can you filter by organization?

Discussions about the Maps Tool on lds.org.
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sasgrw
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can you filter by organization?

Postby sasgrw » Sun May 13, 2012 9:48 am

I haven't been able to find this feature but perhaps it's being considered for a future version. It'd be nice to filter the map so that you only see the households for the EQ or HP or RS or YM, etc. Similar to what you can do in the directory.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun May 13, 2012 12:05 pm

That would be a nice feature, but keep in mind that the authoritative roster of who belongs to what group is not kept at the CHQ level. So the system would have to guess as to who belonged to YM/PH or YW/RS or EQ/HP. Much like it currently does with the directory.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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sasgrw
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Postby sasgrw » Mon May 14, 2012 3:58 am

I'd be ok with a 'guess'. The directory does a decent job and it'd be nice to see that applied to a map. For now I use batchgeo.com

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Postby RossEvans » Mon May 14, 2012 4:57 am

sasgrw wrote:I'd be ok with a 'guess'. The directory does a decent job and it'd be nice to see that applied to a map. For now I use batchgeo.com


If you are a leader or clerk with some basic database skills, and thus have access to the MLS exports files, it is also possible to use those in either of two ways: Link this MLS export data to the geocoded CSV exports, or just use the MLS exports themselves and geocode them yourself by some external means instead of relying on the maps.lds.org geocoding. Since I have an external geocoded database derived from MLS, I can slice and dice the membership map by just about custom query. Such functionality isn't there yet in the online app, but maybe much of it will be possible someday.

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Postby sasgrw » Mon May 14, 2012 5:28 am

RossEvans wrote: Link this MLS export data to the geocoded CSV


So from MLS, export the member data.
From the maps app, export the geocoded data.
Then merge/link them together, presumably with household name as the key?

Once I have that, what do you use to get them back onto a map? I mentioned batchgeo.com, which I can continue to use but was curious what others might use.

And if everyone has to do this work just to see where the EQ members live or the RS members, it'd be nice if that ability was built-in to the maps so we're not all duplicating efforts.

RossEvans wrote:Since I have an external geocoded database derived from MLS, I can slice and dice the membership map by just about custom query.


Do you have a web interface to your DB and allow setting filters or where clauses?

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Postby RossEvans » Mon May 14, 2012 7:37 am

sasgrw wrote:So from MLS, export the member data.
From the maps app, export the geocoded data.
Then merge/link them together, presumably with household name as the key?


The household name cannot work as a reliable key because the format and content of household names online do not always match those in MLS. The last time I looked, which was in the prior version of maps.lds.org, the downloads available to unit leaders included the member record number, which is reliable but takes a little transformation work. Absent that, the address fields themselves should be usable, since the only data elements you really need from the maps download are the lat/lon coordinates, and those relate to the addresses.

sasgrw wrote:Once I have that, what do you use to get them back onto a map? I mentioned batchgeo.com, which I can continue to use but was curious what others might use.


Once you have geocoded lat/lon data, there are lots of ways to make maps. It is not so easy to do for free without resorting to somebody's third-party web site, which is problematical because of policy guidance that constrains the use of such sites to publish your maps. But other tools exist for interactive desktop or client-side viewing. Google Earth, for example. Or some moderately priced software that basically just needs to display maps. Or more sophisticated GIS applications that marry geographic objects to integrated databases. Or custom scripts that use online map-display tools from Google or various other resources. Some methods are better than others depending on the requirements of the task at hand, and some methods take more skill and work than others.

sasgrw wrote:And if everyone has to do this work just to see where the EQ members live or the RS members, it'd be nice if that ability was built-in to the maps so we're not all duplicating efforts.


Yup. That is a obviously true for most common functionality. Hopefully most of this will get built online. But I believe there will always be a need for extended custom functionality to meet local needs. For example, I do not expect that the maps app online will ever provide the functionality I need monthly to generate fast-offering routes and custom map printouts that meet our bishopric's particular requirements.

sasgrw wrote:Do you have a web interface to your DB and allow setting filters or where clauses?


No. The MLS-export-based database is not on the web. It typically runs on a desktop. The software to build the DB from the MLS export files is available for free download. Note that there is not an end-user-friendly front end application to this database. It's all pure SQL. But since you know what a "where clause" is, you should be able to use it to write your own custom queries. Many common reports, such as the organization reports you suggested at the top of this thread, are built in as SQL views. My database distribution does not include integration of the downloaded CSV from maps.lds.org, and I guess I could do that if there was sufficient interest. But I have implemented that ad hoc extension for myself when necessary for certain purposes.

The MLS database distribution also does not include any geocodng functionality, which is a separate issue. Either trust the lat/lon content from maps.lds.org, which often has its own set of accuracy problems online, or use the external geocoding solution of your choice. I notice that you already use batchgeo.com, which is generally pretty good because it is based on Google but can include some location errors whose error status is known to Google but hidden from the batchgeo.com user. For me, the choice of which lat/lon data source to use comes down to trusting the content. Since I happen to have a homegrown geocoding solution that is usable only for my local jurisdiction, and I know this to be significantly more reliable than what I could download from maps.lds.org, I choose to use my own geocoding. If your clerks are very good at the manual geocoding maintenance required by the maps.lds.org site, you would probably be better downloading that content.


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