the Report function the long winded way if we want to save something or print it off.

#6 Drag and Drop. If I find that a Place Details has been inadvertently recorded against the wrong Place I should be able to drag it from the wrong Place and drop it into the correct Place.

#7 Drag and Drop 2. If I find that I have duplicate Place Details within a place, perhaps because I slightly mistyped an entry, I should be able to drag the entry I want to lose onto the entry I want to keep and RM would merge them up under the correct entry name.

#8 Vygers suggestion for a search box that would look in both Place and Place Details is essential. If you have coded a Place Details in the wrong Place it is very hard to find. The search must be fully functional; ie string searching through the fields so that anything that has been typed slightly wrong will be picked up, or the ability to put in, say, the road name without a house number, and find all the entries.

#9 The ability to select for Reporting on Place Details as well as Places is essential. I am unable to check on the existing functionality for selecting “within a radius of” as I have not geocoded my data because it is currently too difficult to do with the facilities RM provides. However, I would suggest it is important that multiple Place Details should be selectable when the system is enhanced to allow selection on this field. So I think you should be able to select on multiple Places as well as multiple Place Details; if a User selects a Place without a Place Details then it should be assumed that all the Place Details within the Place are selected.

#10 Geocoding. I am not sure what the system does when you ask it to automatically GeoCode your entries (does it work on Place only rather than Place Details?). It might be useful if it actually said “I updated x Places). Anyway I have run tests (RM5) and it seems to be very poor at actually locating the correct place – and most suggestions for ones that it cannot match go straight to a USA location (and just for clarity – I was looking at places that are easily matched in google.co.uk and houses and streets that are still standing and current). Surely Brighton, Sussex and Surrey are big enough to find! And if it cannot find them what confidence do I have in the lat/long coding of the ones it does find ? So as it stands I have a Geocoding mountain to climb – and without a decent way to get the correct lat/long into the system in bulk I will never tackle the task of manually coding the remainder.

#11 And is there an easy way of actually producing a report that shows which Place and Place Details await a Lat/Long value(s)? So you could work through the ones that are outstanding? Perhaps selectable by Place or County or Country or some such arrangement?

MVS

#7 Vyger

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:48 PM

MVS

#1. If I am correct that this pertains to the suggestive PD list not appearing I know RM are aware of it. You will notice if you click SAVE after leaving the Place field it will work as intended.

#4. An evolution of my thinking and a good one. Really all the buttons on the existing Place List could apply to the Place or Place Details under highlight.

#5. Agreed, the Print button is not very intuitive for users, a "Where used" button as you suggest would certainly be more intuitive to all.

#6. Some way to do this needs to be introduced.

#7. Agreed

#9. The "within a radius of" does work very well but obviously the geocoding needs to be in place.

#11. NO, and I would very much like to see the same, we need the facility to find any Place Details without geocoding, report same, in fact it would be nice if an option existed to display geocoding on the People View, then missing information could be easily filled.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#8 kinhunter25

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:21 AM

ALL,

Today marks the END to the Place and Place Details problem!!!! Check it out. Many Thanks to the GREAT Magician for the fix in the latest update for RM5.
:D

#9 MVS

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:48 AM

Whooaaaaaaa!.

While I agree the latest release allows us to manually split Place and Place Details and to merge Places I think there is quite a way to go on this one:

i) I can find unused Places but how do I find unused Place Details?
ii) How do I find a list of where a Place Detail is used when I am looking at the Place details dialog? And then can I print this list if I want to.
iii) how can I find a list of Places with no Geocoding and/or media etc
iv) how can I find a list of Place Details with no Geocoding and/or media etc
v)how about a bigger rethink of the whole Place and Place Details dilaogs so they could be merged into one slick display dialog - currently there is an awful lot of mouse clicking while motoring around between the different screens
vi) how do I move a Place Details that is incorrectly coded within one Place to the correct Place?
vii how about being able to select both the Place and the Place Details at the same time when filling in a Fact?

and all the other things that have been said about this topic.......

MVS.

#10 Renee Zamora

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:49 AM

Confirming enhancement requests are in our tracking system.
Renee
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#11 TomH

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:02 AM

It has been two years since romer published the SQLite query described at Facts Having Place Details - Query, which "Returns all Places with Place Details and the Persons or Families (couples) and their Facts, including Shared events, using the Place Detail.". But only a couple of months since Places to Place Details Conversion was posted. If we can come up with these workarounds, I would like to think that it should not be difficult to address the needs in the application development. So the conversion to Place Details is now much improved over the way it was; more people will be inclined to use it... but what about the fulfillment of the full feature set? And for those holding back because of the incompatibility of Place Details with some third party applications via standard GEDCOM, there is a SQLite workaround at Convert Place + Place Detail to Place - maybe that could be incorporated as an option for Export ;-)

Tom user of RM6314 FTM2014 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celtiwiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix_tiny.png app, a growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#12 Renee Zamora

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:53 PM

... but what about the fulfillment of the full feature set? And for those holding back because of the incompatibility of Place Details with some third party applications via standard GEDCOM, there is a SQLite workaround at Convert Place + Place Detail to Place - maybe that could be incorporated as an option for Export ;-)

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
Renee
RootsMagic

#13 Vyger

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:54 PM

Whooaaaaaaa!.

While I agree the latest release allows us to manually split Place and Place Details and to merge Places I think there is quite a way to go on this one:

I would very much hope this is a work in progress. For now anyone staying away from Place Details because of the in house difficulty of changing from pre RM4 Places should not be disappointed, also the merge feature is very welcome. However for now 5.0.2 is a mighty fine update adressing many long standing issues so well done Rootsmagician.

As MVS has stated reporting out these Place Details and identifying missing data must also be incorporated if users are to get the best from this data and build on it. I do hope the Rootsmagician is all over that one for the not too distant future.

One minor observation from me (and it might just be me) but when I did the first Split I done it the wrong way round making the assumption the first field would be Place Details (men don't read instructions right!) Does anyone else have any views before habits form or do I need to mentally adjust :D

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#14 munchie

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:24 PM

I like the new feature/ability to now split out the Place Details ... thank you! However, upon completing each of the detail changes RM takes me 'alphabetically', to the 'new' place and does not return me to where I was in my place list. Can some sort of a 'bookmark' be added so I am not jumping all around in place list? For example: If I am splitting up ... Brown Cemetery, Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States (fictious names used) ... once Brown Cemetery is put under 'details', place becomes Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States. When I am finished with the change, RM then takes me to the 'T' section of place list (Tyler). I then have to navigate back to the 'B' section (Brown Cemetery) within my place list. To return automatically to where I was would be helpful and less time consuming. Thank you ...

#15 Laura

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:08 PM

If you split Brown Cemetery, Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States into Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States with the place details as Brown Cemetery and already have a place name of Tyler, Davis, Texas with or without the United States on the end, you will have two places named Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States.

You will probably want to merge those two places as RM doesn't automatically merge them for you.

If the focus in the Place list automatically goes back to the B's, we might easily miss that those places need to be merged. It is a lot easier to merge them as the last part of the process of splitting place and place details for one place as it would be in having to go back and find those places that need to be merged later.
Laura

The following was overheard at a recent high society party...
"My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great," said one lady. She then turned to a second woman and asked, "How far does your family go back?"
"I don't know," was the reply. "All of our records were lost in the flood."
-on various web sites-

#16 Vyger

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:25 PM

.....I then have to navigate back to the 'B' section (Brown Cemetery) within my place list. To return automatically to where I was would be helpful and less time consuming. Thank you ...

I would hope in the future that the wished for Search facility will help greatly here.

One will be able to search for Cemetery, Avenue, Hospital etc and step though those Places needing a split.

Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research


#17 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

If you split Brown Cemetery, Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States into Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States with the place details as Brown Cemetery and already have a place name of Tyler, Davis, Texas with or without the United States on the end, you will have two places named Tyler, Davis, Texas, United States.

You will probably want to merge those two places as RM doesn't automatically merge them for you.

If the focus in the Place list automatically goes back to the B's, we might easily miss that those places need to be merged. It is a lot easier to merge them as the last part of the process of splitting place and place details for one place as it would be in having to go back and find those places that need to be merged later.


Laura, I definitely agree that you need to merge the two places. I just tried a test with place details for "Frankfort, Concord Township, Ross County, OH" with two cemeteries, one church, and two schools. I did several merges as part of my test.

I believe that the report for events in a single place that has place details definitely needs to have the block checked to print place details. If the place details block is not checked, all events for the two cemeteries, one church, and two schools are printed in a common list sorted by date. There is no association of a specific event with a specific place detail when everything is lumped together.

If you want a report for events in just one instance of place details, I was not able to find it. On the other hand, it may not be important. Exporting the results to a [.rtf] file and then doing selective edits would achieve the desired results.

#18 c24m48

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:32 PM

If the focus in the Place list automatically goes back to the B's, we might easily miss that those places need to be merged. It is a lot easier to merge them as the last part of the process of splitting place and place details for one place as it would be in having to go back and find those places that need to be merged later.

I totally agree with Laura. It's definitely best to merge as you go. And to merge as you go, you have to give up "going back to the B's". Instead, you have to give the focus to the newly split Place part of the name.

I think the implementation of the new feature is absolutely excellent as is. It's still a slightly tedious process to do all the splits and merges, but I think the slightly tedious process is completely necessary. Only the user knows where to do the splits and when to do the merges. The process really can't be safely automated. And the new very slightly tedious feature makes it vastly easier to fix your Place Details than did the extremely tedious way we had to do it before.

I applaud both the functionality and the timeliness of the 5.0.2 upgrade.

Jerry

#19 c24m48

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:01 PM

However for now 5.0.2 is a mighty fine update addressing many long standing issues so well done Rootsmagician.

Yes, it's a mighty fine update.

One little Place glitch that didn't get fixed is that the Place Index can still go haywire in word processing programs. Within a word processor itself, the glitch is caused by a blank before the trailing double quote in the XE entry for the place. The problem can be fixed with a global replace within the word processor to delete the blank before the trailing double quote in the XE entry. An easier way to fix the problem is to edit the RTF file with a good text editor before opening the RTF file with your word processor. In this case, the required fix is to replace b\xef66 with \xef66 and to replace b\xef65 with \xef65

The b is a blank, namely it's the blank that shouldn't be there, and the suggested replace operation gets rid of the blank that shouldn't be there. The \xef66 replacement fixes the Place Index (66 is the ASCII code for "B", and the "B" index is the Place Index), and the \xef65 replacement fixes the Name Index (65 is the ASCII code for "A", and the "A" index is the Name Index).

Even though extra blank in the XE entry is still a bug in RM5, I can fix it easily with a text editor. The lack of the Place Details in the Place Index was not something I could fix on my own, and now the RootsMagician has fixed it for me. So I'm very pleased!!

Jerry

#20 Laura

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:10 PM

The 5.0.2.1 update today transfers notes, latitude and longitude and media from the place to the place detail when splitting places.
Laura

The following was overheard at a recent high society party...
"My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great," said one lady. She then turned to a second woman and asked, "How far does your family go back?"
"I don't know," was the reply. "All of our records were lost in the flood."
-on various web sites-