RussellHltn wrote:Confusion about what? Anyone who moved into a different ward/stake is bound to be confused if the new ward has different "work ethic" on verification.
Conflationg two concepts -- one about geocoding and another about ward membership status -- is inherently confusing.
One one hand, a user (member or leader) from this ward learns a different expectation: If a household is marked "Verified," that means something different than just geographically verified. It means the family is known for sure to live at this address because either they are active or have been visited. Under that system, a user would tend to think that anyone "Unverified" may just be inactive. But if the user moves to some other ward, "Verified" would mean something else.
On the other hand there may be some locations in this ward that leaders know to be geocoded correctly but are left "Unverified" because membership tracking lags.
RussellHltn wrote: OTOH, if you're not sure a member lives at that address, shouldn't that be factored into your emergency plan before you expend efforts to go across a devastation zone looking for them?
Maybe, but not at the expense of the primary meaning, which is that this address is mapped accurately.
I think you are missing a key point: By adopting this different process, a unit is less likely to get its addresses "Verified" because it takes a lot more time and work. Verification is work, but that can usually just be done online. But under this system, even a visit to the home will not result in a "Verified" status just because no one answers the door.
If emergency prep leaders are supposed to take membership and activity into account, the designers could have made that one of the private fields that are recorded for their use. But I suspect that in an emergency priesthood leaders are supposed to worry about everyone on the rolls. The primary objective should still be to get the address mapped accurately. And as I said above, if it becomes known for sure that the family does not
live at this address, unmapping that family is the benign thing for the clerk to do.
For other purposes, such as boundary analysis, the address should govern whether the family comes to church, receives visitors, or not. And in our ward, we first map all members accurately so we can give priesthood holders (fast-offering teams) reliable maps to manage and assist their visits to homes in the first place. Those visits, in turn, may result in learning that the address for a family is wrong because of a move, and that information is fed back to the ward leaders for action.
RussellHltn wrote:Now we come down to the heart of it. If someone sees this as a "churchwide asset", then someone above needs to make the call in how it's used and how much effort is put into it. I'm sure there are some stake/wards that have put ZERO effort into it.
I do agree with you on that. My perception is that the uptake of the mapping tool by units is pretty low, especially in non-Utah areas where it might be the most useful at any level.
Unfortunately, I see this as another sad example of how the rollout of the application is falling short. Instead of automated geocoding, the tools that were delivered are ultimately manual. But the manual work is treated as optional. Compounding the problem, the church geocoding deliberately ignores moves within wards, resulting in some grossly wrong locations. Now it turns out that the tool is sometimes distorted to record different information than it was designed to track, and that seems okay with a lot of folks here.
The bottom line is that the data overall is less reliable and less understood, so the application lacks credibility. I continue to root for its success, but I know the geocoded data being captured is not great. So for real mapping work in our ward, I still bypass it and use my own geocoding because I know it to be more complete and more accurate. Of course, that does not do the users of maps.lds.org any good.