Jump to content


Photo

Geocoding


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 baluo

baluo

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts

Posted 05 March 2020 - 11:52 PM

Hi,

 

I have tried to work a bit more systematic with place names -- only to run into a number of problems:

-- I don't seem to be able to assign geocodes to a place name:  adding them manually (eg 8°14'32.8"E) leaves the fields red, and once I click ok the codes are reset to 0000 and are deleted when reopening the dialogue (in most cases)

-- maps for places geocoded automatically lead to my standard location map -- irrespective for which continent

-- automatic geocoding seems to work, but apparently not for non-Anglo countries.

-- For curiosity reasons, I clicked the "GeoCode" button to the left of the Lat/long fields with data automatically entered (but red).  This seems to delete the preset code  (e.g. for Allegheny (historical), Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States) and I can not recall it again:  The "GeoCode" button initiates the geocodes to be re-entered, but when I click ok, they are being deleted,

 

Did I miss a program setting?  I use the most up-to-date RM7 version.  Many thanks for your advice.  G

 



#2 Renee Zamora

Renee Zamora

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 8780 posts

Posted 06 March 2020 - 08:09 AM

On the Edit Place screen I usually enter the current name so it will GeoCode and enter that name in the Standardized place name field. Then I go back to the Place field and add the historical place name. 


Renee
RootsMagic

#3 TomH

TomH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6444 posts

Posted 06 March 2020 - 09:20 AM

Entering coordinates in decimal format may be more reliable. What is your locale setting in Windows? That may have an effect.

Tom user of RM7630 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.


#4 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3551 posts

Posted 07 March 2020 - 01:21 PM

-- I don't seem to be able to assign geocodes to a place name:  adding them manually (eg 8°14'32.8"E) leaves the fields red, and once I click ok the codes are reset to 0000 and are deleted when reopening the dialogue (in most cases)

 

Sadly there is no easy way to say this but Rootsmagic is woefully bad at handling anything in respect of mapping or geocoding, despite plentiful help and enhancement ideas from numerous users over the past 10 years things have not improved.

 

Renee Zamora suggests entering the modern Place Name in the Place field and the Historical Place Name in the Standardized Place Name field which is a good suggestion, EXCEPT regardless of whether the place is geocoded manually or recognized by RM for Auto Geocoding the Standardized Place Name and Abbreviated Place Name are LOST on Gedcom transfer without warning so the same should be true of Drag and Drop.

 

Rootsmagic have been aware of this serious data loss issue for quite some time now where users could potentially lose a lot of carefully formatted and researched data entry and, to date, have done NOTHING.

 

One of the problems you highlight is simple to understand at a glance and whilst it’s not your fault you are wrong to assume any modicum of programmed intelligence behind the scenes with regards to mapping. Firstly Rootsmagic should have the programmed ability to accept and parse 99% of pasted coordinates in a single action, despite 10 years of asking, IT DOES NOT. Rootsmagic should have the programmed ability to accept your example paste and convert it to its required format, IT DOES NOT. Rootsmagic should have the programmed ability to accept pasted geocode formats from international users where the comma is used as a delimiter instead of a period, IT DOES NOT. Rootsmagic should have the ability to allow users to lift geocoding from the embedded map, IT DOES NOT.

 

I can see at a glance that you simply need to add a space to your example to make it understandable to Rootsmagic so change 8°14'32.8"E to 8°14'32.8" E. That should have long since been programmed by Rootsmagic development and would have saved you and others a lot of wasted time and confusion.

 

I can only apologise on behalf of Rootsmagic development that you need to format and massage your data into a format the program understands. That lack of simple programming behind the scenes despite being highlighted repeatedly over 10 or more years is unforgivable and leaves Rootsmagic V7 Mapping firmly in the 20th century with all other programs outperforming it in this regard.


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

User of Family Historian 7.0, Rootsmagic 7.6.3

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#5 ftipple

ftipple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 08 March 2020 - 11:49 AM

I have no problem adding Geocodes, whether manually or by copying and pasting from an external source, but I always have the space that Vyger mentions

 

I have noticed, though, that if I enter the code in decimal format RM changes it to degrees, minute and seconds



#6 baluo

baluo

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts

Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:16 AM

Many thanks for your replies, and it does not sound too good ...

 

@Rene

I have followed your advice, but the problem does not seem to be the correct naming of the place rather than RM's handling of geo-codes: A cross check with Google maps shows me that the GeoCode Button triggers the right codes, and in the format including spaces, but the lat/long fields remain _red_. and once I close and re-open the place edit dialogue, these manual code entries have been deleted. 

In fact, at all those place records I have checked and that do hold geo codes, the two fields are marked red.

Once I activate the GeoCode button, it replaces the codes correctly, but with the effect described above -- I'll lose them once I close the dialogue.

 

Also, irrespectively of the the code details, the "Online map" button opens to the same regional map (here Adelaide, South Australia).

 

> decimal format

I have tried that, it will immediately be changed into the "other" format, with spaces.  But after closing the dialogue, they are lost again.

 

> local setting

German for use in Australia and a US / international key board (as a German, I currently live in AU)

 

> Loss of data in gedcom transfer

This, however, would be a major issue --- I am not nearly that far yet, but it would frustrate me indeed without end.

 

 

So, as it sound -- this leaves me without being able to use the place edit function.

 

 

P.S.

I have just for the first time discovered Tools > Mapping.  Here, interestingly, the map shows the correct place, but no other functions (e.g. selecting a geo-code and copying it into the place names dialogue.  Why there are two separate dialogues is beyond my perception.  Would that not better be one unit of functions? 

And, by the way, in both cases a Bing map is being opened -- either in my browser (does only show Adelaide) or within RM.


Edited by baluo, 11 March 2020 - 02:30 AM.


#7 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3551 posts

Posted 11 March 2020 - 04:24 AM

Many thanks for your replies, and it does not sound too good ...

 

Sadly all things Mapping orientated have suffered badly by lack of development over the years to the point I now use other Genealogy software but still have high hopes for RM8.

 

Whilst I cannot understand RMs refusal to accept properly formatted latitude and longitude entries I can tell you that in Mapping where geocoding is missing RM will send off your Text notation to Bing for search reasons so works slightly differently.

 

Since you have only discovered the Mapping UI you might find my short analytical video below useful to some of your workflow. I can inform you Rootsmagic are very well aware of all these issues and deficiencies as I have personally highlighted them to development over many years. If the required enhancements to Mapping do not appear in Rootsmagic 8 then the only conclusion is that development do not see value or care for those who want to map their research.

 

https://youtu.be/qsgG8ch4BHU


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

User of Family Historian 7.0, Rootsmagic 7.6.3

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#8 baluo

baluo

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts

Posted 11 March 2020 - 06:13 AM

Thanks, Vyger, for your hints and consolations :-)
 

I have watched most of your videos now, and many thanks for your efforts to explain issues and workarounds ...  I do really hope that RM8 solves some of these many issues that you and others have listed ...

 

> Bing

I just gave it a try with another family database, but have the same general program related issues (i.e. the place names dialogue does not hold the geocodes, and the fields are marked red). 

 

Also I have now noted that Bing is quite "generous" with locating places via RM7, at least for Germany:  Try Dahme (Mark), Brandenburg, Germany (or, standardized, without the "(Mark)").  While the online Bing Maps finds the place correctly, via RM it is located deep in Saxony.   Darwin, for that matter, is located somewhere off the coast in the Timor Sea. 

 

@Renee:

Would you or your colleagues have any idea why the place names dialogue in my RM7 version does not hold the geocodes, and how to change it?  Thanks.



#9 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3551 posts

Posted 11 March 2020 - 09:40 AM

Thanks, Vyger, for your hints and consolations :-)
 

I have watched most of your videos now, and many thanks for your efforts to explain issues and workarounds ...  I do really hope that RM8 solves some of these many issues that you and others have listed ...

 

@Renee:

Would you or your colleagues have any idea why the place names dialogue in my RM7 version does not hold the geocodes, and how to change it?  Thanks.

 

Thank you, in the past I have tried to help Rootsmagic development, I am development driven and no cheerleader for Rootsmagic, so I would like to believe better for development than those who are. I am primariy using another program which has long since overcome these mapping deficiencies present in Rootsmagic and is also much better at mining data in my large database, the only downside is I can't add enhanced imformation to Place Details which I used extensively.

 

Both RM and the other program are due upgrades this year, I am in no rush for either but intent on making a single platform choice for my future research after that. I don't see any real point in further RM specific videos at present apart from maybe using RM as a base for some general research pointers. Any future videos will likely compare packages as it's a minefield for new users and the restricted evaluation versions don't give a true perspective as regards what is and is not possible, if you are subscribed to my channel you should receive notifications.

 

Rootsmagic should be opening up around now and maybe Renee with her global support knowledge can shine some more light on the specific problem you are encountering.

 

FYI, Rootsmagic version 8 will be using OpenStreetMaps for their mapping UI, the other software I am preferring uses that provider and I sincerely hope Rootsmagic development embrace the full possibilities for geocoding and mapping rather that some half hearted attempt, over my many years with Rootsmagic I have often heard "that's something we can return to in the future", the days of believing that are long gone. So I would forget Bing if you are intending to upgrade and concentrate there for your searches, I plugged in your example and the image below shows the typical detail returned.

 

openstreetmap.PNG


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

User of Family Historian 7.0, Rootsmagic 7.6.3

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#10 zhangrau

zhangrau

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1591 posts

Posted 11 March 2020 - 01:37 PM

I'm a long-time RM user (back to FO days). I currently do NOTHING with geocoding and mapping, although I'd be totally thrilled if RM8 shows dramatic improvements here.

 

Why don't I use geocoding? Because I am quite displeased with the "place name standards" in RM's County Check, in Ancestry, and in FamilySearch. I do NOT use Place Details, and I insist on keeping my Place List clear (as I've mentioned in other posts) by including descriptors such as Parish, Township, County, etc. I also include regional designations for some countries, and continents for everywhere except North America. Yes, my Place Names are often 6-8 levels deep (blowing away the 3-4 levels used in the "standards").

 

RM, currently, can't seem to make heads-or-tails out of my Place List. Ergo, no geocoding.



#11 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3551 posts

Posted 12 March 2020 - 02:46 PM

This is largely a repeat of many previous discussions for the benefit of anyone new to mapping. Whilst geocoding (the pin in the map) is the only precise notation of a site it is not yet adopted by many users or research providers. Outside of geocoding the various styles, preferences, “County” or no “County”, “USA” or “United Stes of America” use Place Details or concatenate them with the Place is really a moot debate. Rootsmagic users appear to circle a deficient ‘standard’ mainly due to the difficulties of manual geocoding within the program.

 

Regardless of all the styles, concatenation or reporting preferences, if your pin in the map is very close to mine in the same time frame then we should maybe look for a connection.

 

From a research perspective the benefits of robust geographic recording varies from Country to Country, the availability of information to hand and to some extent the reliability of land divisions over time. The user and researcher must also gain some benefit from investing this additional work apart from simply visualising little dots on a map and that may not be realistic for a lot of users. The repeating discussions regarding what is the correct way are pointless as the co-ordinates of the Fort, Castle, Farm, Hospital or Cemetery are the same regardless of how researcher a, b or c name that site/location and geocoding also transcends language variances.

 

My research in Ireland benefits greatly from geographic analysis and this is supported by a land division system which has remained largely unchanged for many hundreds of years, however I am fully aware from limited USA research that is not the case in that territory. However from the USA records I have examined I can say they do compare favourably to UK & Ireland records in terms of detail to help prove family links and that adds further weight to geographic importance this side of the Atlantic.

 

Where a person came from in Ireland is historically noted at the Townland and there are ~65 thousand Townlands in Ireland contained within Parishes and therefore the names frequently repeated. That neatly leads me to The Standard the majority of RM users tend to dislike, I believe that standard is of Family Search origin, I find it very USA centric, inaccurate and sporadic in other countries and woefully bad in Ireland. So I was faced with a choice between skewing and misrepresenting my locations to fit a very poor RM standard simply to achieve Auto Geocoding or to create my own Ireland Standard which aligns with Ireland Place descriptions and manually geocode those locations myself, I chose the latter and I remain very happy with how it has helped progress my research.

 

Typically an Irish Place will be noted as a Townland name leaving the challenge to find which Parish it belongs to and the geographic location. More official records like land registry and census returns will note Townland, Parish, Barony, County like the Family Census return below;

 

proximity-census.png

 

The actual Parish of Ballyculter only cover an area 8.6 square miles in total or 5,471.2 acres and still contains 18 Townlands. Parishes often contain few Towns or major settlements and therefore would never be recognized by Rootsmagic Gazetteer and it’s a tall ask to ever expect such accuracy. Therefore I decided on the reliable land definition of the Civil Parish as my Place and the Townlands within as Place Details resulting in a Place print like below.

 

proximity-report.png

 

You can see that Patrick and Sarah both have events only a few years apart in both Strangford and Ferryquarter. If I prefixed the Place with the Place Detail that would create two distinct Place entries which, outside of geocoding, would have no direct association, these two Townlands are only 500m apart so certainly deserve to be associated within my database. Listing these visually would require Rootsmagic to provide an on screen hierarchical Place View which it does not. I can also see within the Parish a burial of Arthur De Grâce and with this name originating from French Huguenot a geographic family link still to be discovered.

 

You will see on the map below that the Townlands of Strangford and Ferryquarter are essentially the same geographic location, the difference between one location and the other could be as simply as a different building on the family farm, the Place print above associates these family events to my benefit.

 

proximity-townland.png

 

Whilst this Place related discussion has gone on endlessly without any real consensus Places and time frames are one of the more important research indicators and each user must adopt a system which primarily works best for them in their Country of research. Whilst the system I have adopted is not understood at all by Rootsmagic and the Family Search standard it is internationally understood in the genealogy community. Whilst the Irish Parish is internationally understood I believe prepending the Place Detail with Townland, Cemetery etc. would only serve to lessen the likelihood of online text Place matching.

 

The final graphic below is the Parish of Ballyculter in its entirety and for reference purposes only, as I previously stated is only covers 8.5 square miles in total area. Interestingly Rootsmagic version 8 appears to be adopting OpenStreetMap which is the source of these map copies, on the example above the dotted lines and ancient Townland boundaries. The other software I am currently preferring also uses OpenStreetMap, will usually resolve a Townland search, as it does not depend on a fixed Place reference such as Gazetteer, facilitates Drag2Map geocoding and provides a time slicer so mapping events can be visualized over time.

 

I do hope taking time to document an approach which has worked well for my research in Ireland may help other researchers reconcile their own Country peculiarities and decide on a system which works well for them in the future.

 

proximity-parish.png


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

User of Family Historian 7.0, Rootsmagic 7.6.3

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#12 John_of_Ross_County

John_of_Ross_County

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 699 posts

Posted 12 March 2020 - 06:33 PM

Even the 1940 US Census for rural areas in Ross County, Ohio, does not have easily identifiable locations.  There were no street numbers then, just Rural Routes without box numbers.  On the other hand, Columbus, Ohio, has street numbers and street names that can be located on DeLorme computer maps [wish they had not dropped the product], Bing, or Google..  However, the Interstate highway system in central Columbus has wiped out some of the old streets.

 

On the 1940 census, it is not obvious what route the census taker made for his/her rounds.  I know a handful of houses where families lived, but that does not help for the residents in between.



#13 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3551 posts

Posted 15 March 2020 - 06:21 PM

I confused that no one from Rootsmagic appears to have responded to baluo regarding the particular difficulties reported, maybe they have behind the scenes?

 

I have seen many of these geocoding difficulties reported by international users throughout the years which would make someone like baluo a perfect candicate for beta testing RM8 mapping.


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

User of Family Historian 7.0, Rootsmagic 7.6.3

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#14 baluo

baluo

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts

Posted 23 March 2020 - 04:49 AM

Hy Vyger and all,

many greetings from South Australia, now almost in lock down as well (borders internally and externally are closed, and so Cafés, restaurants and all social gathering places ...)

 

Which basically is the reason why I did not follow up on my initial requests, and I did not want to bother Renee and her colleagues to much, but I am disappointed, indeed.

 

I wish you all the best for the coming weeks, and please stay happy and healthy.  And many thanks for accepting me into your community and for you various assistance!  G



#15 ricko2001

ricko2001

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 39 posts

Posted 23 August 2020 - 03:08 PM

I'd like to add my hint for entering lat and lon into RM place details.

 

My main use case is to copy the coordinates from FamilySearch  https://www.familyse...esearch/places/

 

They are presented as a pair of decimal numbers.  e.g.  49.9434, 9.6266

 

My procedure is to select and copy to the clipboard both the coordinate numbers from the source location (web page) 

and then in FS

1- paste into the Latitude field.

2- hit backspace enough time to remove the second number and the comma after the first

3- paste into the Longitude field

4- ctrl-right arrow, hit backspace enough time to remove the first number

 

(I generally use crtl-arrow and other shortcuts to optimize)

 

I certainly agree with previous posts about how awkwardly RM handles spatial coordinates.



#16 austrian_genealogy

austrian_genealogy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts

Posted 17 December 2020 - 06:20 AM

 

> local setting

German for use in Australia and a US / international key board (as a German, I currently live in AU)

 

 

Baluo,

RootsMagic geocoding doesn't work with German (or French or Spanish or... ) Windows settings. You have to change your local settings to a country which uses decimal point and not decimal comma.



#17 ftipple

ftipple

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 17 December 2020 - 07:45 AM

Vyger,

 

I'm sure you know OpenStreetMap's site townlands.ie? I use it all the time for locating Irish geocodes. Very useful, and it links to Griffith's Valuation, and to the 1901 and 1911 censuses, and also links Logainm.ie the official placenames site (which in turn links to the NI place names site for places in the North).

 

There are some mistakes of course - misspellings, so that the link to Griifth leads nowhere, for example. But still a boon.

 

By the way, thanks for posting an example screen shot of your place entry (Ballyculter). I've been greatly exercised lately about how to improve my place entries, and your example is really helpful



#18 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3551 posts

Posted 17 December 2020 - 10:46 AM

I'd like to add my hint for entering lat and lon into RM place details.

 

My main use case is to copy the coordinates from FamilySearch  https://www.familyse...esearch/places/

 

I certainly agree with previous posts about how awkwardly RM handles spatial coordinates.

 

I must have missed you post above, it seems very simple to use but for me not as accurate as Openstreetmap and me choosing the point myself and doing the copy paste still a very good resource for many. However it does bring about an interesting observation and that is I always believed the flawed and partial Gazetteer that Rootsmagic relies on was of FS origin and preferred as it was within their control and comfort zones. The link you posted does geocode Belfast City with much better accuracy than RM Gazetteer, which sticks the pin somewhere in the hills, and also contains Portadown, Armagh which RM Gazetteer does not, there are many omissions?

 

I do hope RM drops this reliance on Gazetteer in the future as it has caused more problems that solutions imo. Even above in this thread Renee describes entering the modern Place Name to help RM geocode from a very blunt reference source and then changing it to the historical place name, are they both even the same? I often read of users entering a Place to suit Gazetteer rather than as the Place actually was but the overall problem here is that RM does not help the user geocode by dragging to the point on the map, as FH does, or selecting a point on the map, like FTM did over 10 years ago, this needs to be overcome otherwise Mapping with accurate Place names will never be widely adopted while these barriers exist.

 

By the way, thanks for posting an example screen shot of your place entry (Ballyculter). I've been greatly exercised lately about how to improve my place entries, and your example is really helpful

 

Thank you, I am well aware of the errors and omissions on Townlands.ie and I use it extensively. I don't differentiate between Ireland North and South as most of my research dates back further than 100 years and the Townland / Parish system remains unchanged to this day regardless of governance, I often feel sorry for our USA researchers as boundaries seem to change out there at the drop of a hat resulting to many of the objections to Mapping but then RM strives to be an International product and most historic countries have better continuity of boundary management.

 

I wrestled for some time within the confines of RM as to how I could best represent Places and Sites without making my place list a mess, wanting to keep it understood within the confines of search engines, facilitating the ability to extract reports on various geographic levels and maintaining the ability to visualize the geographic communities and families which invariable lived close together back then, I have settled on this format for Ireland;

 

Parish, Barony, County, Country with Townlands, Churches, Cemeteries contained as Place Details within the parish, you will see some results in the following graphics.

 

Every Country has its own specifics and once understood similar accurate recording systems can be devised, there is always the challenge as to how to record rural farm lands and cemeteries which have no attachment with modern day cities so we must look at the body of land they can best be contained in as the Place and work from there, you will see this with my cemeteries of Wayne County, PA where some of my cousins went. I could go further and represent these within the Townships but since there are not so many events County level works for me and these rural events.

 

Just as a footnote, did you know you can add sites to Openstreetmap? if you register for a free account you can define the borders of buildings and cemeteries which are often obscured by tree lines and not currently available to search results. There are various instructional videos on Youtube and I added the place on the link below in preparation for an instructional video which never happened, if these lock downs continue I may get to add the other sites I visited on a trip some years ago.

 

https://www.openstre...g/way/787249514

 

place-details-100-test.png

 

place-details-parish-graphic.png

 

place-details-wayne.jpg
 


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

User of Family Historian 7.0, Rootsmagic 7.6.3

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root