Ward Maps

Discussions about the Maps Tool on lds.org.
RossEvans
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Thanks again to Kevin Ball

Postby RossEvans » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:50 pm

BTW, I finally got Kevin Ball's script to run on my XP machine. It never did work for me because of issues with IE7, apparently. But Firefox handles it fine.

So I now can better appreciate Kevin's original invention, which started this whole thread. Some of us (me included) have sort of hijacked the thread with our own projects.

I hope Kevin is still following this thread. Thanks.

In the future I may try to merge some of his ideas (and, with his permission, some of his code) with my own.

One think I like about the Yahoo maps display, versus the Google Earth display I have been using, is that it provides a crisp map rendering without the glitzy satellite-photo background. That is important when you need a printout. For example, one of the needs we have in our huge ward is a way to support the efforts of the guy who manages fast-offering routes, and he needs to produce a clear printout to hand to the priesthood brethren collecting.

But there are other applications where Google Earth seems better. And I want to drive GE and/or Yahoo Maps with selection logic based on MLS extracts, including home- and visiting-teaching files. (I don't think the free Google Maps API is suitable because of Google's terms of service.)

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kevandcan
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Postby kevandcan » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:33 pm

boomerbubba wrote:BTW, I finally got Kevin Ball's script to run on my XP machine. It never did work for me because of issues with IE7, apparently. But Firefox handles it fine.

So I now can better appreciate Kevin's original invention, which started this whole thread. Some of us (me included) have sort of hijacked the thread with our own projects.

I hope Kevin is still following this thread. Thanks.

In the future I may try to merge some of his ideas (and, with his permission, some of his code) with my own.

One think I like about the Yahoo maps display, versus the Google Earth display I have been using, is that it provides a crisp map rendering without the glitzy satellite-photo background. That is important when you need a printout. For example, one of the needs we have in our huge ward is a way to support the efforts of the guy who manages fast-offering routes, and he needs to produce a clear printout to hand to the priesthood brethren collecting.

But there are other applications where Google Earth seems better. And I want to drive GE and/or Yahoo Maps with selection logic based on MLS extracts, including home- and visiting-teaching files. (I don't think the free Google Maps API is suitable because of Google's terms of service.)

I do continue to monitor this thread and am quite happy to see so many good ideas coming off of this. Keep up the great work!

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:25 pm

kevandcan wrote:I do continue to monitor this thread and am quite happy to see so many good ideas coming off of this. Keep up the great work!


Thanks.

BTW, when I say I got your VBScript to work, I sort of had to kludge it. I ran the script, which creates C:\WARDMAP.HTM and then hangs. I think it hangs on the line where you invoke an Internet Explorer object and have it navigate to that file URL. IE7 doesn't like that. (I have a script at work that drives IE that way to harvest data from remote web pages, and it also broke when I installed IE7. I had to tweak security settings in IE to make that script work, but I haven't hit upon the right tweak with yours.)

So what I do is run WardMap.vbs until it hangs, then exit and open C:\WARDMAP.HTM in Firefox. I do have problems printing the map in FIrefox, which I assume to be an unfortunate interaction between that browser and the Yahoo API's map on the page..

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:11 pm

As a general rule it's a bad idea to write things to the root of the C drive. For starters, I think only the Administrator has rights to do that.

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joel
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Making Progress

Postby joel » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:56 pm

Last year Kevandcan woke us up to the potential of the community. This year we will plan to get serious about kicking off some open source projects. It has taken us a few years to get to the point we're ready, but we are just about there.

In the meantime, check out the new beta app we just released

Beta Maps

This was inspired, in part, by Kevandcan's great work. We've created a mapping service which takes the lat/long data for meetinghouses and plots it on Google's or Microsoft's mapping service. In the near future we'll also plot ward membership information.

Lots of good stuff. Stay tuned and get ready to throw in and help. We'll be kicking off an open source projet in the coming months...

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:57 am

Joel Dehlin wrote:Last year Kevandcan woke us up to the potential of the community. This year we will plan to get serious about kicking off some open source projects. It has taken us a few years to get to the point we're ready, but we are just about there.

In the meantime, check out the new beta app we just released

Beta Maps

This was inspired, in part, by Kevandcan's great work. We've created a mapping service which takes the lat/long data for meetinghouses and plots it on Google's or Microsoft's mapping service. In the near future we'll also plot ward membership information.

Lots of good stuff. Stay tuned and get ready to throw in and help. We'll be kicking off an open source projet in the coming months...


The Beta Maps is a cool idea. I sent feedback about the default MicroSloth mapping service failing to ever update the map when using Firefox on Linux, the "Close Window" button on the feedback acknowledgment page not working under some conditions, and the location of the meetinghouse I attend being wrong.

Open source projects are great. I hope I might be able to participate.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:36 pm

rmrichesjr wrote:I sent feedback about the default MicroSloth mapping service failing to ever update the map when using Firefox on Linux...

I'll see if I can reproduce the bug. Although, I have to say, the Microsoft map was quite a bit more current than the Google map in my area.

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kevandcan
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VERY rewarding!

Postby kevandcan » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:25 pm

Joel Dehlin wrote:Last year Kevandcan woke us up to the potential of the community. This year we will plan to get serious about kicking off some open source projects. It has taken us a few years to get to the point we're ready, but we are just about there.

In the meantime, check out the new beta app we just released

Beta Maps

This was inspired, in part, by Kevandcan's great work. We've created a mapping service which takes the lat/long data for meetinghouses and plots it on Google's or Microsoft's mapping service. In the near future we'll also plot ward membership information.

Lots of good stuff. Stay tuned and get ready to throw in and help. We'll be kicking off an open source projet in the coming months...


I must say that it is very rewarding/satisfying to see the beta maps out! The application looks great and I'm excited to see it mature and help the local units. Thanks for reaching out to the community and listening and implementing. You're doing a great job! -- Kevin

CuriousGIS-p40
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Mapping members

Postby CuriousGIS-p40 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:31 pm

Joel Dehlin wrote: In the near future we'll also plot ward membership information.


In our area many of the members live in rural areas and their addresses consist of route number, box number. Of course most geocoders can not locate these members. Of those members that do have a valid address we have a geocode rate of about 80-90% at about the 60-70% accuracy level.

I am interested to see how the church is going to address these issues. They could use the same type of interactive communication Google maps uses to allow users to move the location of geocoded objects. However there are still some part of the world and the US for that matter where the base maps for the area are not to a point where one can locate the exact location of homes. Check out Limestone Maine.

In conversation with MLS tech suppor (via MLS messages) the church is investigating a way to include X,Y location in MLS for households. Until that happens MLS tech support has informed our unit that we can experiment with custom fields and/or using the address field to store X,Y information. We have chosen to use the address field, this enables tech savy members to use client side applications such as Google Earth to view member location. Hopefully this will also allow the church to map out our members when the time comes.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:22 pm

CuriousGIS wrote:In our area many of the members live in rural areas and their addresses consist of route number, box number. Of course most geocoders can not locate these members. Of those members that do have a valid address we have a geocode rate of about 80-90% at about the 60-70% accuracy level.

I am interested to see how the church is going to address these issues. They could use the same type of interactive communication Google maps uses to allow users to move the location of geocoded objects. However there are still some part of the world and the US for that matter where the base maps for the area are not to a point where one can locate the exact location of homes. Check out Limestone Maine.

In conversation with MLS tech suppor (via MLS messages) the church is investigating a way to include X,Y location in MLS for households. Until that happens MLS tech support has informed our unit that we can experiment with custom fields and/or using the address field to store X,Y information. We have chosen to use the address field, this enables tech savy members to use client side applications such as Google Earth to view member location. Hopefully this will also allow the church to map out our members when the time comes.


My somewhat educated guess is that Church developers do contemplate giving local clerks an interactive interface such as you describe to get coordinates corrected directly. And the ultimate fallback is GPS, which is no longer a novelty.

My concern is that the Church application needs to get the addresses validated and scrubbed upstream in the master database as well, and mobilize clerks to correct those errors in MLS. Then both corrected addresses and lat/lon coordinates should exist there.

While your observation about rural areas is quite valid, for most urban and suburban areas in the United States the street-address geocoding is still the primary source,. The addresses themselves have to be cleaned up and verified by clerks. It is a classic example of GIGO. In many or most geocoders, both the addresses and the coordinates would be processed in one or two passes.

I am interested in your workaround to store coordinates in the existing MLS fields. Did you consider using the legacy "Geo code" fields in tandem to store the two coordinates (Stake field = lat, Ward field = lon) or are they already occupied? The notion of keying all that into MLS seems too labor intensive to me anyway. Our solution is to maintain our geocoded tables outside MLS automatically, and manage the exceptions during weekly updates.


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