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The Way LDS.org Visitors Find a Meetinghouse Online is Changing Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Tonioli Smith   
Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The maps feature on LDS.org is getting a facelift for a more friendly experience when looking for a meetinghouse or viewing your own branch, ward, or stake. The update introduces two new applications—Meetinghouse Locator and Ward Map.

While both applications will be simpler to use and mobile friendly, each version will also offer its own features.

The new Meetinghouse Locator will:

  • Improve search functionality.
  • Provide targeted options for finding a meetinghouse by location, time, language, and ward type.

 

The new Ward Map experience will:

  • Simplify map icons, symbols, and colors.
  • Provide a Google street view, information on household members, and callings.
  • Improve search functionality, including searching for a household by partial address, household name, Church calling, or a combination of the three.

Bruce Hall, product manager for LDS Maps, explained, “One of the most exciting improvements with this new release is that people who are searching for a ward or meetinghouse now have a lot more options to help them easily and quickly find what they are looking for. Users have reported that the complexity of the current LDS Maps caused confusion. This release is an attempt to help simplify the most used functionality.”

For those who still rely on the increased functionality like locating a bishops’ storehouse and many other facilities, Brother Hall stated that the original version of LDS Maps would continue to be available until a more user-friendly option is developed.

Hall emphasized that as the product team continues to prioritize feedback and improve the experience for maps users, they hope to better integrate map features with the LDS Tools app for mobile devices.

If you are interested in using the new maps experience, you can try the beta versions for Meetinghouse Locator and Ward Map.

We welcome your feedback as you explore the new applications.

 

Comments  

 
# Glen 2015-11-18 19:24
I would love, love, love the old ability to put family names on the map instead of just a dot.

Will there be a settings/customization dialog? I like the numbers on the old map that would indicate how many families were in that area if the map was zoomed out too far. That could be an option to turn on.

Are the colors temporary? The list of families in light blue and orange (if private) does not pass WCAG 1.4.3 color contrast ratio. They're difficult to read on a white background.

- glen walker
- software accessibility specialist
- www.sas.com/accessibility
 
 
# Kris A Barney 2015-11-20 10:36
Overall, it seems to work well, and would be of great use, except, location doesn't place dot in the right place always. It seems to have problems with directions. In several instances, for example an address of 541 E 300 N will be shown at 541 N 300 E. This makes things confusing when dealing with addresses in the old pioneer neighborhoods that are set up on a grid. A good example of the problem can be found in the Provo Utah East Stake. Many correct addresses show up outside of their ward boundries. Will this also send people to the wrong wards when they try to look up the right time and place to attend?
 
 
# Douglas Plautz 2015-11-21 16:23
Hey, Glen.

[No further comment.]
 
 
# Justin Krebs 2016-01-11 13:00
Glen, thanks for the feedback, we will pass it along for consideration.
 
 
# Dan Peay 2015-11-19 10:48
I agree with Glen's comment regarding family names on the map and the number...

The new UX has some great features that I love. Maybe it's just the beta, but my ward has 57 private households. I change it to the Stake view and there are 1,440 households and 57 private. So I'm not sure where the "private" is coming from. Nothing in my profile is private, yet my map shows me as private.

Great work. I'm liking it.
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-19 11:46
I noticed the same issue regarding private households as Dan did but I already had too many complaints in my first comment that I didn't want to be too negative :-)

We have 4 households that are private, and they show up as private on the new map, but there are an additional 15 private households showing up on the new map as well. I figured it was a beta and wouldn't mention it, but since Dan already did, I'll add to it.

Several months ago, I went through all the private addresses and contacted the individuals whether they wanted to remain private (they were all active families). They all wanted to be public so I fixed them. I'm wondering if the beta maps is using old information.
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-19 11:50
I like the "Zoom Map to Households Below". It showed one of our families way outside our boundaries. (The existing maps app showed the family in the right location.) So I took this opportunity to try the "change location" feature. Yesterday, it wasn't working but today it is.

There is one minor problem, though. I can click on the map to show the new household location, and I can zoom in and out and click on the map, but after I pan the map, the 'change location' floating dialog collapses so that I can only see the title of the dialog ('change location'). If I hover my mouse over it, it expands. After I was done relocating the household, I wasn't sure how to save the info because the dialog was collapsed. I happen to hover over it and the SAVE button appeared.
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-19 11:51
BTW, is this the right forum for our beta testing comments?

Is there a list of features that we should *not* expect to work in the beta? I don't want to spend time testing something that you already know isn't implemented yet.

I'd also be happy to help with any accessibility issues you want to address.
 
 
# Sharon A. Kienholz Linville 2015-11-19 17:27
Will this be only accessible thru church members? I would prefer not to have all my information posted for the world to see. Have had some bad things and relocated because of it.
 
 
# Joseph P Spitzenberger 2015-11-20 10:58
Sharon, sorry, this is slightly off topic - about 40+ yrs ago I took a good friend from MN to TX to visit her parents on my way to CO to rock climb with friends. Today, my mind does not always work for me to remember names of my friends. I thanks Father for His tender mercies. After seeing your post, I recalled her name as Sharon Linville. Probably not you, but I thank you for posting and helping me to recall past good memories. Joseph Spitzenberger
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-19 17:45
Sharon, I don't think the security/privacy of the application is changing. It'll be just like the current maps app. Anyone can search for a meeting house location but only members can login to see ward households, and even then, you're limited to just the wards in your stake. You won't be able to look at my household info.
 
 
# Justin Krebs 2016-01-11 13:06
Sharon, Glen is correct. Your personal information is only visible to members of your ward or stake. In addition, you can adjust your privacy settings for what is shown. This article provide more info: https://www.lds.org/help/support/editing-your-profile.
 
 
# Bradley R. Anderson 2015-11-19 17:56
I Would also love the option to See the Last/Family Name instead of a Dot. Maybe even the House Number so as to print a ward map to hand out to new members.
I know, I know, this is such a Utah Ward request but.....
Thanks, nice work, keep it coming!
 
 
# Julie A Pond 2015-11-19 18:05
I tried this on my IPhone. The directory information had no closing X to remove it from covering the map. When I got it to move down it popped back up over the dots. Since it was so cumbersome I won't play again until it is out of beta.
 
 
# Penney Weyrauch 2015-11-19 18:15
I like the added feature of ward/stake boundary. It would be nice to still have more than a dot without clicking onto each one. I didn't have any problems with the information available on the other site.
 
 
# Samuel Bradshaw 2015-11-19 18:19
Since there is some integration with Google Maps, it'd be nice to be able to link to Google Local to add a review for your meetinghouse.
 
 
# William D Johnston 2015-11-19 19:08
It would be great if once you are in the map you could hit a link to take you to home. Off the Wasatch front that is really needed, wards are big enough address aren't readily identifiable.
 
 
# Brian Dwight Haskell 2015-11-19 20:16
Will this help in moving and receiving membership records?
Our ward is still receiving many membership records that are not in our ward boundaries.
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-19 20:30
William, I'm not sure I understand your request. I don't work for the church. I'm just a ward clerk on the east coast, but I'm curious what you're asking for. Have you tried the "zoom map to households below" link? It's above the list of families. It will restore the zoom status of the map so that the entire ward fits in the window.
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-19 20:32
Brian, when I move records out, after I type in the new address, the website takes care of choosing the new ward. If there are multiple choices, for example, multiple languages or a YSA ward, then you can choose the ward to send it to, but if it's just a family ward, then only that one will be listed. I wouldn't think this new map app would change how a clerk sends a record since they're different websites. They both might use the same backend to look up an address and meetinghouse, though.
 
 
# Richard Max Nelson 2015-11-19 20:49
The links for the betas of maps and meeting locator do not work for me.

404 Not Found: Requested route ('beta-maps.app.lds.org') does not exist.
 
 
# Jeff Gomez 2015-11-19 21:21
It would be nice if the links weren't dead. I'm also seeing the "404 Not Found: Requested route ('beta-maps.app.lds.org') does not exist." message, signed in and not signed in.
 
 
# Gary DeMille 2015-11-19 22:22
Building Locator map worked well for me, Ward Map did not work properly. No dots on any homes, just zoomed to ward boundary area. The Stake zoomed out to all of Utah (I am in Eagle Mountain), and I got the following error message when you click on a "directions" icon:
HTTP Status 403 - Invalid Authentication Token
type Status report
message Invalid Authentication Token
description Access to the specified resource has been forbidden.
 
 
# Rob Wingate 2015-11-20 05:12
As a software developer who has created several Google maps applications, if it were me, I might change the "Give us a moment..." label in Ward Maps to "Loading..." or "Loading households..." or something similar.

As a stake clerk in a stake that has tons of visitors calling the stake office to find a meetinghouse (Disney World is in our boundary), I'm glad you are separating and simplifying the functionality! I hope the Meetinghouse Locator will be accessible from an easy-to-remember URL :)

Thank you
 
 
# Rick Sidwell 2015-11-20 05:59
I looked up an address in the Logan, Utah area, and one of the units listed was the "Temple Boulevard 2nd Branch", listed as "English". According to cdol, that unit is Mandarin.
 
 
# Christopher Jon Hill 2015-11-20 07:02
To those who have asked, I'm not sure if this is the proper place for commenting on bugs however in any bug report it would be helpful to state (at a minimum) what operating system, browser and what versions of each you are operating or trying to access the map with.
 
 
# Jeff Gomez 2015-11-20 09:03
Sure, if this were an IT-based communication (however, this was advertised through the Church email to all subscribers).
There is a failure mode here, defect if you will, where there is no incident management link on this page anywhere. If the link doesn't work, then how do you report a bug that takes you nowhere?
This is the only knowable place to communicate an embarrassing dead link issue (I tried it on Windows 10 Pro November 2015 edition using IE 11, Chrome 44, Firefox latest version, and they all failed giving the same 404 message, which is server side), unfortunately this is the only forum to provide it on.
I hope ICS takes placing a bug tracker link onto pages like this so comments don't become the bug tracker in the future.
Having been working with ICS & PSD on website projects, this needs to be something to be considered for a global audience, especially in a public beta.
 
 
# Rick Sidwell 2015-11-20 07:58
In the Ward Map application, I like the way the dots look in the old version (a bit smaller, with numbers), but I prefer the way they work in the new version (clicking a dot lists the represented households rather than zooming in, which is really annoying when multiple households reside in the same house). Also, in the new version, the dots don't quite scale the same as the map; multiple dots are often merged into one even at a scale where separate dots would show on the map without overlap.
 
 
# Gary Stringham 2015-11-20 13:55
Nice. I have used this when traveling to show up for church elsewhere. A few times I show up on stake conference Sunday and show up at the wrong time and/or building. I don't know how this would be indicated on the map but it's something to think about.
 
 
# Glen 2015-11-20 14:18
Gary, speaking as a ward clerk, it is my responsibility to have MLS up to date with my ward meeting time. The meeting time was recently added to LCR so I can now update it via the website instead of directly on the church computer. (MLS is the software that runs on the local church computer and LCR is a website version of that for ward clerks.)

So if you end up going to a ward at the wrong time, it's typically the ward clerk's fault.

As far as stake conferences, since those aren't "registered" anywhere, I'm not sure how you can avoid them. I think the best you can do is call. When you find a meeting house, it'll list either the clerk's office phone number or the bishop's phone number.
 
 
# Fred Rigby 2015-11-20 21:34
I'm a counselor in a YSA ward and I agree with many that I'd like to see a number of households on the dot. It would also be nice to see a tool tip when you hover over the dot as well as opening a pop up window when clicking.

It would also be helpful to have an additional field to enter in a location in the building for meetings. In my case, our Sacrament meeting starts at 9:30 and since there are two wards that meet in the building, we meet in the south chapel and another ward meets in the north chapel at the same time in the same building.
 
 
# Marianna J. Martindale 2015-11-21 05:25
I was playing around with it on mobile (Android, chrome) and, overall I'm super excited about being able to search by specialty ward, and it basically did what I wanted it to, but there were a couple issues. Sometimes the search results box was bigger than the screen with no way to scroll to the bottom. Also, the feedback form didn't work at all: I tried to click on the text box to type and it thought I was clicking on the map behind it and got rid of the feedback box and searched for that location.
 
 
# Michael R. Glatfelter, Jr. 2015-11-21 23:07
How do I fix errors on the map, some of the households are not where they are suppost to be.
 
 
# Samuel Bradshaw 2015-11-21 23:28
Quoting Michael R. Glatfelter, Jr.:
How do I fix errors on the map, some of the households are not where they are suppost to be.

I think only bishopric members and clerks can edit the locations of the households. You may be able to edit your own, as well.
 
 
# Michael R. Glatfelter, Jr. 2015-11-22 00:30

I think only bishopric members and clerks can edit the locations of the households. You may be able to edit your own, as well.

I am the Ward Clerk
 
 
# Sandro Luiz Martins 2015-11-24 04:37
Greetings from BrasiL_
Here, Im Making Long Trips, Flying ALL Country & That is Why This Resource is Great in Help-Me Finding Stakes & Others Around The Globe (That Reach My Arms) But Soon, I'LL Be Using For InternationaL Places. Props To This! Congrats & ThankYO0ou ALL!
 
 
# Glen 2015-12-11 14:26
Is the beta no longer available?

404 Not Found: Requested route ('beta-maps.app.lds.org') does not exist.

:-(
 
 
# Tim 金龙Λ̊™ Riker 2015-12-11 14:48
An upgrade of our internal systems has affected some test sites. It looks like this is one of those. I expect it will get fixed and return online soon.
 
 
# John C Perry 2016-01-04 07:17
Any plans in the near future to add Stake Conference date/time feature, this is especially useful in my area where we have numerous visitors in the summer months?
 
 
# William Thomas McCombs 2016-01-09 09:56
1st let me say I like what your doing with the new map system, simpler and easier to use!

After seeing the Tech video on the new map system I have a concern:

I hope you are not eliminating the fields in the Map data base that contains Special Needs & Emergency Response Leader data (see LDS Map help 5.15 Emergency Response Categories). I have worked with several Stakes & Coordinating Councils in Florida, Tennessee, Nevada and Idaho, training EPS specialists, Leaders & Clerks how to use LDS Maps to list Special Needs & Skills that Leaders can access during a disaster. The advantage has been data can be easily updated and becomes part of the perminante record. Special needs/skills can be updated but don't usually go away. When I was Florida, we spent weeks gathering information and entering it into the Map database. I don't want see all that work lost.
 
 
# Glen 2016-01-09 11:04
Quoting William Thomas McCombs:
(see LDS Map help 5.15 Emergency Response Categories)


Where is that help located? I looked at https://www.lds.org/help/support/applications/lds-maps?lang=eng but couldn't find section numbers. I looked on the wiki too but it points back to this same URL.
 
 
# Glen 2016-01-09 11:16
Quoting Glen:
Quoting William Thomas McCombs:
(see LDS Map help 5.15 Emergency Response Categories)


Where is that help located? I looked at https://www.lds.org/help/support/applications/lds-maps?lang=eng but couldn't find section numbers. I looked on the wiki too but it points back to this same URL.


Found it, but it looks like an old URL. I can't find a way to get to this URL directly.

https://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDS_Maps_help/en#Emergency_response_categories

I can get to http://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDS_Maps, but then it doesn't have a way to get to the emergency response info.
 
 
# Justin Krebs 2016-02-23 17:08
In support of the Church’s data privacy policy, this functionality has been removed in the new Ward Map application: https://www.lds.org/maps/directory and will soon be disabled in Classic LDS Maps.
If you would like to preserve the information you can do the following:
• Sign-on to LDS.org
• Go to Classic LDS Maps: https://classic.lds.org/maps
• Select “My Ward & Stake”
• Select “Download” shown in the left pane
• Select the option to include confidential information
• Select Download

The system will download a CSV file that can be imported into Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet application.

You can also create custom lists within the LDS Tools app to keep track of these individuals. We plan to add custom lists in the Church Directory and Ward Map on LDS.org in the future.
 
 
# William Thomas McCombs 2016-01-09 09:57
Part 2 Continued:
For example: In my Florida Stake as Stake EPS, I updated & downloaded special needs/skills lists every 6 months for Ward Leaders to use during the emergencies/disasters that can occur every 3 months (floods, fires, tornado, hurricianes). When I recently moved to Idaho, my data transferred with me. As the Stake EPS here, I'm currently training Wards how to record special needs/skills into their systems.

It would be even more helpful for individual members to enter their own information (with outside access only to Ward/Stake Leadership).

Maybe the data can be ported over to the new map data base.

Thanks for the good work you are doing.

Tom
 
 
# William Thomas McCombs 2016-01-09 12:04
Here is the link:
https://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDS_Maps_help/en#Emergency_response_categories

It looks like it was last updated 2012. I have it book marked when I do training.
 
 
# Glen 2016-01-11 17:00
I wonder if special needs and e-prep is being phased out since you can't get directly to that help anymore. That help page talks about printing lists filtered by category but that feature doesn't exist on the map anymore. The categories don't show up with you download an XLS file either.
 
 
# William Thomas McCombs 2016-01-12 11:28
I checked special needs/skills a few months ago when I moved to Idaho and it was working. I know you have to be a clerk and a member of the Bishopric to access it. Putting special needs/skills on the map system is part of our Stake Plan approved by the Stake Council. I am training Wards EPS's Thursday evening.

Do you know who and what number can I call to discuss this?
 
 
# Glen 2016-01-12 11:51
What do you define by "working"? I can bring up the family details, click on 'categories', select one of the options, and save it just fine. I can then see the special icon next to their name in the family list on the left.

However, the help page you referred to earlier says you can filter the family list to just categories. That feature doesn't seem to be there anymore.

Same with printing. The help says you can filter what's printed but that's not there either.

I'm not a church employee, just a ward clerk. You can certainly call or email me if you want to do that. If you login to the the LDS tech forum (https://tech.lds.org/forum/) using your LDS account you should be able to search for members and send me a private message. I post items on the tech forum via my 'sasgrw' id so search for that. I didn't want to post my email address in the comments here since this is a public forum and anyone can read it.
 
 
# Timothy Raymond Pereira 2016-02-09 21:02
I think there should be GPS coordinates for meeting houses and temples. Not all countries have smart phones; some use GPS units. I was in Europe last summer and couldn't find a meeting house and could not find a temple based on the address. A GPS location would allow input in many different GPS brands.
 
 
# Alva Lynn Snow 2016-03-13 21:15
I hope there will still be a way to click on a chapel sight or just off from it and get GPS coordinates to be able to enter it into a GPS with coordinates.
 
 
# Justin Krebs 2016-03-15 12:05
Alva,

You can still click anywhere on the map to get the GPS coordinates of that spot. Thanks!
 
 
# Scott Seegmiller 2016-05-22 14:40
I need the URL for the old Maps, it disappeared over the last two days.
 
 
# Samuel Bradshaw 2016-05-22 16:11
Quoting Scott Seegmiller:
I need the URL for the old Maps, it disappeared over the last two days.

The old Maps tool is no longer available.
 
 
# Justin Krebs 2016-05-23 08:27
Scott,

The classic LDS Maps website will still be available and supported as we work to improve the wide array of functionality it provides. The URL for Classic is: https://classic.lds.org/maps/.
 

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