Ward Maps

Discussions about the Maps Tool on lds.org.
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kevandcan
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Ward Maps

Postby kevandcan » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:27 am

With all of the mapping mash-ups popping up, I couldn't help but think it'd be neat to have a map that showed where all of the members of a ward lived. I originally started a mash-up just for myself and was amazed to see how many members lived around me. I introduced it to my ward and the feedback was great. So a week or two ago I sat down to code up a version that could be used by anyone that wanted to. In the last week or so, I've had 100+ wards sign up and received very positive feedback. Is there any interest/efforts underway to put this type of functionality into the LDS.org ward/unit sites?

To see what I'm talking about, take a look at http://wardmap.theballfamily.org/intro.asp.

I'm willing to share my code base with folks on the LDS.org team if it might help. Thanks!

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:25 am

Very cool! I'll share your info with the people at the Church who are in charge of LUWS (Local Unit Web Site).

Tom

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lincles-p40
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Great Idea

Postby lincles-p40 » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:32 am

This is one of the better idea's i've seen in a long time. This would increase the usability of the member list in the ward website by a lot. I put my ward in and was impressed how well it worked. It was cool to get a feel for where every one lived.

Some ideas how else it could be used in combination with the ward websites:

I log into the ward site, click on a member, and get driving directions from my house to the members house. - This would especially be helpful for wards that are spread out.

Be able to create custom groups of members. For example, the Teachers Quorum Advisor could create a group for each fast offering route and print a map for each member of the quorum.

Lots of possibilities here - very good Idea

-Lincoln

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ihenpecked
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Postby ihenpecked » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:23 am

lincles wrote:This is one of the better idea's i've seen in a long time. This would increase the usability of the member list in the ward website by a lot. I put my ward in and was impressed how well it worked. It was cool to get a feel for where every one lived.

Some ideas how else it could be used in combination with the ward websites:

I log into the ward site, click on a member, and get driving directions from my house to the members house. - This would especially be helpful for wards that are spread out.

Be able to create custom groups of members. For example, the Teachers Quorum Advisor could create a group for each fast offering route and print a map for each member of the quorum.

Lots of possibilities here - very good Idea

-Lincoln

We struggled with creating a usable church map for emergency preparedness. This included several techies as well.
This took me five minutes and worked like a charm. I am in the process of pitching it to the bishop. Very well done.

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kevandcan
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Postby kevandcan » Thu Feb 01, 2007 6:53 am

Thanks for the kind words. I've received about 50 emails from the 100+ wards signed up thus far, and it seems like the majority of users really like this at a leadership level.

aaron.mosiah.curtis
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Question for Tom

Postby aaron.mosiah.curtis » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:47 am

I know these forums aren't for church policy -- I just want to make sure I understand something. With these mapping tools, we're submitting ward membership data to an external (albeit apparently secure) server. Is this basically one of those cases of "if the Bishop says it's okay, then we can use it" kind of resources, pending any formal policy guidelines from Church Offices?

Thanks,

Aaron

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:00 am

Aaron wrote:I know these forums aren't for church policy -- I just want to make sure I understand something. With these mapping tools, we're submitting ward membership data to an external (albeit apparently secure) server. Is this basically one of those cases of "if the Bishop says it's okay, then we can use it" kind of resources, pending any formal policy guidelines from Church Offices?

Thanks,

Aaron

We are having discussions internally today about this issue and I'll post more when I know more.

Tom

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WelchTC
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Ward Maps

Postby WelchTC » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:35 am

I've had discussions today with managers from various departments within the Church. It was decided within these meetings that we respectfully ask you not to upload your ward files to this web site for the following reason.
  1. The Church does not want other non-Church operated web sites to be aggregating data from various units around the world. When you upload your whole ward into this site, all members names and addresses are put on a central server not maintained by the Church. This data is to be kept private and confidential and although Kevin has every good intention to do so, we do not want to create exposure to him or to the Church for a breach of security or accuracy of this data.
  2. The Church has had a long standing policy that your use of the data exported from MLS or LUWS be kept securely and for your personal or private use. For example, if I download the CVS file to my computer for my use, I need to keep that file (or my computer) secure from others. Since this data, once uploaded to the site, could be shared within your ward to anyone who knows the username and password, it could easily be abused.
What Kevin has done with his site is very cool. We would like to add this functionality to the LUWS and because of Kevin's great work, we are organizing a team to understand if and how quickly we could add this type of capability to our site. We have asked for Kevin's help since he was the original author of the code.

We DO NOT WANT to stifle creativity and innovation. We want to encourage people to develop applications that benefit members and the Church. However, we also want to ensure that we follow policies and guidelines that the Church has implemented. To that end, we ask that no one create a web site that asks for people to upload their membership data that was previously exported from MLS or LUWS. If you have a web site that asks individuals to input data on their own, we currently do not have a policy about that.

I am working with the top managers at the Church on developing a more comprehensive guidance document that I will share with you once it is complete. This document will help you know what you can or cannot do and what steps you must take when working with Church data. Until then, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to private message me.

Thank you for your support

Tom

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kevandcan
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Application removed

Postby kevandcan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:51 pm

Just a quick follow-up note that the application and all associated data have been removed from the ward map server. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:47 am

For the benefit of those of us who didn't look at it when it was up, would it be possible for us to see it using dummy data? I'm not sure how hard it would be to dummy something up.


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