New Meetinghouse Locator on LDS.org - Beta Release

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barkeraj
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New Meetinghouse Locator on LDS.org - Beta Release

Postby barkeraj » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:25 pm

Copied from http://www.ldsmediatalk.com/2008/06/19/new-meetinghouse-locator-on-ldsorg-beta-release/
LDS.org has a Meetinghouse Locator application that allows users to enter an address to find the nearest LDS meetinghouse. We are pleased to announce the beta release of an upgraded version of the meetinghouse locator application on LDS.org at maps.lds.org.
This application provides many new features not available in the existing application, including:

  • A dynamic user interface. (No more drop-down lists!)
  • The ability to identify the closest meetinghouses and congregations worldwide.
  • The ability to enter address information or simply point at a location on a map to get information.
  • The ability to switch between map providers Google and Microsoft to get the best map for a given location.
  • The ability to switch between map and aerial/satellite views.
  • The ability to see all congregations at a location, not just the residential unit (for example, Young Single Adult wards and language wards).
  • The ability to select a ward/branch and get additional information, go to the unit Web site, or get driving directions.
  • The ability to provide robust feedback that can identify a variety of issues that can be tracked more easily.
  • The ability to send a link to a friend of a location.
Please feel free to try this new application and share it with your friends and neighbors. Feedback, suggestions, and corrections are welcomed and encouraged by using the Feedback link on the application.
Definitely submit your feedback through the appropriate channels as mentioned above, but I would love to hear any feedback here as well.
Aaron Barker
Front-end Development Lead for LDS.org (content portions, not apps) and Ward Executive Secretary.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:49 pm

Way cool! I think it is a MUCH improved application. Thanks for the hard work on it!

I do wish it returned results a little quicker than it did, but it certainly was worth the wait!

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:52 pm

Nice! A few comments:

- It only displays the Sacrament Meeting time in the main view on the left. You have to go into detail view to find out the first meeting time.
- Use of the term "Worship Service" seems a little confusing to this member (probably more comfortable to non-members).
- I like the differentiation between "closest" and "assigned".
- The location of the meeting houses in my area are STILL off by a few blocks. I sent email that appeared to have gone up the chain with proper GPS coordinates (that I verified that solved the problem) but that still hasn't been fixed. My home location that I entered did translate correctly.
- I found "country" field in the location entry to be odd. When I entered "US" showed me countries that contained "us" in the name, not starting with 'us". I had to hunt to find that I'm in the "United States of America". I believe nFS simply uses "USA", so there's a consistency issue.

bcpalmer60
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Way Cool!

Postby bcpalmer60 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:00 pm

Great job, Aaron & teammates! Pretty slick.

Some minor suggestions:
- I suggest listing Assigned Wards before Closest (It accurately figured out my home ward, YSA ward and Spanish ward - cool!)
- About half the meeting times were wrong (2am, etc.) - that's not your fault, it's a data issue, but where does that come from?
Brian C. Palmer
Arvada, Colorado, USA

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:08 pm

bcpalmer60 wrote:Great job, Aaron & teammates! Pretty slick.

- About half the meeting times were wrong (2am, etc.) - that's not your fault, it's a data issue, but where does that come from?


The same place as the Ward Website. (Remind me not to visit the [color="blue"]Standley Lake Ward[/color] Sacrament meeting) :D

It in turn gets it from the ward's settings in MLS. However, there has been a number of issues in getting the meeting times from MLS to the ward web sites. So I'm not surprised.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:06 pm

RussellHltn wrote:(Remind me not to visit the Standley Lake Ward Sacrament meeting)


Wow. If that is an am/pm error, it points to at least a four-hour period for Sunday meetings.

In most of our meetinghouses, units meet at 9:00 am or 1:00 pm. We used to have a number of units each year that moved to 1:00 am or 9:00 pm meeting times. Lately, however, the clerks have been pretty good at setting the correct time in MLS, since there only seems to be one shot at getting it to the LUWS.

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greenwoodkl
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Mini-map and boundaries

Postby greenwoodkl » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:35 am

Three comments for now:

1. Thank you for a great application, already a vast improvement over the current locator and a great start to map-based tools for the Church I'm sure. :)

2. I've attached a screenshot of the app. I did a search in Provo and the mini-map in the top corner showed a road by some body of water which doesn't sync.

3. A potential addition - A layer of ward/stake boundaries to more easily find and support units. Especially on my mission in rural areas, no one knew where exactly units technically ended and it caused confusion and some minor contention over who had stewardship over specific individuals and neighborhoods. Sure I could click each street to manually/mentally find the boundaries, but a visible layer of shapes would be so much quicker. :rolleyes:
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greenwoodkl
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Mini-map and boundaries

Postby greenwoodkl » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:45 am

Four comments for now:

1. Thank you for a great application, already a vast improvement over the current locator and a great start to map-based tools for the Church I'm sure. :)

2. I've attached a screenshot of the app. I did a search in Provo and the mini-map in the top corner showed a road by some body of water which doesn't sync.

3. A potential addition - A layer of ward/stake boundaries to more easily find and support units. Especially on my mission in rural areas, no one knew where exactly units technically ended and it caused confusion and some minor contention over who had stewardship over specific individuals and neighborhoods. Sure I could click each street to manually/mentally find the boundaries, but a visible layer of shapes would be so much quicker. :rolleyes:

4. Three other "unit" types to potentially add long-term: missions, temple districts, institutes/seminaries
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:44 am

kgthunder wrote:I've attached a screenshot of the app. I did a search in Provo and the mini-map in the top corner showed a road by some body of water which doesn't sync.


It looks like you've requested directions. What did you enter for the starting address? I went to the same spot on Live Search Maps, but couldn't reproduce the problem.

CuriousGIS-p40
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Rural routes

Postby CuriousGIS-p40 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:30 am

This is a big improvement over the current meetinghouse locator, the membership will enjoy it. It did have issues with rural route / box addresses. Then again I am assuming they are using a standard geocoder to find addresses. Most rural routes will never geocode using standard fair street data.

To help those that do have rural routes and or places where they do not have a street files, and/or the geocoder source data is not robust they should include a layer to view the boundaries of the units. I searched for a few rural routes in our unit and none of them even came close to being properly geocoded. I also tried some less developed countries and the application would tell me to please wait while it searched but never continue.

If they set up multiple geocoders the application could try each in turn until it had a match, for those areas that it could not find a good match it could return the boundaries of the units/stakes based on city, state equivalent, or even country.


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