Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Discussions about the Maps Tool on lds.org.
JimRedd
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Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby JimRedd » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:14 am

As MLS missionaries in Thailand during 2013, I was surprised to find that LDS Maps had no mapping information for any of the members in our branch. This made it difficult for missionaries, leaders, home teachers, and visiting teachers to locate and minister to members. The missionaries had large maps in their apartments with locations of some members along with their investigators. I entered these locations in LDS Maps, and eventually, the clerk and I mapped at least an approximate location for every household that had address information. Since our mission, I have stayed in touch with the couple now serving in what is now a ward. The stake has asked the clerks to standardize the order of addresses, (for example to make sure that street addresses comes first, then apartment number, etc.) These changes have lost many of the custom locations we worked so hard to record in LDS Maps.

It appears that LDS Maps defaults to a geocoded location linked to a zip code, (or postal code in Canada), when the address information of a household is changed, or when ward boundaries change. This works OK here because a zip code locates a household close to it's actual location. In Thailand there is no accurate geocoding system. LDS Maps seems to revert a household to "Unmapped" when one of these changes happens.

I have posted feedback to the LDS Maps website, and am posting here, to get feedback if I correctly understand how LDS Maps works. If I am correct, I'd like to suggest that LDS Tools be modified to preserve custom locations created by clerks in countries without accurate geocoding of addresses.

russellhltn
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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby russellhltn » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:21 am

JimRedd wrote:I'd like to suggest that LDS Tools be modified to preserve custom locations created by clerks in countries without accurate geocoding of addresses.

I agree that the location shouldn't change for a boundary realignment. But until such time as there's a way to indicate if a address change is a move or merely a correction, it's best if it becomes unmapped if the address changes. Otherwise, you won't know if the current location is correct or if it's their old address.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:08 pm

It would be nice if the map location was integrated into LCR, so when you saved an address change, it automatically brought up a box with the map and asked what to do with the location marker. Leave it as is, update it, or make it unmapped. If the map location were integrated inline with the address change interface, it would lead to a lot more accurate records.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

russellhltn
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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:25 pm

sbradshaw wrote:It would be nice if the map location was integrated into LCR, so when you saved an address change, it automatically brought up a box with the map and asked what to do with the location marker. Leave it as is, update it, or make it unmapped.

While the idea has merit, I'm not sure how much I like the idea. The person moving the records may not be ready to deal with the physical location. In fact, the person handling the maps may not be the one handling records.

I'd settle for a simple check box "This is not a different location, only a correction." If checked, it would not change a verified location. But would re-try to geocode a unverified/unmapped location.

Or maybe it should be labeled "Do not change verified location". It would only show up if the location was verified.
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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby JimRedd » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:58 pm

russellhltn wrote:
sbradshaw wrote: The person moving the records may not be ready to deal with the physical location. In fact, the person handling the maps may not be the one handling records.

I'd settle for a simple check box "This is not a different location, only a correction." If checked, it would not change a verified location. But would re-try to geocode a unverified/unmapped location.

Or maybe it should be labeled "Do not change verified location". It would only show up if the location was verified.


I disagree because, the person handling the maps should be the one moving records, since only a clerk or bishopric member can verify the map location of another household. I don't know of many bishopric members who get involved in maps.

The idea of a checkbox not to change the verified location is great, and would resolve the issue we have in Thailand. Is there any way we can suggest implementing this feature?

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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:04 pm

JimRedd wrote:I disagree because, the person handling the maps should be the one moving records,

Not necisssarly. That might be assigned to someone else, such as a different clerk. Even if it is the same person, they may not be interested in handing both at the same time. If I'm moving records, I'm not really in the frame of mind to drop everything and figure out where this pin should go on a map.


JimRedd wrote:The idea of a checkbox not to change the verified location is great, and would resolve the issue we have in Thailand. Is there any way we can suggest implementing this feature?

I'd suggest submitting it via the feedback link in LCR. That's the most direct method.
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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby JimRedd » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:34 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I have submitted this as feedback.

As well, I don't know if anyone else will follow or read this thread, but I want to refocus attention on essential aspects of my original post. It's not about someone locating a household when moving members in or out of a unit. It is about losing the work that clerks have already done to locate homes. This work can be lost when a clerk is just cleaning up address information for members who have not moved, or less active members who have recently been recontacted.

1. The way LDS Maps works in Thailand there are no locations for any households in most branches. Thai address systems make it hard to find a house from an address.
2. It is very helpful (reduced time and effort in home teaching, visiting teaching, and other ministering efforts) to have map locations for households.
3. Thai units have far more households than is common in USA. (for example a ward with 650 members has 475 households)
4. Clerks have to do the work of mapping households because of low activity rates and low computer skills among active members.
5. LDS Maps/ Leader Clerk Tools will lose the custom location and undo the work the clerks have done, whenever a change is made to the address-even if it is just a spelling error in the name of a street.

Jim Redd

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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby mevans » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:31 pm

If you didn't include a link to this forum thread in your feedback to the LCR team, you might do so. That will help those who read your message to see more conversation about it.

The people on this forum can't do anything to fix the situation. Your best best was sending the feedback to LCR so they can better understand what's happening in your part of the world.

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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby JimRedd » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:56 am

Good idea. I did't add a link to this thread. Is there a better way than just sending new feedback with this link and ask them to link it to my previous feedback?

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Re: Home locations lost in Thailand ward (International geocoding problem)

Postby mevans » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:32 pm

JimRedd wrote:Good idea. I did't add a link to this thread. Is there a better way than just sending new feedback with this link and ask them to link it to my previous feedback?

If you provided your email previously, they might be able to match up your input on your email. And maybe tell them the date you sent the feedback.

I had an issue once and sent some feedback with confidential information not appropriate to post in the forum and a church employee acknowledged in the forum that he had received my communication regarding the situation. They seem to be able to track down things.

You may never get an acknowledgement or follow-up questions, but they do read your feedback.

The other alternative to get your concerns voiced to those who make decisions is for your stake president to bring up the situation with his priesthood leaders. If it's affecting your ability to minister and do the work, then it's a valid concern that his priesthood leaders might want to be aware of.


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