Geo Code Usage

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
sgrigg
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:14 pm

Geo Code Usage

Postby sgrigg » Tue May 24, 2011 4:03 pm

We are anticipating creation of a new ward or ward(s) in the future in our Stake. As a fairly new Stake Clerk, I have not used the geo code function in MLS in the past. I have read some information on the current wiki. From what I can see, while MLS has some powerful features that utilize geo codes, most of our units are way behind in keeping them current and they all seem to have come up with their own "definition" of gride size and other parameters when it comes to geo codes. Our presidency would like to use this tool in making adjustments to current boundaries. It almost appears that we need to start from scratch with a consistent definition of the grid size for geo codes. Are there other tools (google maps, etc.) available for helping us determine future boundaries or is the geo code still the best approach? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue May 24, 2011 8:58 pm

sgrigg wrote:It almost appears that we need to start from scratch with a consistent definition of the grid size for geo codes.


You don't need a consistent definition of grid size. You just need to divide the potentially affected wards into logical geographical groups. Some of those groups may be big; others may be small. The primary attribute of a group is that you almost certainly wouldn't put a ward boundary in the middle of it. So think of issues like major streets, school districts, geographical features like rivers or ridges, or natural neighborhood boundaries. Then assign a stake geo code to each group.

sgrigg wrote:Are there other tools (google maps, etc.) available for helping us determine future boundaries or is the geo code still the best approach?


The advantage of using geo codes in MLS is that you can use the boundary realignment features of Stake MLS to create various scenarios. You can say that a proposed ward contains areas 1, 4, and 6, and another ward is 2, 3, and 5, and then MLS will show how many men, women, youth, children, priesthood holders, etc. are in each proposed unit.

You may well want to use Google Maps or some other tool to help you visualize the boundaries. In particular, using LDS Maps will put a marker on each household in the stake, which can be very helpful as you then create the groups and need to assign households to each group. There are a couple of people on this forum who advocate using GIS software for this purpose, but if you're not already comfortable with that, I'd strongly advise you to stick with stake MLS, geo codes, and LDS Maps.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

danpass
Member
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Postby danpass » Wed May 25, 2011 10:27 am

sgrigg wrote:...most of our units are way behind in keeping them current and they all seem to have come up with their own "definition" of gride size and other parameters when it comes to geo codes. Our presidency would like to use this tool in making adjustments to current boundaries. It almost appears that we need to start from scratch with a consistent definition of the grid size for geo codes.


You need to understand that the Stake owns the stake geo code field in stake MLS. However, under circumstances described in this post, you may see values in the stake geo code fields, that have flowed there from ward level MLS. You'll be best off if you do as Allan recommends and define and enter your own codes. Just disregard any existing values that may already be there. Your changes will not be flow back to the ward level and thus will have no impact on their use of geo codes. I would also recommend reading this thread.

davesudweeks
Senior Member
Posts: 550
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Owasso, OK, USA

Postby davesudweeks » Wed May 25, 2011 11:00 am

Many Moons ago (we won't go there...), our Stake set up Geo Codes for the entire Stake. It is a 4-digit alpha-numeric grid system, like F3AB, where F3 is the location vertically and AB is the location horizontally in the grid. Each Ward was provided a boundary map with their grids identified. Alan's point about making the grids small enough that you don't straddle 2 wards is very good advice. The ward is "required" to maintain their Stake GEO Code field to match the Stake Grid and is allowed to do whatever they want with the Ward GEO code field.

From time to time, we receive "friendly" reminders from the Stake Clerk to keep it updated. I don't know how other wards fare, but this is something we just automatically do every time a new member moves into the ward:
1. Lookup their GEO code and add it to their record.
2. Add the families Emergency Preparedness Group for a custom report.
3. [Monthly] Provide a new Emergency Preparedness group list to the EQ President and HP Group Leader for distribution to the appropriate Emergency Preparedness Captains (showing the new members now in their group).

By doing this consistently, the only time we have not been up-to-date is when we have a member moved into the ward with a bad or PO Box address.

Dave

danpass
Member
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Postby danpass » Wed May 25, 2011 1:12 pm

davesudweeks wrote:Many Moons ago (we won't go there...), our Stake set up Geo Codes for the entire Stake. It is a 4-digit alpha-numeric grid system, like F3AB, where F3 is the location vertically and AB is the location horizontally in the grid. Each Ward was provided a boundary map with their grids identified. Alan's point about making the grids small enough that you don't straddle 2 wards is very good advice. The ward is "required" to maintain their Stake GEO Code field to match the Stake Grid and is allowed to do whatever they want with the Ward GEO code field.

From time to time, we receive "friendly" reminders from the Stake Clerk to keep it updated. I don't know how other wards fare, but this is something we just automatically do every time a new member moves into the ward:
1. Lookup their GEO code and add it to their record.
2. Add the families Emergency Preparedness Group for a custom report.
3. [Monthly] Provide a new Emergency Preparedness group list to the EQ President and HP Group Leader for distribution to the appropriate Emergency Preparedness Captains (showing the new members now in their group).

By doing this consistently, the only time we have not been up-to-date is when we have a member moved into the ward with a bad or PO Box address.

Dave


As you indicate, a Stake can decide to have the wards maintain stake geo codes at the ward level. I can think of several reasons, which I don't have time to enumerate now, which would make a boundary realignment project pretty frustrating, if the stake geo codes were managed at the ward level. I'm pretty sure that topic has been previously discussed, possibly in one of the threads I linked to in my last post.

davesudweeks
Senior Member
Posts: 550
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Owasso, OK, USA

Postby davesudweeks » Fri May 27, 2011 10:43 am

danpass wrote:As you indicate, a Stake can decide to have the wards maintain stake geo codes at the ward level. I can think of several reasons, which I don't have time to enumerate now, which would make a boundary realignment project pretty frustrating, if the stake geo codes were managed at the ward level. I'm pretty sure that topic has been previously discussed, possibly in one of the threads I linked to in my last post.


No arguement there. However, as Ward Clerk, I can change the Stake GEO code field. Hence, the Stake Clerk has to do one of the following (in my opinion):
1. Enter all the GEO Codes himself, instruct the wards to leave them alone, and hope they do. Then correct them when a Ward Clerk does not leave them alone.
2. Provide a consistent GEO Code map to the Ward Clerks and instruct them to keep the Stake GEO Codes up-to-date. If any are not, work with/train the Ward Clerks to fix their process.
3. Ignore the GEO codes except when a boundary change is immenent.

I have never served as Stake Clerk, but without that experience, I would first lean to option 2 as the best way to maintain it. Perhaps I am just naive, but I ALWAYS try to have everything accurate and correct, even if it is a Stake GEO Code that we are asked to keep updated.

danpass
Member
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Postby danpass » Fri May 27, 2011 11:39 am

davesudweeks wrote:No arguement there. However, as Ward Clerk, I can change the Stake GEO code field. Hence, the Stake Clerk has to do one of the following (in my opinion):
1. Enter all the GEO Codes himself, instruct the wards to leave them alone, and hope they do. Then correct them when a Ward Clerk does not leave them alone.
2. Provide a consistent GEO Code map to the Ward Clerks and instruct them to keep the Stake GEO Codes up-to-date. If any are not, work with/train the Ward Clerks to fix their process.
3. Ignore the GEO codes except when a boundary change is immenent.

I have never served as Stake Clerk, but without that experience, I would first lean to option 2 as the best way to maintain it. Perhaps I am just naive, but I ALWAYS try to have everything accurate and correct, even if it is a Stake GEO Code that we are asked to keep updated.


If the stake geo code worked as you believe it works, I might be more inclined to agree with you. Read this post and you'll see what I mean. When/if the stake assumes control of the stake geo code field in stake MLS, by creating or changing a value in that field, any changes made at the ward level, cease to flow to the stake level. Also, whatever is done with that field at the stake level is only visible in stake MLS. It does not flow back to the ward. This is important, in that it helps keep things under wraps when boundary realignments are being considered.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20773
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri May 27, 2011 12:18 pm

danpass wrote:If the stake geo code worked as you believe it works, I might be more inclined to agree with you. Read this post and you'll see what I mean. When/if the stake assumes control of the stake geo code field in stake MLS, by creating or changing a value in that field, any changes made at the ward level, cease to flow to the stake level.


What happens if a new record moves into the stake (Geo Code is blank), but before the stake enters a code on their end, the ward clerk enters a code on his end? Can the stake tell that it's a ward-entered code and not a stake code? If they can't, then item #1 still applies.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

danpass
Member
Posts: 343
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Oregon City, OR
Contact:

Postby danpass » Fri May 27, 2011 3:45 pm

RussellHltn wrote:What happens if a new record moves into the stake (Geo Code is blank), but before the stake enters a code on their end, the ward clerk enters a code on his end? Can the stake tell that it's a ward-entered code and not a stake code? If they can't, then item #1 still applies.


I'm not aware of any indication from MLS as to the origin of the value in the field. The stake could use new move-in reports to identify households that need geo codes assigned, if there is a current need for that to happen.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20773
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri May 27, 2011 4:11 pm

danpass wrote:I'm not aware of any indication from MLS as to the origin of the value in the field.


That's what I was afraid of.

danpass wrote:The stake could use new move-in reports to identify households that need geo codes assigned, if there is a current need for that to happen.


While it sounds like it would work, it also seems like a system that would fall into disuse quickly unless there was active interest in boundary re-alignment.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


Return to “Getting Started for New Clerks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest