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#1 Vyger

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:56 PM

I have been working with a lot of Place and Place Details tonight within RM and it just struck me how far we have come in tiny steps with making this important component more manageable.

The ability to split Place and Place Details, seeing Place Details attachments at a glance and easier editing, being able to Merge Place Details, Online Mapping etc, so my thanks to the Rootsmagician.

Important steps and great improvements but not a feautre to be given up on yet, there is still much to do ;) but from the release of RM4 this has become a lot easier to work with.

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#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

I have been working with a lot of Place and Place Details tonight within RM and it just struck me how far we have come in tiny steps with making this important component more manageable.


I wholeheartedly agree. And another little tidbit that was fixed a fairly long time ago and incrementally is that Place Details now appear correctly in the Place Index on reports, something that wasn't there in the initial release of Place Details.

Jerry

#3 Jack

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:48 AM

I also agree! But, I'm still disappointed in the mapping feature. It only takes me to the general area and does not mark the exact spot. I'm not certain that this feature is using geo-coordinates or just the geographic place name.

I still prefer maps.google.com which adds a pointer to the exact spot I'm looking for.
Jack

a posteriori

#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:52 AM

It only takes me to the general area and does not mark the exact spot.


I'm not sure what you mean. For example, if you use the automatic geocoding for Places, the resolution is only down to the nearest political subdivision at best, such as to the nearest county. It has no way of knowing exactly where the spot is. If I manually geocode a Place Detail like a tombstone, then the pin on the map seems to be placed at pretty much the "exact spot" because I've told it where the spot is.

Having said that, I use nearly all the Place and Place Details features and like them a lot, with the exception that I really don't using Mapping and the built-in Geocoding, and I don't use County Check. The main reason I don't use Mapping and the built-in Geocoding is that the detailed Place Details geocoding is not reflected in narrative reports. So I do my own geocoding of such things as tombstone locations and I reflect that information in burial notes so that the information appears on narrative reports. A second but lesser reason for not using Mapping and the built-in Geocoding is my preference for Google maps and especially for the Acme Mapper 2.0 skin on Google maps. But remember that the licensing cost for RM to use Google maps would be exorbitant.

But all the rest of the Place and Place Details (except for County Check :angry: ) is very good and getting better.

Jerry

#5 TomH

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

I agree with you, Jack! Which is to say I also agree with Vyger but find the lack of a marker in RM Mapping to be frustrating. However, I can assure you that geo-coordinates are used. Examine this URL generated from one of my Place Details:

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=43.8784694~-78.9332194&lvl=12

Those long decimal numbers are the geo-coordinates. The map is centered on them. If you zoom using the + hotspot, it will keep the map centered on them as it zooms in.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#6 TomH

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

Eureka! I found a way to plot the point on Bing Maps with a simple change to the URL that RM generates:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&rtp=pos.43.8784694_-78.9332194_Ontario%20Ladies%20College~&lvl=12
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&rtp=pos.43.8784694_-78.9332194_Ontario%20Ladies%20College~&lvl=12 This is one end of a route map, i.e., a route map with but one waypoint. Note that the name of the Place Detail also gets passed. It should be pretty easy to revise the program to generate geocoded URLs in this format, instead of using the cp parameter which produces unmarked maps. :rolleyes:

If the place or place detail is not geo-coded, RM generates the URL with the where1 parameter instead of cp, e.g.:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&where1=Welwynn%20Garden%20City
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&where1=Welwynn%20Garden%20City which, if it finds results, places a marker and returns the coordinates.

Edit: the reference I used for modifying the URL is http://www.viawindow...yourownURL.aspx

Edited by TomH, 09 December 2012 - 12:42 PM.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#7 Vyger

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

Good man Tom, since they are plotted in RM Mapping then it is only a matter of the url RM sends to Bing when clicking Online Map.

Personally I do not believe Places deserve a push pin as the centre of the Place (unless you always pick City Hall) will always be a matter of discussion/dispute so in the case of a Place only geocoding then simply centre the Map on it.

However in the case of a Place Detail geocoding RM should send a url to Bing which produces a Push Pin.

Since Tom presently appears to have the greater understanding on this topic I would suggest a Wish List item. ;)

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

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#8 Jack

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

Jerry, I try to precisely geocode all of the cemeteries in my file. When I use the Online Map link from RM for any of them, I am presented with a Bing map some 25-30 miles across with the city of interest in the middle of the map. But, it does not point me to the cemetery. That holds true no matter how far I zoom in. So, unless I know where within the city a cemetery might be located, I have to zoom in close and search the entire city for the cemetery.

If I take those same coordinates and attach them to google maps, a marker is placed at those coordinates and I can zoom in, perhaps down to street level and see what the place looks like. No wasted time scanning an entire city for a particular cemetery.

Additionally, Bing does not, in all cases, have what I believe they call "street side" view of a particular area while google maps will have what they call "street level view."
Jack

a posteriori

#9 TomH

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:16 PM

Jack, I am quite certain that, if you have geocoded a cemetery, the online map opened from the Edit Place Detail dialog will be centred on it. Then, as I explained above, use the + control or the slider to zoom in, not your mouse wheel or right-click which zoom on the mouse pointer location.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#10 Laura

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:31 PM

I added Google map to my WebSearch search providers so I could access it from within RM, and signed in with my Google account.

I can type in a place to search for, or I can select one of my already saved places or one of my saved maps.

I like it as I can move around in RM without having to close a screen and losing my map or having to switch back and forth with the web browser to see the map.

#11 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

Jerry, I try to precisely geocode all of the cemeteries in my file. When I use the Online Map link from RM for any of them, I am presented with a Bing map some 25-30 miles across with the city of interest in the middle of the map. But, it does not point me to the cemetery.


I think I understand the issue. When you map a place, RM appears to center the map on the place without placing a pin. But when you map a person, then all the places in all the person's facts get a pin. I was mapping a person when I was playing around, and that's why I saw the pins.

Jerry

#12 TomH

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

There are two different mapping functions in RM. One (Online Mapping) simply generates a URL to the Bing website that is passed to the default external Internet browser. That's what gets called from the Edit Place or Edit Place Detail. The other one (RootsMagic Mapping) uses the Bing Mapping API to retrieve and display a map within a RM window. It's the first one that I am saying can be easily modified to place a marker and display the name of the Place or Site. I'm sure the API one can also be readily modified, given the feature is supported on the free, unlicensed first one. The second one already shows a pushpin for the Place (Place Details not yet supported) if it has been geocoded.

Edit: was away from RM when I first replied.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
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#13 Vyger

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:42 AM

The second one already shows a pushpin for the Place (Place Details not yet supported) if it has been geocoded.

Edit: was away from RM when I first replied.


If you select PEOPLE on RM Mapping Place Details are displayed.

I did wish back in RM4 for a further option for Place Details with a Place to be displayed, see below.

http://www.vyger.co....ic/mapping.html

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

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Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#14 Jack

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:56 AM

I added Google map to my WebSearch search providers so I could access it from within RM, and signed in with my Google account.

I can type in a place to search for, or I can select one of my already saved places or one of my saved maps.

I like it as I can move around in RM without having to close a screen and losing my map or having to switch back and forth with the web browser to see the map.


Laura, that's why I use multiple monitors to avoid switching back and forth. A guy can't have too many monitors on his desk. :-)
Jack

a posteriori

#15 Jack

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:58 AM

Jack, I am quite certain that, if you have geocoded a cemetery, the online map ened from the Edit Place Detail dialog will be centred on it. Then, as I explained above, use the + control or the slider to zoom in, not your mouse wheel or right-click which zoom on the mouse pointer location.


Wow! It does work and, here I sat thinking the wheel on my Microsoft mouse should work properly on a Microsoft website. :-)
Jack

a posteriori

#16 Laura

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:28 AM

Laura, that's why I use multiple monitors to avoid switching back and forth. A guy can't have too many monitors on his desk. :-)


I don't have an extra monitor and right now, I don't have a deak to put one on if I haf one.



.

#17 Serenity20061

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

Jerry, I try to precisely geocode all of the cemeteries in my file. When I use the Online Map link from RM for any of them, I am presented with a Bing map some 25-30 miles across with the city of interest in the middle of the map. But, it does not point me to the cemetery. That holds true no matter how far I zoom in. So, unless I know where within the city a cemetery might be located, I have to zoom in close and search the entire city for the cemetery.

If I take those same coordinates and attach them to google maps, a marker is placed at those coordinates and I can zoom in, perhaps down to street level and see what the place looks like. No wasted time scanning an entire city for a particular cemetery.

Additionally, Bing does not, in all cases, have what I believe they call "street side" view of a particular area while google maps will have what they call "street level view."


Check out BillionGraves.com -- I found the website about a week ago. It is an all volunteer project open to anyone worldwide. The goal is to photograph tombstones with the geocoding for the exact gravesite within each cemetery through the use of a smart phone app (both iphone and android cell phones supported). It is pretty interesting what they are doing and has great potential for finding graves within a cemetery. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent walking row after row of graves in unmapped older cemeteries hunting for a single family. The site has thousands of cemeteries precisely geocoded (even the ones that haven't had the individual graves photographed and indexed yet).

#18 Jack

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:26 AM

Yes, I've used BillionGraves.com and, it's great. Problem is, I've found one in perhaps 100 grave searches that I've made there. Find-A-Grave, with all of it's problems, still has the numbers!
Jack

a posteriori

#19 Serenity20061

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:22 PM

Yes, I've used BillionGraves.com and, it's great. Problem is, I've found one in perhaps 100 grave searches that I've made there. Find-A-Grave, with all of it's problems, still has the numbers!


I have both sites saved to my favorites bar and reference them frequently. Find A Grave is good for finding a lot of clues regarding ancestors. Be sure to verify cemetery information though. I have found a few people who have been recorded in the wrong cemetery. Billion Graves is good for finding the geotag location for the cemetery itself even if the graves in it haven't been mapped.

I wish the Billion Graves site were around when I made my first two genealogy roadtrips - it would have been helpful finding some of those small out of the way cemeteries - like the one I spent an hour driving up into the mountains to find or the one I found in a cornfield in Iowa. If you have never been to Iowa or stopped to ask for directions in Iowa, let me give you an idea what it is like --- cornfield, soybean field, tree, house, bridge over the creek --- all the way across the state. When you ask for directions you get responses like "go south until you cross the bridge over the creek by the old Jones place and then turn east on the dirt road by the tree, then go four miles north until you come Tom Smith's place and turn on the dirt road across the bridge...." DEFINITELY a requirement to have a good gps system and geocoded locations for cemeteries. The locals are always friendly, but the directions are all based on landmarks that all look the same or references to the owners (past or present) of the farms in the area. If you haven't lived in the area you WILL get lost. :unsure:

#20 Jack

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:57 AM

I have both sites saved to my favorites bar and reference them frequently. Find A Grave is good for finding a lot of clues regarding ancestors. Be sure to verify cemetery information though. I have found a few people who have been recorded in the wrong cemetery. Billion Graves is good for finding the geotag location for the cemetery itself even if the graves in it haven't been mapped.


It didn't take long for me to learn that all info on FAG is not accurate. People enter more information than is found on the headstone, such as middle name. I rarely trust anything I find without additional confirmation. At one time I was a "big time" contributor. But, I discovered there are trolls there, looking for the smallest of mistakes, who are quick to drop an insulting e-mail on you about it. I also check the geotags for everyone one of them. I find many that are incorrect. Another of my pet peeves with FAG is the contributor who enters a cemetery name and county only; e.g., Smith Cemetery, Podunk Co., TX. Seems to me that anyone going to the trouble of visiting Podunk Co., TX and the Smith Cemetery would be able to better place it by including the name of the nearest town and perhaps a direction from that town to the cemetery.

In addition, their servers are slow and there's no way to check names using soundex. You have to know the exact spelling the contributor used (first or last name) or you may not find the burial. I believe too that instead of having to enter fixed birth and death dates, users should be able to enter a range.

But, that's FAG! I'm sure their main concern is ad revenue.
Jack

a posteriori