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Format for locations

Format for locations

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#1 lrrichey

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 05:07 PM

When I first started learning about Genealogy location format was city, county, state, country.

If the city was not known or the city was known but not the county it should be indicated by using the comma ",".  For example if I did not know the county I would list this way city, , state, country. Or if I knew the county but not the city I would list it this way , county, state, country .

In the newer computer programs it seems that the commas are omitted if it is not know. For example county, state, country with no comma to indicate no city, or city, state, country with no comma to indicate the missing county information.

 

So what is the preferred method of entering the location information?

 

Thanks

Ray



#2 Laura

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 07:19 PM

That is pretty subjective. For users putting their database online, enter locations in the online hosts preferred format.

Thst can be a problem if you are putting your database online in more than one web site and they have different format standards.

I don't put my database on web sites so my personal place standard is, [Cemetery, Church, etc.], City, [County name] County, State.

I only add the country if the place is out of the United States of America.

I don't use Place Details.

#3 zhangrau

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 07:37 PM

Like Laura, I do not post my database anywhere online. When I know a city but not county, I list it as "city, _____ county, state, country". I think this is more clear than the use of extra commas, and it has the advantage of sorting the unknown counties together, giving me a clear indication of where additional research would be helpful. I also don't use Place Details, so some of my place names get lengthy, but in the reverse-sorted index they make a lot of sense to my readers.

#4 geomouchet

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 09:44 PM

I do it like Laura too, except that I put the name of the church, cemetery, etc in "Place details".  That works well for street addresses too.



#5 Kamolga

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 06:02 AM

I think I over-do it but I use https://www.geonames.org/ to get standardized names.

 

If someone is born in Rixensart (village in Belgium), I enter Rixensart in link above, click on it and got

 

Belgium BE » Wallonia WAL » Walloon Brabant Province WBR » Arrondissement of Nivelles 25 » Rixensart 25091 from the website, which is inverted and not the right format.

 

I therefore paste this in column A of my Excel file (https://kablanorg-my...sC8kYA?e=eN6d7x) and this will be transformed to 

 

name: Rixensart, Arrondissement of Nivelles, Walloon Brabant Province, Wallonia, Belgium

in Column B and its

standard name: Rixensart (25091), Arrondissement of Nivelles (25), Walloon Brabant Province (WBR), Wallonia (WAL), Belgium (BE)

in column C automatically. So 1 copy-paste from website to excel and 2 copy-paste from Excel to RM. 

 

I then paste the geo coordonates from the website to RM as well.

Having this administrative tree is really helpful for me to expect documentation/source to be available at some place/ official website: depending on type of document and period, they are available in Rixensart, Nivelles or Walloon Brabant. Wallonia level (regional) is helpful in foreign countries where I do not often know where the Provinces are. Unfortunately columns keep adjusting their wide to full name length so I will probably have to reduce those.

 

Thanks to this structure, I can create a groupe with 'Arrondissemnt of Nivelles (25)' in standard place for certain types facts (usually birth) using SQL. I can easily cumulate areas but not really cut them: if I wanted the west part of Brussels, I would have to cumulate the 'communes' as we name them (we have 19 in the city, so west would be around 5).

 

I first wanted to work with radius (10km around a location) but that was not really working fine in my tests...so I ended up with this website structure. I am usually interested in quite big regions anyway (I want to know who is born in Walloon Brabant, not west of Brussels). Everything below a postal code (address, building, monument) is in Place details. I can always concatenate them with SQL for an export to another program (most softwares have only one field for location).


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#6 bjzgiznaz

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 07:26 PM

Isn't the purpose to be able to find the records?

 

City, county, state, country really only works in the US, and not universally. We have cities that are also counties, counties that are parishes, and various ways of dividing up the recordkeeping. For research, I use historic jurisdictions that help me find records--towns, counties, parishes.

 

If I only know the county, I now say "Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA"--I was making mistakes when I omitted it.

 

I work in Germany a lot and I usually use "village, parish, country, Germany" (where country is one of the pre-1918 entities), because I need the parish. If I record a latitude and longitude, I try to pick the local parish church from Bing--I figure I'm probably recording a vital event that took place there.

 

For publication and visualization I like Kamolka's idea of a universal worldwide authority. I wonder if you could map your data with a GIS program! I wish such an authority could do the historic place names with accurate dating of changes.

-Barbara



#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 06:00 AM

When I know a city but not county, I list it as "city, _____ county, state, country". I think this is more clear than the use of extra commas, and it has the advantage of sorting the unknown counties together, giving me a clear indication of where additional research would be helpful.

 

This is a very interesting idea. I encounter a situation where I know a city but not a county fairly frequently. What I do now is omit the county with no double comma. It's clear (to me, at least) what's going on because I always, always, always include the  words county or parish to make clear the distinction between county or parish on the one hand and city and town on the other hand. So for example, I enter Atlanta, Georgia without a double comma for the missing county if I don't know which of Atlanta's multiple counties was the site of the event in question. But the "_______  County" convention for unknown counties would make things really clear without reading too badly in reports, e.g., Atlanta, _______ County, Georgia.

 

How do you enter independent cities that truly are not a part of any county (at least in modern times)? They are common in Virginia, but they also exist in other states. I simply omit the county with no double comma, which I believe to be technically accurate. But it does not distinguish very well between Richmond, Virginia where the county doesn't actually exist in modern times and  Atlanta, Georgia where the county does exist but is unknown to me. Your "_______  County"  convention would solve that problem very nicely.

 

I actually have never understood the proper way to enter places names in New York City with the five boroughs. I encounter records that do mention a county and records that don't mention a county.

 

I don't like for USA or United States to appear repetitively in my reports when the country is clear from context, which it nearly always is. I would like to be able to enter USA into my database and not print it in reports, but RM does not support doing so.

 

The country field is not very well standardized across genealogy in any case. For example, FamilySearch uses United States and ancestry.com uses USA. I find USA acceptable because it is technically correct, even as an abbreviation, and my experience from living for a couple of years in Europe suggests that USA is well known and commonly used there as a designation for my country. United States is just wrong as a place name, even though it's the FamilySearch standard, because many countries in the world are the United States of Something and because the official name of my country is United States of America, not United States.

I also include words such as Township, District, etc. in place names to clarify levels. There are many other words such as this that need to be included to clarify levels in place names, especially outside of the USA. But the FamilySearch place name standard does not support such level identifiers as a part of place names.

 

Historically accurate vs. modern place names are a problem, especially for geocoding. I think you need to be able to record both with each type of place name clearly identified as to whether it is historically accurate or modern. That way, you could indicate both the historically accurate place where the event occurred and where the evidence for the event was recorded, and the modern name and geocode to identify where to find the modern locale for the event. Neither RM nor genealogy writ large handles this situation very well.

 

Support for languages other than English and place names are a problem. How do I enter a place name as Germany and print it in French as Allemagne or in German as Deutschland or in Norwegian as Tyskland or in English as Germany?

 

Place names are a mess. Place name standards are a mess.

 

Jerry



#8 Vyger

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 03:07 PM

Historically accurate vs. modern place names are a problem, especially for geocoding. I think you need to be able to record both with each type of place name clearly identified as to whether it is historically accurate or modern.

 

I always believe an important and vital association and standard is missing in these discussions, the GEOCODE.

 

Firstly RM does not differentiate between and auto Geocoded Place (which are all over the show) and a manually Geocoded Place, It Should.

 

From that if my manually geocoded Historical, Municipal, Modern and Foreigh Language all have exactly the same GEOCODE, are they not logically the same Place?

 

I believe instead of driving towards geocoding from a plethora of personal recording styles and questionable standards we need to turn the table to the only standard which exists, the co-ordinates.

 

I also believe a manually geocoded Place besides being tagged as such should facilitate a further tag for level of certainty.


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#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 07:04 PM

 

From that if my manually geocoded Historical, Municipal, Modenr and Foreigh Language all have exactly the same GEOCODE, are they not logically the same Place?

 

Not really!  :)

 

Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by the "same place". It's like the old conundrum about not being able to wade or swim in the same river twice. Or if your grandfather's ax had its handle replaced four times and its head replaced twice, is it still the same ax?

For example, if I gave you coordinates 37.590000, -80.506667 as the preferred identifier of a place, how should it appear in a report? As Rehoboth Church, Greenbrier County, Virginia or as Rehoboth Church, Monroe County, West Virginia? It's the same building in either case, and the building hasn't moved. At least the name of the church itself has not changed so far.

 

I had an ancestor who was married there in 1788 and his probable brother was married there in 1797. Monroe County was formed in 1799 by splitting Greenbrier County, and West Virginia was formed in 1863 by splitting Virginia. I think you have to list the marriages as taking place in the Rehoboth Church in Greenbrier County, Virginia. Indeed, that's where the marriages actually did take place as far as the parties to the marriage were concerned. The trick then becomes how best to show in a report that the Rehoboth Church is now in Monroe County, West Virginia, and how best to enter the data so that it transfers between various genealogy software, none of which handle the situation very well at all.

 

This is the world of places in which my genealogy mostly resides - in southern Appalachia in the USA. Names of places change. Boundaries change. Even after a new county is formed, records can continue to be recorded in the old county for quite a few years. A person can be born in a particular hospital and die many years later in the same hospital, and the name of the hospital can be very different for the birth event and for the death event. Names of cemeteries change. There does not seem to be a good standard genealogical way to bridge the gap between historical names, modern names, and geocodes. So people make up their own ways of doing it.

 

I work very hard to geocode down to the smallest possible detail - to the exact boundaries of a deed, for example, or to the exact location of a burial within a cemetery or the exact location of an old farm house or an old barn. So it's not that like I don't like geocoding. I like it very much and I spend a lot of time doing it. It's just that it's not a panacea. I think you still have to deal with both historical and modern names and that you have to relate both of them to each other and to geocoding.

 

Jerry



#10 Vyger

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:56 AM

Jerry, we come at this from different angles but there are possibilities for both, in this case I am more interested in the analytics and that these two people used the same axe albeit not the same complete version.

 

From the textual point of view I would and have suggested that Rootsmagic needs at least one additional field in the PlaceTable for Historical Place Name. That being said the Standardized and Abbreviated Place Names are currently LOST during Gedcom transfer so careful population of such additional fields is pretty pointless.

 

With 4(+) fields available for population the user is free to build a quality single Place record containing the Historical and other Place Names, complemented by Notes, Media and geocoded, something like a user built gazetteer containing there geographic research. Selection of a preferred Place component for reporting could easily be indicated for each field which is absent at present.

 

Now for the poison chalice, I would support some element of Standardization is beneficial for online matches whether that be the FS reference or other, whichever works best in the current genealogy climate. I would suggest the Standardized Place Field built from that reference database or entered manually by the user should be the field shared online for the purposes of matches. Although that would essentially be a one way share as services such as Ancestry would be seeking to return different Place Field information. In my opinion this important discussion always gets hung up on what users want to see in their reports and the data gets entered accordingly.

 

We both know the relative pointlessness of indication a point on earth for a Country. That being said if I was using a mapping utility to view a European family and saw a single push pin in USA it would raise my curiosity enough to check further. However I do believe the weighting of Auto geocoding and Manual geocoding needs to be recognized as different qualities within Rootsmagic by a flag in the table. I also believe for the purposes of further research it would be beneficial to also employ a quality flag which would be mainly against Place Details and could later be used as a filter. For example you may start with a farm which you know to be within 20 acres of a point and you could tag that geocoding as “medium confidence” or other, and at a later date you may refine and edit that information to “Exact” once the correct position is uncovered. Such confidence information could be used to produce different colour of push pins in what I expect to be an integrated Family Atlas in RM8. If I am correct in my expectations and the logic of that direction users will have the ability to create markers and restrict by timeline for easy visual scrutiny of events.

 

Returning to the current Gedcom loss of additional fields that issue would need to be dealt with first. I am no expert as regards the Gedcom Standard but the 0 _PLAC tag is RM Specific and as such the Std. and Abbrev Place Names should be catered for in transfer. I there is a reason that cannot be done, even within a proprietary trap then further discussion on an extra field for Historical Place Name is meaningless.


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#11 SomebodySmart

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 08:05 AM

I have some advice on my page at http://gedcomindex.com/prepare.html



#12 SomebodySmart

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 08:26 AM


For example, if I gave you coordinates 37.590000, -80.506667 as the preferred identifier of a place, how should it appear in a report? As Rehoboth Church, Greenbrier County, Virginia or as Rehoboth Church, Monroe County, West Virginia? It's the same building in either case, and the building hasn't moved. At least the name of the church itself has not changed so far.

 

Jerry

 

Saint Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church (Nashua, New Hampshire, U.S.A.) was closed by the Diocese of Manchester and the building was sold. It is now Saint Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church. If your Smiths were christened there when it was Catholic, this does not suggest any relationship to the Smiths who were baptized there while it is Orthodox. (They do total immersion, hence the different words here.)

 

One purpose of the place name is to record your family as best as you can; another is to find records and another is because the place name is so often a clue to some connection to the community. A separate field should be provided, and standardization rules developed, for transportation disasters because your McClanahans killed in that shipwreck are more likely related to my McClanahans killed in the same shipwreck, when they had no ties whatever to the community in the area.

 

One guy on my charts is Major John Nicholas Poto, U.S.A. who was killed in the crash of the Pan American Airways Yankee Clipper on 22 February 1943. It was only supposed to be a refueling stop. She crashed into the Tagus River and I don't care if it was within Lisbon city limits or not. The details reveal far more about him than the name of the place where he had no connection to the community. He had some bond with the other U.S.A. persons who were traveling to Europe. One passenger eventually married a pilot who rescued her. The survivors couldn't have asked for better service from the locals but wherever you go, there you are; and you get plucked out of the cold water onto a stinky fishing boat and they bring you to their hospital while babbling to each other in Portuguese. Poto's body was found and the autopsy was done by the Portuguese, who prepared a death record in Portuguese and provided a copy to the U.S. Embassy; so the place of death is relevant as well if you're looking for records.