Custom ward maps displaying household names

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ulupoi
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Location: California, USA

Custom ward maps displaying household names

Postby ulupoi » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:58 am

As much as I like the “Maps” tool in lds.org, it lacks some important features.
1. You can’t see the household name unless you mouse over the marker. A more useful map would include the option of displaying the name next to the marker.
2. There is no way to display only a custom subset of households.
3. The printing options are very limited.

Fortunately, the free online “Google My Maps” application solves some of these problems. Here are some instructions on how to use it.

1. Preparing the database.
a. Sit down at the ward computer with someone in the bishopric (including clerks and executive secretary). In MLS, have them design a custom list that will output all the people you want to map. Have it output first name, last name, and address in separate columns. The address will probably output to more than one column (address1, address2, city, state, zip), and that is fine. It’s best not to download more information than this. Have them export this list as a csv file.
b. Encrypt this file with a password, before transferring it to your computer. You can add a password in LibreOffice Calc, which is probably already installed on your ward computer. Save the file as .csv or .xlsx. Email accounts get hacked all the time, and encrypting the list will prevent it from being used by criminals. If you are going to use a flash drive, follow all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of malware!
c. Some people have set their profiles on lds.org to restrict information (address, phone number, and/or email address) to leadership only or ward only (default is the whole stake). However, the list you print out using MLS will probably have no indication of that. Therefore, if you are going to share this map with anyone besides ward leadership, download a list that does not contain restricted information. Get it from one of these sources:
1)Go to lds.org > “My Account and Ward” > “Maps and Meetinghouse Locator.” Click on “Download.” Choose the option “Do NOT include confidential data.”
2) Go to lds.org > “My Account and Ward” > “Directory” > “Export Households.” Do not check the "Include Private Members" box.
d. Compare this public list with the MLS list and delete information from the MLS list where necessary. For example, if you have generated a custom list of EQ members in MLS, if any name does not also appear in the public household list, delete it.
e. If you haven’t already done so, edit the spreadsheet down to the label you want next to the map marker (e.g. last name) and the address columns. Don't leave extraneous information on this spreadsheet (e.g. birthdate, children’s names). I assume that everything on every spreadsheet that you upload to Google gets screened for use in advertising.
f. Now, add another column to your spreadsheet for any grouping that you want to do. For example, you can enter a “1” in this column for each person who has been assigned a home teacher and a “2” for each person who has not been assigned a home teacher. Save this file. You will import this file into the map program in the next step.
g. Google My Maps limits you to 10,000 places/map, 2000 places/layer.

2. Making the map using Google My Maps.
a. Go to Google My Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/d/ (I used the Google Chrome browser when writing these instructions. If you are using a different browser, you might have to make some adjustments.)
b. Click "Create a new map."
c. Click "Import." Select the file you prepared in step 4. Now, every address in the file will be mapped. If there were problems with any of the addresses, Google will notify you with an error message in a textbox.
d. To make the labels appear, click on "Uniform style," then in the "Set labels" pull-down menu, select the appropriate data column (e.g. Name).
e. Now, add your group classifications to the markers. Go to "Uniform style" > "Group places by." Select the column with the grouping information. Give each group a different color.
f. The little symbols that looks like three vertically placed dots give access to more settings.
g. Click on "Untitled Map." This will open the dialogue box where you can give your map a name. It will be saved to your google drive account.
1) To set up your google drive account and to learn more about it, go to https://www.google.com/drive/
2) If you already have a google drive account set up, you can go to it by navigating to this URL: https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive
h. I suggest using the map in this format, rather than printing. You can share the map with others such that anyone with the URL of the map can see it. Alternatively, you can grant specific individuals the right to see your map by entering their email addresses, and you can also grant them edit rights if you like.
i. To print, click on the 3-dot icon in the same row as “Add layer” and select “Print map.” Play around with the different settings. When you click “Print,” a new tab will open in your browser containing a copy of what will actually be printed.
j. The largest native page size is about 11X17 inches. You could always find a zoom level you like, print different map sections one at a time, and then paste them together, physically. You could also paste several maps together on your computer to make one, big, complete map at a readable scale. Doing this is kind of a pain in the neck, but here’s a procedure:

3. Assembling a giant map from several images taken from Google My Maps.
a. In Google MyMaps, zoom your map to the level you want. Do some test prints to be sure that the zoom is as small as possible without making the household labels disappear or obscure each other.
b. 3-dot icon > “Print map” > “Paper size” (11" x 17"), “Orientation” (portrait or landscape, whatever covers your ward boundaries in the fewest map-prints), “Output type” (Image) > Click “Print.”
c. In the new browser tab that opens, the selected part of the map will appear as an image. Take a good look at this map image. Note its boundaries for later. Right-click on the image > Select "Save image as..." > Give the file a name and save it. It will save as a .jpg file.
d. Move on to the next part of the ward. Repeat steps 3b and 3c for the whole ward area. Make sure that each map overlaps the next by an inch or two.
e. Combine (stitch together) your saved images using Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE).
1) Get it for free here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/ ... jects/ice/
2) Play around with it. It's a great program.
3) Export your stitched image at 100% scale as another .jpg file. The default quality (High) is good enough.
f. Open your stitched image in Microsoft Paint. (I don't have Photoshop. Paint works and it's preloaded with Windows.)
1) Crop your map.
2) Go to “Print” > “Page Setup” and set up your print the way you want it.
3) Go to “Print” > “Print Preview” and click through the pages to make sure you are happy with the way it's going to print.
4) Go to “Print” > “Print” and print it out.

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

Re: Custom ward maps displaying household names

Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:19 am

Keep in mind that we've been told not to upload membership information to third party servers.

The Meetinghouse Technology Policy says "4.9.3 The use of MLS data and membership information in third party software is prohibited, whether obtained from within or outside of a meetinghouse."
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

ulupoi
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Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:21 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Custom ward maps displaying household names

Postby ulupoi » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:02 pm

Thanks for the reminder. I thought that Google Maps might qualify as an exception, given that the maps feature of lds.org is done by Google. (Note the clickable "Google" text in the bottom left-hand corner.) I assume that if we upload only last name and address, we are not giving Google any more information than they already have.

scgallafent
Church Employee
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:55 pm
Location: Riverton, Utah

Re: Custom ward maps displaying household names

Postby scgallafent » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:25 pm

ulupoi wrote:Thanks for the reminder. I thought that Google Maps might qualify as an exception, given that the maps feature of lds.org is done by Google. (Note the clickable "Google" text in the bottom left-hand corner.) I assume that if we upload only last name and address, we are not giving Google any more information than they already have.

Google doesn't get name and address information as part of the maps implementation. The work is done on the client side and the information is not transmitted to Google. Google may have address information from other sources, but it doesn't get sent to them from LDS Maps.

ulupoi
Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:21 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Custom ward maps displaying household names

Postby ulupoi » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:45 pm

Thank you for that information.

Does this mean that we are officially banned from using Google Maps to map member locations? People have been using online mapping software for church mapping for a number of years. If memory serves, in this forum, you could even get custom software that someone had written to map addresses using Yahoo maps.

Before I cause ward leaders a lot of frustration, I'd like to get an authoritative ruling on this. Who should I contact?

lajackson
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Re: Custom ward maps displaying household names

Postby lajackson » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:18 pm

ulupoi wrote:Does this mean that we are officially banned from using Google Maps to map member locations? People have been using online mapping software for church mapping for a number of years. If memory serves, in this forum, you could even get custom software that someone had written to map addresses using Yahoo maps.

I believe that any time someone mentioned ways of doing this here in the Forum, they were reminded of the Meetinghouse Technology Policy mentioned earlier. Handbook 1, Chapter 13 also speaks of the confidentiality required in maintaining membership information.

Review those policies and counsel with your priesthood leaders. Carefully consider what scgallafent, a church employee, just said that the Church does not do it.
scgallafent wrote:Google doesn't get name and address information as part of the maps implementation. The work is done on the client side and the information is not transmitted to Google. Google may have address information from other sources, but it doesn't get sent to them from LDS Maps.

I think you'll come to decide that a different approach would be needed in order to comply with current Church policy.


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