LDS maps geolocator errors

Discussions about the Maps Tool on lds.org.
stuartmoffatt
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LDS maps geolocator errors

Postby stuartmoffatt » Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:57 am

I am serving as a bishop in Imperial 2nd Ward in Salt Lake City. I often get phone calls from service missionaries at Deseret Industries or from Member Locating that ask about a person or address that are beyond my ward boundaries.

For instance, I got a call today from a DI in Sandy about an address: 3050 South 2970 West. When you plug that into LDS maps, it comes up in my ward. But if you look at the actual address, 2970 West is in West Valley (not Highland Park where I am at 13th E 27th S). Furthermore, our ward and stake end at 30th South, so 3050 is in the next stake south.

A more frequent error is an address along 1300 E, but further south than 3000 South. All of these kinds of addresses appear to stop at a T-intersection in my ward where 13th E "splits" from a major thoroughfare into a sidestreet. 13th E picks up again when Highland (11th E) and 13th cross over each other.

Both of these issues seem like a problem with the underlying GIS that is powering the map. I've tried to push these issues up, but I keep getting calls based on geolocation errors.

Can anyone help? Am I on the right forum to get this issue heard?

Thanks,

Stuart

lajackson
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Re: LDS maps geolocator errors

Postby lajackson » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:06 am

stuartmoffatt wrote:Both of these issues seem like a problem with the underlying GIS that is powering the map. I've tried to push these issues up, but I keep getting calls based on geolocation errors.

You are in the right location to be heard, but we are just users of the system, and those who can fix it rarely haunt these discussions.

That said, I think you are on track with the source of the real problem. I would suggest you work with your stake clerk who will be able to get permission from the stake president to get with Headquarters and make sure the ward boundaries are correctly plotted on the Church records.

It may require an updated map sent by the stake president to the Boundaries committee. Your stake clerk should be able to get it cleared up.

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aebrown
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Re: LDS maps geolocator errors

Postby aebrown » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:18 am

stuartmoffatt wrote:For instance, I got a call today from a DI in Sandy about an address: 3050 South 2970 West. When you plug that into LDS maps, it comes up in my ward. But if you look at the actual address, 2970 West is in West Valley (not Highland Park where I am at 13th E 27th S). Furthermore, our ward and stake end at 30th South, so 3050 is in the next stake south.

The address you mentioned is not a valid address, which I'm sure is a major factor in the problems you are seeing with the address lookup. I would hope that the mapping system would do a better job of putting it in the area of the provided address, but the fact remains that there is no street 2970 W in West Valley City, at least not in the area of 30th South. If you enter a valid address such as 3040 S 2910 W, you'll see that it is in the Granger 15th Ward in West Valley City. But 3050 S 2970 W simply doesn't exist as an address.

People familiar with the coordinate system used in many cities in Utah would understandably hope that that GIS system would simply translate the coordinates into a lat/lon and properly place the marker, even if no real street is involved. But I would guess that such systems are more oriented towards identifying addresses on named streets (which is how most of the world organizes its addresses), and when an invalid street name is supplied, it has a hard time making a good guess.

stuartmoffatt wrote:Can anyone help? Am I on the right forum to get this issue heard?

If you want your issue heard by someone who can take appropriate action, I'd recommend that you used the feedback mechanism in LDS Maps. You can do that by right-clicking on a location on the map (perhaps a point near the coordinates you supplied) and choosing "Send Feedback about a missing location". Here on the forum we can sympathize and offer suggestions, but using the Feedback option will get the suggestion to the right people.

eblood66
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Re: LDS maps geolocator errors

Postby eblood66 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:27 am

aebrown wrote:The address you mentioned is not a valid address, which I'm sure is a major factor in the problems you are seeing with the address lookup. I would hope that the mapping system would do a better job of putting it in the area of the provided address, but the fact remains that there is no street 2970 W in West Valley City, at least not in the area of 30th South.

I don't know if anything can be done to make a better guess at the location, but it would certainly help if it would give the user a better indicator that it wasn't able to find the exact location and that the results presented are just possibilities and not necessarily correct.

mevans
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Re: LDS maps geolocator errors

Postby mevans » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:24 am

This is interesting. I just tried entering invalid addresses on actual streets around where I live in California and the LDS map either plotted them incorrectly or hung. I put the same invalid addresses in Google maps and got similar behavior. I always thought that these systems (at least in the United States) were working off of USPS data of valid delivery addresses, but apparently not.

After my experiment I was thinking this might be a general GIS technology issue with invalid addresses, but, I put in the 3050 S 2970 W, Salt Lake City, Utah address in both Google Maps and LDS Maps and got very different locations: Google Maps at least placed it in West Valley City, even if it is an invalid address as indicated by aebrown. LDS Maps has the behavior indicated above, so maybe there is something the church resources can do.


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