Does the map marker move when an Address is changed

Discussions about the Maps Tool on lds.org.
barryhill
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Does the map marker move when an Address is changed

Postby barryhill » Fri May 27, 2011 4:33 pm

The title of the post says it all. I updated addresses in MLS, some at least a month ago. The new address is reflected on the directory and in the information panel that opens up when you click on the families map marker. The marker is still at the old location however. Do I have to manually drag these map markers or will the map software eventually relocate these markers so they reflect the address change listed in the directory?

Thanks for the help.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri May 27, 2011 5:10 pm

I think it does - eventually. But I don't know when.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri May 27, 2011 7:21 pm

I don't think it does. We've had addresses that have changed just for standardization (spelling of street names, etc.) after the marker was placed. But the marker never moved. I think that's certainly a good thing where the address is changed but the actual location is not different -- you wouldn't want a carefully placed marker to move just because you change "123 South Elm Street" to "123 S Elm St".

But what happens if someone moves within the ward? How does the software detect that such a change of address necessitates a marker move, but the case I mentioned above does not? My guess is that a move within the ward simply doesn't trigger a change in a verified marker placement.

Personally, I wouldn't wait. I like information to be accurate, and if the marker didn't move within a few days I would move it manually. It only takes a minute, so why not just move it?
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davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Fri May 27, 2011 9:44 pm

I have seen this behavior as well. If a member moves within our ward boundaries, the marker never moves on it's own. I have to move it manually.

Last week a member moved from Oklahoma to Idaho. For one day, she still showed up and was still showing on the map... in Idaho. Seriously beyond our ward boundary ;-)

The next day, though it had self-corrected.

barryhill
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Postby barryhill » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:10 am

aebrown wrote:We've had addresses that have changed just for standardization (spelling of street names, etc.) after the marker was placed. But the marker never moved. I think that's certainly a good thing where the address is changed but the actual location is not different -- you wouldn't want a carefully placed marker to move just because you change "123 South Elm Street" to "123 S Elm St".


In your example I do not think it would move since mapping software would not see that as another identified location on the map. I think that like a gps, that the software should recognize both variations you cite to be the same location. I also had hope that the code triggering the change in the written address update would also trigger the mapping software to recalculate the residence location. While I am very impressed with the technology department, this seems like a case of just 2% more work to polish off a great product. I am confident it will be there in there in the near future.

I may be ignorant of some of the map features but as for just relocating the marker, that does not seem as easy to me as you make it sound. If I see an address like "226 Dirt Road" that is on the other side of our 35 mile wide boundary, I have little feel for where that property really sits once I find "Dirt Road" on the map. Even in the towns, other than the side of the street, 226 could be the 1st,2nd, or 5th house on that side of the block.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:45 am

barryhill wrote:In your example I do not think it would move since mapping software would not see that as another identified location on the map. I think that like a gps, that the software should recognize both variations you cite to be the same location. I also had hope that the code triggering the change in the written address update would also trigger the mapping software to recalculate the residence location.


Given that the mapping software often misses the location of the marker by quite a distance (a quarter mile or more in many cases I've seen), it seems to me that your two hopes are contradictory. Once the address changes in any way, the software can either trust the existing marker, or recalculate its position by geocoding the new address. Once it recalculates the position, it can only know that it is the same address if the calculated marker is sufficiently close (whatever that might mean) to the previously verified position. If the calculated position is some distance away, it would probably then move the marker to the newly calculated position. It wouldn't matter whether that distance is because the person actually moved, or because the newly calculated position is wrong and thus is some distance away from the previously verified position -- both cases would appear to be the same.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:02 am

barryhill wrote:I may be ignorant of some of the map features but as for just relocating the marker, that does not seem as easy to me as you make it sound. If I see an address like "226 Dirt Road" that is on the other side of our 35 mile wide boundary, I have little feel for where that property really sits once I find "Dirt Road" on the map. Even in the towns, other than the side of the street, 226 could be the 1st,2nd, or 5th house on that side of the block.


Geocoding isn't always accurate "to the house". Sometimes it has to estimate the location based on the address block.


aebrown wrote:Once it recalculates the position, it can only know that it is the same address if the calculated marker is sufficiently close (whatever that might mean) to the previously verified position.


Well, the software could be written such that if the old address and the new address evaluate to the same "standardized" address prior to geocoding, then it could conclude that it's the same address. However, it would cause the marker to move if the old address could not be geocoded due to improper entry potentially overwriting a valid manual placement.

It would be nice if the software indicated what addresses have changed since the marker was manually located.
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barryhill
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Postby barryhill » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:40 am

Well, I never had expectations of a map in the first place, but once I saw it I began to expect more than it seems to deliver. I have difficulty verifying an address because I cannot even guess what numbered block of a specific street i am looking at on the map. I guess if I lived in SLC where all blocks, streets etc had a unified numbering system it would be different. Trying to relocate and verify households for me would be more than a full time job. I would have to drive to every location or punch each location into my GPS and cross reference with the ward map. Unless I learn some system which currently escapes me, the map will remain just a nice little approximation of our membership distribution.

It would be nice if entering a new address simply re-geocoded that household and put an "unverified" indicator with the new marker. Enough complaining however because I appreciate the tools I have to do the job. I am just always trying to figure out if I am missing some point that others know about.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:06 am

barryhill wrote:Well, I never had expectations of a map in the first place, but once I saw it I began to expect more than it seems to deliver. I have difficulty verifying an address because I cannot even guess what numbered block of a specific street i am looking at on the map. I guess if I lived in SLC where all blocks, streets etc had a unified numbering system it would be different. Trying to relocate and verify households for me would be more than a full time job. I would have to drive to every location or punch each location into my GPS and cross reference with the ward map. Unless I learn some system which currently escapes me, the map will remain just a nice little approximation of our membership distribution.


One option to consider is asking members to verify their own addresses. That of course has its own challenges, but if you can get some reasonable percentage of the ward to verify their own addresses, that might save you some time.

You also might consider trying to spread out the responsibility. For example, if the bishopric goes out to visit someone, they can take notes about where the house is located and then a bishopric member can either verify the address himself or sit down with you on the next Sunday and verify the address. Or you could ask home teachers take a couple of minutes and help you place the markers for the households they home teach.

barryhill wrote:It would be nice if entering a new address simply re-geocoded that household and put an "unverified" indicator with the new marker.


As I indicated earlier, I would definitely vote against this approach, since any small address standardization would make you lose the verified marker information.
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barryhill
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Postby barryhill » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:34 pm

aebrown wrote:As I indicated earlier, I would definitely vote against this approach, since any small address standardization would make you lose the verified marker information.

I certainly can see your point of view, mine is just different. The only way I can even verify my own house is because I know I live on the corner of two intersecting streets but no one would know that from the address. There is no way anyone that does not physically come to my location would know where the 1500 block of my street is or where in the 1500 block 1534 is by looking at an aerial view. Even on a google street view the block number is not clear due to the irregularities of the streets and blocks. The house location within the block is far less clear. Maybe it is just an east coast problem.

Due to this I would much rather re-verify a house that I had once verified when I knew I had simply changed "St." to "Street". To me that takes seconds where as an actual move in the ward boundaries takes far more time. When ward boundries span 335 households and 700+ sq miles, in-ward moves are literally weekly occurrences. Thats why I prefer the marker move with an address change. Maybe we need a map where we can set preferences as to how it updates. :)


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