Modification to GEO Code Field

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kmmoss-p40
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Modification to GEO Code Field

Postby kmmoss-p40 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:55 pm

Currently there is a Unit GEO Code Field edited at the Unit, and a Stake GEO Code Field, edited at the Stake level. Looks like they hold 6 characters each. For Stake boundary and other analysis purposes we export the MLS Membership data and then Geo Code it in a spreadsheet. Having that LAT/LON data we have nowhere to maintain it in the system, since we don't have enough characters in the field. (Need 8 each for lattitude and longitude)

My request for consideration is that LAT/LON fields be created at the Unit Level and included in the Membership.csv export.

Thanks.

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childsdj
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Postby childsdj » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:16 pm

This is something that will be added in the future. I have heard it discussed. There are a couple of other projects that are being done before this, but it will happen at some point in the future.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Postby mkmurray » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:20 pm

kmmoss wrote:Currently there is a Unit GEO Code Field edited at the Unit, and a Stake GEO Code Field, edited at the Stake level. Looks like they hold 6 characters each. For Stake boundary and other analysis purposes we export the MLS Membership data and then Geo Code it in a spreadsheet. Having that LAT/LON data we have nowhere to maintain it in the system, since we don't have enough characters in the field. (Need 8 each for lattitude and longitude)

My request for consideration is that LAT/LON fields be created at the Unit Level and included in the Membership.csv export.

Thanks.

I think having LAT and LON fields is a great idea.

As for the charcter limit, we have been able to fit 8 characters in those fields and are currently using an 8 character-length Geocode. We have been doing this for some time. (Perhaps I'm mistaken...)

Also, the unit is able to populate the Stake Geocode if desired, as we fill in both Geocodes at the moment whenever we have a new move in.

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Postby RossEvans » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:27 pm

kmmoss wrote:My request for consideration is that LAT/LON fields be created at the Unit Level and included in the Membership.csv export.


You are not alone in wishing for that, or something similar. We know the Church is working on geographic applications centrally, butwe don't have a roadmap of what that means for MLS.

Meanwhile, units seek their own temporary solutions. In our ward we store the coordinates in separate database files. Another workaround, which I personally do not care for, is to write the coordinates into the street address fields themselves.

There has to be a better solution, and I think we will get it someday.

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Postby jbh001 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:50 pm

boomerbubba wrote:Meanwhile, units seek their own temporary solutions.


Like this cumbersome one:

1. From the menu bar, navigate to Edit > System Options > Members > Custom Fields > Add.

2a. In the Name field type Latitude & Longitude; set Value Type to String; add a Description if you want or leave it blank; then click Save.

2b. Alternatively, in the Name field type Latitude; set Value Type to String; add a Description if you want or leave it blank; click Save; click the Add link again; in the Name field type Longitude; set Value Type to String; add a Description if you want or leave it blank; then click Save.

3. Click Close.

4. From the menu bar, navigate to Membership > Custom Member Fields > select and open a membership record > Custom Fields.

5. Click the Add link; select the field you added in 2a or 2b above; enter the data you want for that field; click Save.

6. Use the arrow icons in the upper-right-hand-side of the window on either side of the magnifying glass icon to navigate to the next desired record, then repeat step 5 as needed.

7. (Optional) Because you are a programming genius, write compile and debug a Perl script in .NET and Java to sync these MLS fields with the GPS data you have collected on your G3 iPhone and then upload the resulting app to the iTunes App Store for the benefit of G3-iPhone-totin'-MLS-Users everywhere.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:13 pm

jbh001 wrote:Like this cumbersome one:


Now, what steps do you take to make sure your Lat & Lon stay in sync with the address changes? If a family moves within the ward, the Lat & Lon will have to be updated, but it's easy to forget to do that. At least the Geo code clears upon change which draws attention to the need to update it.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:52 am

RussellHltn wrote:Now, what steps do you take to make sure your Lat & Lon stay in sync with the address changes? If a family moves within the ward, the Lat & Lon will have to be updated, but it's easy to forget to do that. At least the Geo code clears upon change which draws attention to the need to update it.





That's really not hard -- you have a checklist. In the relatively rare occurrence where a family moves within the ward, you already need to do several things that aren't triggered by MLS right now:
  • Fast offerings Routes
  • Home Teaching
  • Visiting Teaching
  • etc.


Sometimes we get hung up on having the software take care of everything for us, but it's not hard to have a good old fashioned checklist -- that's how we operated before we clerks had software to help us, and it's still a good idea.


Given all the work involved in capturing, verifying, and storing Lat/Lon, an occasional move within the ward seems like the least of your problems in this area.

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Postby jbh001 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:13 am

RussellHltn wrote:Now, what steps do you take to make sure your Lat & Lon stay in sync with the address changes?
That is yet another reason why is it "cumbersome."

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:51 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Given all the work involved in capturing, verifying, and storing Lat/Lon, an occasional move within the ward seems like the least of your problems in this area.


Occasional? You've never clerked in a singles/student ward, have you? :p

Moves were frequent, we didn't have a fast offering route, and HT/VT was based on personalities rather then who lived nearby. In our case we would have had to create a workflow to make sure we stayed on track.

This might be a good topic for another thread, but what is a good workflow to use when you have a move to deal with any of the above issues?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:05 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Occasional? You've never clerked in a singles/student ward, have you? :p


Actually, I have (both as a membership clerk and as a high councilor responsible for clerks), so I speak from actual experience. Moves into and out of the ward happened all the time. Moves within the ward were relatively (note the word "relatively") rare.

However, I still stand by my statement that a simple checklist or workflow is all that is needed, and it is needed anyway (particularly for wards such as the singles/student wards you mentioned). So adding one little step to that checklist is trivial. I was simply responding to the claim that somehow neglecting to update the custom field containing lat/lon for intra-ward moves was a problem of any significance compared with all the other work that goes on.
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