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Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:30 pm
by gbrooksby
I just recently stumbled upon tech.lds.org. and found this thread. I have been geocoding my entire stake myself for a couple of years using the Yahoo! geocoding service to produce a GPX file from the vCard file on the LUWS. The program I wrote is in C++. The benefit of producing a GPX file is that it can be direclty viewed using Google Earth, but also may be importable into GPS navigation units. It can also be parsed by a Java script.

It would be my suggestion that if the church is working on making some mapping of wards available via the LUWS, that it also include the option of downloading a GPX file. It would contain no more information than the current vCard file (except lat/lons) and would be more broadly useful.

The question of dealing with errors does come up. I give all errors a default lat/lon of a meetinghouse parking lot.

In the process of doing this, I find that having addresses mapped out like this can lead to cleaner records. For instance, when I map all the member of my upstate, NY Stake and find someone comes out in Boston, Rochester, NYC, or England, that's a red flag that some clerk needs to fix or forward a record.

(see also http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2757 )

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:18 pm
by RossEvans
brooksby wrote:I just recently stumbled upon tech.lds.org. and found this thread. I have been geocoding my entire stake myself for a couple of years using the Yahoo! geocoding service to produce a GPX file from the vCard file on the LUWS.


I assume you are using the geocoder in Yahoo's Maps API? I suggest that you look closely at their legal Terms of Use, which severely restrict permissable use:
1. f. YOU SHALL NOT ...
(ix) use the stand-alone geocoder for any use other than displaying Yahoo! Maps or displaying points on Yahoo! Maps;
(x) publish or display, or allow other users to publish or display, any geocoded location information using any Yahoo! Maps APIs; or
(xi) use the Yahoo! Maps APIs in a product or service that competes with products or services offered by Yahoo!

I stopped my own, somewhat similar, use of the Yahoo geocoding API when I discovered that.

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:27 am
by gbrooksby
Thanks for pointing this out. I'm in the process of investigating other options. I still think that the church should provide a GPX or maybe GeoRSS file for download as well as the CSV and vCard files. That would mean that addresses get geocoded once, by the church, rather than many times by the membership.

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:38 am
by markstorts
Tom, I just came upon this thread. Any progress on the guidance document you referenced or the added functionality to the LUWS? If the document is available, could you forward? Thanks!

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:11 am
by mkmurray
markstorts wrote:Tom, I just came upon this thread. Any progress on the guidance document you referenced or the added functionality to the LUWS? If the document is available, could you forward? Thanks!

I can't answer for the "guidance document" mentioned by Tom Welch way at the beginning of this thread.

As for a feature like this being included in LUWS, I can point you to a LUWS suggestion and bug list from which many of the new features and improvements of the next version will likely come from. Here's the link to the page on the LDS Tech Wiki:

https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/LUWS:_Feedback_and_Suggestions

I just did a search on the page for the phrases "map" and "mapping." The funny thing (or not funny if you think about it too long :o) is that we have somehow forgotten to add this mapping idea (and it's derivatives) to the suggestion list! This was one of the original LUWS suggestions! I'll make sure it gets there if someone else doesn't first in the next few days.

geocodes

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:30 am
by Ivan-p40
How do the stake and ward geocodes work together? Can anyone enlighten me on this. Why can't the wards identify their geocodes by starting the identifyer with a two letter code for their ward? I saw a posting that said the stake geocodes were very important to create. :confused:

Ivan

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:44 pm
by jdlessley
Ivan wrote:How do the stake and ward geocodes work together? Can anyone enlighten me on this. Why can't the wards identify their geocodes by starting the identifyer with a two letter code for their ward? I saw a posting that said the stake geocodes were very important to create. :confused:

Ivan
Since you posted in this thread we need to understand which geocodes you are referring. There are two. There is the geocode that refers to the geographic coordinates for a location on the surface of the earth. The other geocode is the term used in MLS to help create, modify, or analyse ward boundaries and has no relationship to the previous definition. Since you mention stake and ward geocodes then I presume you are referring to the MLS geocodes. That relationship has been explained by others in the tread "Why isn't MLS using the U.S. National Grid?" in the MLS Support, Help, and Feedback forum.

Sad...

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:59 pm
by sammythesm
Almost 3 years ago, a member had a useful, working, production website that was shut down by the church, promising that a similar feature was imminent. Three years later, here we are... still with the same LUWS we had 3 years ago.

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:08 pm
by crislapi
There are lots of issues to work out. However, you may want to check out their beta site. For more, see this thread.

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:20 pm
by aebrown
WhiteEyebrows wrote:Almost 3 years ago, a member had a useful, working, production website that was shut down by the church, promising that a similar feature was imminent. Three years later, here we are... still with the same LUWS we had 3 years ago.


I for one appreciate that the Church is concerned about the security of membership information being uploaded to third-party servers. That is the issue that led to the recommendation that the software which was mentioned at the beginning of this thread be taken down. The developer understood and agreed to do so. I wouldn't characterize that as "shut down by the church."

At that time, there was no promise "that a similar feature was imminent." The earliest record I can find of an official indication that similar features were coming was in November 2008 in this post. At that point, the first generation of the mapping site was in beta, and ward boundaries were to be added "in the near future."

About a year after that, we have the new beta maps site, which does have ward and stake boundaries, and plots many other Church sites. You can review that in these threads:

Perhaps you were not aware of these developments. I certainly don't see this as sad, but rather an exciting new capability that will help members and nonmembers in many ways. It took some time, but was done in a way that protects privacy, which is a good thing.