Membership maps

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
falisrm-p40
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Membership maps

Postby falisrm-p40 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:29 am

I was able to create membership maps using Google Earth and i love it. I have all the members in the entire county. Before i introduce it to leaders in the stake, i wanted to know the privacy policies with this as to not let this information get out of hands. I was planning to send it to a few people like some high counselors, stake president and my own elders quorum presidency. I know this it talked a lot on this forum. i just wanted some advice about this.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:00 pm

falisrm wrote:I was able to create membership maps using Google Earth and i love it. I have all the members in the entire county. Before i introduce it to leaders in the stake, i wanted to know the privacy policies with this as to not let this information get out of hands. I was planning to send it to a few people like some high counselors, stake president and my own elders quorum presidency. I know this it talked a lot on this forum. i just wanted some advice about this.
There are several threads in the Forums that discuss privacy matters as it relates to using mapping software on third party servers. I will try to find some of them for you and include them in another post. The short of it is that due to privacy, no information about members may be exported from MLS and stored on a mapping program such as that found at Google Earth. You can use the addresses as long as the names and any other privacy information are not included. Using mapping programs such as Google Earth implies that the data you supply will be stored on their servers and potentially available to the rest of the world.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

falisrm-p40
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thanks

Postby falisrm-p40 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:27 pm

I was debating to include names in the addresses too. I did on some of them with names just to see if it would work and it does. If anything its for a visual description of the area to see where members are located in proximity to the county. It could help with boundary adjustments or determining where chapels should be built.

I'm amazed with the number of members in the county. It's a lot.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:30 pm

After just a quick search of the LDS Technology Forums the forum "MLS Support, Help, and Feedback" has several threads related to your question. The first thread, GoogleEarth and Membership Data, directly addresses the issue of privacy. There is another thread, Yet another Map-maker post, that discusses privacy.

You can do your own searches to find a large list of threads around the topic of mapping and geocoding. Membership privacy is sometimes addressed in these threads.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:42 pm

jdlessley wrote:There are several threads in the Forums that discuss privacy matters as it relates to using mapping software on third party servers. I will try to find some of them for you and include them in another post. The short of it is that due to privacy, no information about members may be exported from MLS and stored on a mapping program such as that found at Google Earth. You can use the addresses as long as the names and any other privacy information are not included. Using mapping programs such as Google Earth implies that the data you supply will be stored on their servers and potentially available to the rest of the world.


Actually, I think that generalization gets it quite wrong with respect to falisrm's post..

Google Earth, a local application installed on the user's PC, does not share the user's name-address data with anyone. The user's data is not sent to a third-party server. Google Earth merges the local data with base-map data pulled from the Internet.

[Addendum:. And the ancient thread "Google earth and Membership Data" jdlessley' just linked to is misleading. I never bothered to post on that thread because it is so old. If you read it carefully, you will see that the poster's worry about Google Earth boiled down to a rather breathless, unsupported suggestion that Google Earth might actually be spyware, "phoning home" data to the mothership. Even he acknowledged that was far-fetched. I would pay it no heed.]

That is quite different from some Internet mapping engines, such as Google Maps, Yahoo, etc. Uploading data to the My Maps feature of Google Maps would be storing the data on Google's server, in which case jdlessley's advice applies.

There also are other configurations that use the Yahoo Maps API to build a web page using client-side code. In that case, while address data only might be sent to Yahoo for geocoding, the resulting map is assembled client-side, on the user's PC, so there is no privacy problem. kevandcan's seminal Ward Maps application is a good example of that http://tech.lds.org/forum/showpost.php?p=1477&postcount=32

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:52 pm

There's been some discussion here on scripts that will create maps of members. I don't see any problem with sending the KLM file to another person who has access to the underlying information. I would be a bit concerned on how the file would be sent. Not everyone has their own email or their own personal computer so I'd give some thought as to how sensitive the information contained may be. It's probably not a issue, but it's worth examining in case it contains information the general membership wouldn't normally have access to.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:29 pm

falisrm wrote:I was debating to include names in the addresses too. I did on some of them with names just to see if it would work and it does. ... I'm amazed with the number of members in the county. It's a lot.


There is no inherent reason not to put names in KML files, just as there is no inherent reason not to put names into Excel files or Word docs or printed directories. It depends on what the content is, where you got it, and who you are giving the files to.

In our ward, we have KML files showing all the ward members, as well as specialized files showing all our home- and visiting-teaching assignments. The scripts that produce those files have been published here http://tech.lds.org/forum/showpost.php?p=13642&postcount=67 Others here have also used Google Earth a handy, secure medium for viewing such files.

If there are privacy concerns with these files, they might pertain to members who have requested that their names not even appear in ward directories. (See discussion preceding the link above.) That could be an issue with respect to using my scripts above, because their source data is the ward's MLS system.

So where you are getting your data makes a difference. I am curious as to the source of data, which "amazed" you to find so many members in your county. My county certainly does not publish a directory of known LDS members. What is your source?

falisrm-p40
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Maps

Postby falisrm-p40 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:04 pm

It would be very personal to use google earth. I think that's why i like it. And the technology is great. Maybe the biggest thing i'll do is post it on the News and Information Section in the official ward website. That way people with passwords and an account will be able to download it.

Oh, i got the data from each wards (cvs?) list in excel from the ward websites. We have 2 stakes so i used my moms account for the other stake (so sneaky, i grew up in that stake plus i'm moving back into it next month). It was easy to copy the column with all the addresses in excel into one list. there was a program that automatically converted the list into a file for google earth. It took like 1 hour to do.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:18 pm

falisrm wrote:It would be very personal to use google earth. I think that's why i like it. And the technology is great. Maybe the biggest thing i'll do is post it on the News and Information Section in the official ward website. That way people with passwords and an account will be able to download it.


That is not possible, I believe, because the only attachments allowed are .PDF, .XLS and .DOC.

So you would need another distribution medium.

And, once again, whether you distribute the files and to whom depends on their actual content, where you got the data, and the intended audience. RussellHltn cautions to be careful with email, which I second in the sense that I also recommend sensible precautions about distributing any other file formats via email.

[Just saw your post. If your source is the LUWS web sites, then it has already been pretty well scrubbed. Any member with access to their local website can download the directory as a .csv and make their own map. I won't comment on using your mom's username and password for the other stake. And the usual warning applies about appropriate use of that data in any form, which warning is displayed at the time the directory is downloaded.

As a technical matter, be aware that Google Earth's methods you describe for geocoding the roster are inherently error-prone to a significant extent. See http://tech.lds.org/forum/showpost.php?p=14526&postcount=7 ]

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:07 pm

falisrm wrote:Oh, i got the data from each wards (cvs?) list in excel from the ward websites. We have 2 stakes so i used my moms account for the other stake (so sneaky, i grew up in that stake plus i'm moving back into it next month).


Upon reflection, I will comment after all on your abuse of your mother's username and password to gain access to the neighboring stake's directory. I find it quite abhorrent, and I can't imagine why you thought your stake president might be impressed if you give him a show-and-tell based on that misbehavior.

This criticism has nothing to do with maps or Google Earth, but with the terms of use of the church web site.

I strongly suggest that you delete the data you downloaded from the other stake and start over.


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